The Hollywood Walk of Fame welcomed a new friend on Monday: Friends superstar Courteney Cox.
The 58-year-old actress, producer, director and entrepreneur was immortalized with a star at the starry event that featured loving tributes from her Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow and longtime pal Laura Dern. By the end, Cox, who was joined by boyfriend Johnny McDaid and daughter Coco, got choked up as she recalled how she never gave up on her Hollywood dreams despite running on fumes financially.
The honor comes ahead of the debut of another installment of the Scream franchise in which she will reprise her fan-favorite role as Gale Weathers and another season for her Starz series Shining Vale. Dern kicked off the honoree tributes by calling Cox a friend, sister and “the most extraordinary person possible.” She detailed the time she went to Disneyland with Cox and saw the “delight and pure thrill” in people’s eyes when they recognized her as some even ditched their place in the Space Mountain line to say hello. “God bless them,” Dern noted.
She met Cox on an airplane, and by the time it landed, “we knew we’d found a sister” in one another. “If you’re lucky enough to know her, you learn that she can’t help herself. She has to be honest about who she is, about how she sees the world and, frankly, about what she sees in us. It’s not always easy but she makes you better by knowing her, by working with her and if you’re really fortunate, you get to love her.”
Next up came Aniston and Kudrow, and the two said that when they got their gigs on Friends, they were nervous to meet Cox who, at the time, was the most famous member of the cast, thanks to credits like a Bruce Springsteen video, Family Ties, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Misfits of Science, among others.
“I was really nervous to meet her because I was a huge fan,” Aniston explained of the Homecourt founder. “I remember seeing her at the Flowering Tree, a yogurt store that we would go to. I panicked, I sweat, and I just didn’t know what she was going to be like when we got our job.”
Because of Cox’s experience and influence, Kudrow said it had a profound effect on the Friends cast. “That really set us up to become one of the closest, most loving and supportive casts in, I’ll say, the history of television.” Aniston and Kudrow then complimented Cox’s side hustle of flipping houses with the latter saying, “I remember Courtney saying, ‘Look, y’all, I’ve made more money with houses than with acting.’ Yeah, that changed.”
Aniston praised Cox’s attention to detail, describing it as “very intense.”
“You really want to hope that you don’t have any kind of like a stain or a spot on a wall or that a pillow is out of place or a hair or something that needs to be plucked,” Aniston explained of Cox, whose Monica Geller was equally as hyper-focused on details. “I’m just saying thank God this star is straight.”
On a more serious note, Kudrow offered, “Courteney, we just want to say that we’re deeply, deeply proud to know you. You are the definition of a truly beautiful, talented and, what’s most important, a truly good and decent human being. Thank you for enriching our lives personally.”
Aniston added: “And as fans, we want to thank you for making us laugh. Watching you onscreen and just in life in general, you’re one of the funniest human beings on the planet Earth. Nothing makes me happier than a Courteney joke and always making us smile, and thank you for enriching our lives with your work. We are so proud of you. We love you. You’re sisters from another mister, and we love you.”
In accepting the honor, Cox admitted that she hates and is terrified by public speaking, “which is why I don’t present unless I’m literally holding on to Lisa and Jennifer.” She thanked Aniston, Dern and Kudrow for showing up for her “in public, the way you do so often in private.”
Cox, who said she values consistency and long-standing relationships, then listed off a bunch in her life, including creative collaborators and close members of her team. Those who heard their names called included “incredible” publicist Melissa Kates, Paramount, Spyglass, Warner Bros. Television, Channing Dungey, Starz’s Jeff Hirsch, the Friends team of Marta Kauffman, David Crane and Kevin S. Bright, Cougar Town’s Bill Lawrence, Scream insiders Kevin Williamson and “the late, great” Wes Craven, manager Cynthia Pett-Dante, WME agents Gaby Morgerman and Richard Weitz, her “honest” business manager of over 30 years, Rick Shephard and her “amazing” assistant Tracy Reese who “may not get me jobs, but she sure helps me keep them.
Cox turned her attention to her “longest and most important” projects — boyfriend McDaid and daughter Coco. “Thank you for teaching me to be a better person,” she said of McDaid, someone she called an amazing and talented person. “Thank you, Coco, for reminding me every day that I’m not,” she quipped.
The Friends alum got teary-eyed in closing while relaying a story about the early days of her acting career when she got a call from her father. With about two weeks left before she fully ran out of money, her father, who loved all things television, movies and all things entertainment, suggested she come home to Alabama and put her sales skills to work by selling swimming pools.
“The next day I got Family Ties,” she said. “This will make me cry because I do love my dad, but I just want to say that I know he’s really proud of me, and it does look like I’m here to stay.” With that, she pointed at her star that will forever be planted on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.