Putting the Rabbit in the Hat

Grand Central. Jan. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781538707296. $29. MEMOIR
At the age of 75, Cox has carved himself a place on stage, on television, and in film, where his face and voice, if not always his name, have become widely recognizable. In this autobiography, Cox relates many tales of his career on both sides of the Atlantic with a signature style and language, often speaking directly to the reader. He describes growing up in Scotland; his father died when Cox was young, and his mother lived with mental illness. As a teen, Cox pursued a career in repertory theater that has been the constant thread throughout his life. His memoir is both an entertaining and anecdotal tour through his career and a perceptive piece of introspection on his personal life; he admits to not being “truly present” as a parent, yet being “in the moment” is what makes him such an exceptional actor. He has a marvelous way of sprinkling less than glowing yet informed opinions on various films and actors throughout the text without seeming critical (most of the time), and it’s nice to hear someone being truly forthright.
VERDICT An enjoyable and conversational backstage pass to the life of a highly respected character actor.
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