He was born Alex Viespi in Long Island, New York in 1933, developing a love for horses at a very young age. He wanted to become a jockey; this was not to be, however, as the highest weight allowed for a jockey was 105 lbs. Alex developed polio at the age of 12, a most devastating blow. Trapped in an iron lung for a period of time, the pervading thought of horses and riding dominated his mind. At 13, he was sent to a ranch in Wyoming as further therapy in his recovery from the ravages of the disease.
A few years later would find Alex on the rodeo circuit, discovering he had the innate ability to stay on anything with four legs. During a lengthy hospital stay in a New Mexican hospital due to a fight with a bull (the bull won), Alex took stock of his life and decided to further his education at New York University and received a degree in Literature. He supported himself as a bricklayer during the months off from school and worked at night in a bank.
So how did Alex become involved in acting and theater? Rumor has it that it was a woman he was seeing who was responsible for this. (If it's true, whoever she is, I'd like to give her a BIG hug!) After two years of summer stock and a season with the Stratford Shakespeare Academy in Connecticut, he toured with the National Shakespeare Academy throughout the U.S. The very next year, he found himself in England and wound up on stage in Doris Lessing's play, 'Play With A Tiger.' After being nominated for the distinguished 'London Critics Award', he went on to appear in 'The Rose Tattoo' in London.
Alex's acting credits are many and varied, ranging from spaghetti westerns (such as 'A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die'), TV movies-of-the-week (such as 'Fire!' with costars Patty Duke Astin and Ernest Borgnine) and of course, the beloved television series of many 'Airwolf.' He even made the leap into the realm of science fiction in Gene Roddenberry's 1973 c 'Genesis II.' But could he be satisfied with this? Could he not just lay back on his laurels and say 'Damn, I was good!' after Airwolf was canceled? NOOOOOOO. He just HAD to go and make Kodak's videotape stock jump with guest appearances on such series as 'The Law And Harry McGraw', 'Jake And The Fat Man', 'War Of The Worlds', 'Matt and Jenny' and 'Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.' Does the man never sleep?? Does he even BREATHE??!
What many of Alex's fans may not know is that he is a published author. His first book, 'Sandsong', was written in longhand. It had two printings, one under Alex Viespi, the 2nd printing under Alex Cord. He went on to write a second book, 'Harbinger', which was never printed. He has just finished (in April 1998) a book about cutting horses and this is currently being shopped around to different publishers.
Contributor Linda M. Ryner, Webmistress
The Official Alex Cord Website