Courteney Cox is, of course, best known to us as Monica from "Friends." And the "Friends" reunion special is now streaming on HBOMax, giving us all a chance to spend a little more time with Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey.

Cox first gained attention as the girl Bruce Springsteen pulled onto the stage in the video for "Dancing in the Dark" in 1984, per The Star Tribune. Guest-starring roles on shows including "The Love Boat" and "Murder She Wrote" soon followed. Her first recurring role was on "Family Ties" as the girlfriend of Alex P. Keaton from 1987 to 1989, per IMDb.

These days, Cox is reprising her role as Gale Weathers for the fifth "Scream" film, which is set to be released in January 2022. She’s mom to 17-year-old Coco Arquette and has been dating Snow Patrol lead singer Johnny McDaid since late 2013, per The Mirror. Courteney Cox has packed a lot of living into her 56 years. Let’s took a look at the transformation she’s made since she was just a little girl making her First Holy Communion.

Courteney Cox grew up in Birmingham, Alabama

Courteney Cox was born on June 15, 1964, in Birmingham, Alabama to Courteney and Richard Cox. She is the youngest of four kids, with two older sisters and a brother, per EightiesKids.com. She grew up in Mountain Brook, Alabama, which is one of the most exclusive and wealthiest towns in the U.S., per AL.com.

Cox’s parents divorced when she was young, and her mother married Hunter Copeland, uncle of The Police drummer Stewart Copeland and music manager Ian Copeland, per Geneanet. After graduating from Mountain Brook High School, she enrolled at Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C., with had plans to become an architect. However, she landed a modeling contract and dropped out of college to pursue that, per Biography.com.

Her modeling contract led to being cast in a few commercials and to a 1984 guest appearance in the role of Bunny on "As the World Turns," per IMDb.

Courteney Cox’s big break was in a famous music video

A decade before Courteney Cox was cast in "Friends," she had her big break in the music video for Bruce Springsteen’s "Dancing in the Dark" in 1984. Brian De Palma directed the video, and it was his idea to have Springsteen pull Cox out of the audience, per The Baltimore Sun. Springsteen thought he was just pulling a random fan up on stage. Years later, once Cox was famous in her own right, he found out she was an actor and model.

The following year, Cox starred as Gloria Dinallo in the series "Misfits of Science." The show ran for 16 episodes in 1985 and 1986 and was billed as the "adventures of a team of misfit superheroes who fights crime for a scientific think tank," per IMDb. And in 1987, Cox was cast in the recurring role of Lauren Miller, the girlfriend of Michael J. Fox’s character on "Family Ties." She appeared in 19 episodes of the sitcom through 1989, per IMDB.

Over the next few years, Cox appeared in a number of television shows, TV movies, and films, most notably in seven episodes of "The Trouble with Larry," on one episode of "Seinfeld" and in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," per IMDb. But when "Friends" came around, Cox became a household name.

Producers originally wanted Courteney Cox to play Rachel on ‘Friends’

If the producers of "Friends" had followed through on their original plans, Jennifer Aniston would not have been cast as Rachel Green; Courteney Cox would have. Marta Kauffman, one of the creators of "Friends," wanted Cox to play Rachel. It was Cox who told producers she wanted to play Monica. Producers were originally looking for someone, "Darker and edgier and snarkier, and Courteney brought a whole bunch of other colors to it. We decided that week after week, that would be a lovelier place to go to," Kaufmann said in a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair.

When she was cast as Monica, Cox was the best-known actor of the six main cast members. The chemistry between Cox and her co-stars and soon propelled "Friends" to the top of the TV rating charts and made Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc superstars. And the show paid off for the stars.

In 2002, the six core cast members all banded together in their salary negotiations so that no one actor would be paid more than any of the others, per Insider. For the final two seasons of "Friends," each of the six main cast members was paid $1 million per episode. And in 2015, USA Today reported that Cox and her co-stars made more than $20 million in residuals every year "Friends." It’s hard to imagine anyone else as Monica, let alone Cox as Rachel!

‘Scream’ led Courteney Cox to David Arquette

In 1996, Courteney Cox played Gale Weathers in the high-profile slasher horror film "Scream." She returned for 1997’s "Scream 2" and 2000’s "Scream 3." The "Scream" series and its sequels are one of the most critically acclaimed and highest-grossing horror film franchises of all time, per Box Office Mojo.

Cox also met David Arquette, her future husband on the set of the first "Scream" film. He played Dwight "Dewey" Riley, Gale Weathers’ love interest, per InStyle. Cox and Arquette married on June 12, 1999, in front of 250 guests at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. All of the "Friends" were in attendance, as was Arquette’s sister Patricia Arquette and her husband at the time, Nicolas Cage, per InStyle.

Cox and Arquette teamed up in 2003 to produce the home renovation series "Mix It Up" for the WE network, per AMC Networks. It failed to capture an audience and was canceled after one season. In 2004, Cox and Arquette welcomed their daughter Coco, per People. Jennifer Aniston is her godmother. Cox and Arquette announced their split in 2010, per the New York Daily News, but they stayed amicable co-parents to Coco.

Courteney Cox starred in her second hit sitcom, ‘Cougar Town’

In 2009, Cox struck sitcom gold for the second time. On "Cougar Town," she played Jules Cobb, a recently divorced, 40-year-old mother on the hunt for new experiences. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. Cox also directed several episodes of the series. "Cougar Town" ran for six seasons through March 2015.

While Cox was starring on "Cougar Town," she and Arquette finalized their divorce, and in 2013, the actor started dating Snow Patrol singer Johnny McDaid. They got engaged in 2014, per People, and called it off not long after but stayed together.

More recently, Cox created and produced "9 Months with Courteney Cox" for Facebook Watch in 2019. The series focuses on "people from across the country of various races, religions, and classes as they self-document their nine-month journey of pregnancy," per Deadline. She’s also working on an upcoming TV movie, Shining Vale, per IMDb. And, of course, Cox and her "Friends" appeared in HBOMax’s "Friends" reunion special in May 2021, 25 years after the show’s premiere.