Wallace Maynard Cox (December 6, 1924 – February 15, 1973) was an American comedian and actor, particularly associated with the early years of television in the United States.
Cox was born in Detroit, Michigan. When he was 10, he moved with his divorced mother, mystery author Eleanor Atkinson, and a younger sister to Evanston, Illinois, where he became close friends with a neighborhood child, Marlon Brando. Cox's family moved frequently, eventually to Chicago, Illinois, then New York City, then back to Detroit, where he graduated from Denby High School.
During World War II Cox and his family returned to New York City, where he attended City College of New York. He next spent four months in the Army, and on his discharge attended New York University. He supported his invalid mother and sister by making and selling jewelry in a small shop and at parties, where he started doing comedy monologues. These would lead to regular performances at nightclubs such as the Village Vanguard, beginning in December 1948.