Alex Cord became best known in Hollywood for his 60s and 70s work in action adventure. Born Alexander Viespi on Long Island, New York in 1933, he was riding horses from the age of 2. Stricken with polio at the age of 12, he was confined to a hospital for a long period of time before he overcame the illness. He was left with one leg shorter and a damaged lung. He held his dream of becoming a jockey until realizing he would soon be too tall. He then determined to be a cowboy. Anything that would put him near horses.
Prodded by an interest in acting, Alex studied with some of the best teachers in New York. He began his professional career in summer stock (The Compass Players in St. Louis, Missouri) and at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut where he played “Laertes” in a production of “Hamlet”. A British producer saw his promise and invited him to London where he starred in two plays on the stage. His performance in “Play With a Tiger” with Siobhan McKenna caused the London Critics to nominate him for their “Best Actor Award” along with Albert Finney and Christopher Plummer.
Live TV in New York offered opportunities to learn acting if front of a camera. Great roles in excellent shows with top directors led to offers for TV in Hollywood. At every opportunity he pursued his passionate love of horses with endless hours of training to become the best all around horseman he could. He guest-starred in TV classics, Route 66, Naked City, Branded, Murder She Wrote, Mission Impossible, Fantasy Island, Laramie, Walker, Texas Ranger, Police Story, Police Woman, East Side, West Side and countless others.
He landed a coveted leading role in the film SYNANON, about a real, successful, drug rehabilitation center in Santa Monica. He was soon considered an actor to watch. His co-stars were Stella Stevens, Edmond O’brien, Eartha Kitt. That led to the “Ringo kid” in the remake of STAGECOACH with Ann-Margret, Bing Crosby, Van Heflin and Bob Cummings. He then got the most sought after role of Kirk Douglas’ brother in THE BROTHERHOOD, a fine drama about the mafia. That was followed by the Harold Robbins story of a jet-setting hit man in STILETTO.
Prolific producer/writer, Don Bellisario offered him a co-starring role in his new series, AIRWOLF, with Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine. Alex became the mysterious white-suited, eye-patched, cane-using Michael Coldsmith Briggs III, code name, ARCHANGEL.
His ultimate love for horses extended itself into work for numerous charities and benefits. He was a regular competitor for 16 years in the Ben Johnson Pro-Celebrity Rodeos that raised money for children’s charities, and he is one of the founders of the Chukkers for Charity Celebrity Polo Team which raised more than $3 million for children’s hospitals. He also chairs “Ahead with Horses”, an organization that provides therapeutic riding programs for the physically and emotionally challenged. Alex and his wife, Susannah, are both actively involved on their horse ranch in north Texas where she is a dressage trainer and he ropes and rides cutters.
Alex, a long time writer, has written three published novels: “Sandsong” and “A Feather in the Rain“. A third bestseller, The Man Who Would Be God, was released earlier this year. He has written and sold three screenplays, as well.
Alex currently lives in Gainesville, Texas and still enjoys an exciting and fulfilling career.