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Bill Cosby

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Bill Cosby: Himself DVD This seminal stand-up comedy film catches one of the truly great funnymen at the... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

California Suite DVD Based on the play by Neil Simon, this beloved comedy romance set in the Beverly... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Mother, Jugs & Speed DVD Bill Cosby's band of misfits try to maintain an independent ambulance service in... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Ghost Dad DVD Bill Cosby is the ghost with the most in the hilarious afterlife comedy "Ghost... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

4 Little Girls DVD Spike Lee directs this quietly gripping documentary exploring the 1963 bombing... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Lightning In A Bottle DVD This musical tour de force captures a magical night of blues filmed at Radio... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now



Also Known As: William H Cosby Jr., Dr. William H Cosby Jr., William Cosby Jr, Ed D, William Henry Cosby Jr. Died:
Born: July 12, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor, comedian, producer, author, commercial spokesperson, TV host, composer, screenwriter, musician, fruit salesman, shoe shiner, bartender

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As a stand-up comic, author, actor and producer, Bill Cosby was revered as an All American dad, and his accomplishment was all the more remarkable as he was among the first African-American actors whose popularity knew no racial boundaries. The playful, charismatic Cosby drew much of his conversational style stand-up material from his childhood, but once he started having children of his own, they proved an endless source for his bemused accounts of parenthood. From his No. 1 rated sitcom "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992), which painted a then rare portrait of an educated, professional and loving African-American family the likes of which had never been seen on television, to his best-selling humor books focusing on marriage and family, Cosby quietly helped break down racial barriers by finding humor in universal human experiences. From the beginning, he had planted the seeds of equality with his unprecedented starring role in a primetime drama, "I Spy" (NBC, 1965-1969), which positioned him as an equal to his white sleuthing partner, Robert Culp. His legacy lived on with his tireless dedication to positive portrayals of African-Americans and educational programming that ensured future generations...

As a stand-up comic, author, actor and producer, Bill Cosby was revered as an All American dad, and his accomplishment was all the more remarkable as he was among the first African-American actors whose popularity knew no racial boundaries. The playful, charismatic Cosby drew much of his conversational style stand-up material from his childhood, but once he started having children of his own, they proved an endless source for his bemused accounts of parenthood. From his No. 1 rated sitcom "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992), which painted a then rare portrait of an educated, professional and loving African-American family the likes of which had never been seen on television, to his best-selling humor books focusing on marriage and family, Cosby quietly helped break down racial barriers by finding humor in universal human experiences. From the beginning, he had planted the seeds of equality with his unprecedented starring role in a primetime drama, "I Spy" (NBC, 1965-1969), which positioned him as an equal to his white sleuthing partner, Robert Culp. His legacy lived on with his tireless dedication to positive portrayals of African-Americans and educational programming that ensured future generations would grow up focusing on their similarities rather than their differences.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Bill Cosby -- "Himself" (1983) Director

CAST: (feature film)

3.
 Lipstick & Dynamite (2004) Cast
4.
 Fat Albert (2004) Cast
5.
 Lightning in a Bottle (2004) Himself
6.
 We Are Not Vanishing (2002) Narration
7.
 Comedian (2002)
8.
 4 Little Girls (1997) Himself
9.
 Jack (1996) Lawrence Woodruff
10.
 Cosby Mysteries, The (1994) Guy Hanks
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in a housing project in north Philadelphia
:
Dropped out of high school after flunking the 10th grade twice
1956:
Served in US Navy Medical Corps, completing high school during his hitch
:
Debut as stand-up comedian at 'The Cellar' room in The Underground club in Philadelphia
1962:
Had a summer booking at NYC's Gaslight Cafe
1963:
Released first comedy album, <i>Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow, Right!</i>; earned a Grammy nomination
1964:
Won first of six consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Recording for <i>I Started Out as a Child</i>
1965:
TV acting debut, "I Spy" co-starring Robert Culp; earned three consecutive Emmy Awards as Alexander 'Scotty' Scott
1969:
Starred in the NBC sitcom "The Bill Cosby Show"
1971:
Feature acting and producing debut, "Man and Boy"
1972:
Delivered rare dramatic performance in the CBS TV-movie "To All My Friends on Shore"; also executive produced, provided the story and scored the film
1972:
Reteamed with Robert Culp (who also directed) for the feature detective yarn, "Hickey & Boggs"
1972:
Hosted the CBS variety series "The New Bill Cosby Show"
1972:
Created and hosted (also executive produced and lent voice to several characters) the animated CBS Saturday morning series, "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids"; title later changed to "The New Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids"
1974:
Acted in first of four movies directed by Sidney Poitier, "Uptown Saturday Night"
:
Was a regular on the PBS instructional series "Feeling Good" hosted by Dick Cavett
1976:
Hosted the short-lived ABC variety series "Cos"
1978:
Co-starred with Richard Pryor in one segment of "California Suite"; adapted from Neil Simon's hit play
:
Served as a commercial spokesperson for such products as Jell-O, Kodak and Coca-Cola
:
Served as host of the "Picture Page" segments of "Captain Kangaroo's Wake Up"
1984:
Created and starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the highly popular NBC sitcom, "The Cosby Show"; Phylicia Rashad played his wife; also wrote the theme music
1986:
Headlined the successful comedy show "An Evening With Bill Cosby" at Radio City Music Hall in NYC
1989:
Made a donation of $20 million to Spelman College in Atlanta
1990:
Last film (to date) with Potier directing, "Ghost Dad"
1992:
Hosted the syndicated revival of the 1950s TV gameshow "You Bet Your Life"
1994:
Reunited with Culp for the CBS TV-movie "I Spy Returns"
1994:
Starred in the short-lived NBC series "The Cosby Mysteries"
1996:
Returned to television for the CBS sitcom "Cosby"; Phylicia Rashad was again cast as his wife; also executive produced and composed theme music
1997:
In the aftermath of son Ennis' tragic murder, family announced launch of Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation, a Los Angeles-based charitable organization for the early detection and treatment of dyslexia
1997:
Brought out the first three books of his <i>Little Bill</i> series for beginning readers
1998:
Hosted the CBS series "Kids Say the Darndest Things"
1999:
Executive produced and provided a character voice for the animated series "Little Bill" (Nickelodeon/CBS)
2004:
Developed (also wrote) the live-action feature "Fat Albert" centering on the popular character from his 1970s cartoon series
2006:
Toured the country speaking out about parenting, education and social responsibility, "A Call Out with Cosby"
2008:
Recorded a hip-hop CD, <i>Cosby Narratives Vol. 1: State of Emergency</i>
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Temple University: Philadelphia , Pennsylvania - 1961 - 1963
University of Massachusetts: Amherst , Massachusetts - 1972 - 1977
University of Massachusetts: Amherst , Massachusetts - 1977

Notes

Received an honorary degree from Fashion Institute of Technology in May 2000.

His disertation for his doctorate in education focused on the impact on children's values of his popular 1970s cartoon series, "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids".

Cosby has recorded more than two dozen albums.

He once explained that the 'E' that started each of his five children's names stood for "excellence."

Inducted to the TV Hall of Fame, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1992.

In 1999, Cosby was approved as a part owner of the New Jersey Nets professional basketball team.

He was honored with the Steven J Ross/Time Warner Award presented by USC's School of Cinema-Television in 2000. He had previously received an honorary degree from the school in 1998.

Cosby's success in the 1960s freed his mother from her life as a domestic: "For the rest of her life, she bowled, cheated at bridge with little old ladies, [and] made the best peach chiffon pie in the world--only she used too many eggs. But do you know what that incredible woman did when she died? In her will she left me $48,000--in case I ever needed something to fall back on." --Bill Cosby quoted in Biography Magazine, June 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Camille Olivia Cosby. Producer. Born c. 1944; married on January 25, 1964; Cosby proposed on their second date, but it took her three months to say yes; received a doctorate in education from U Mass in 1992.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Anna Cosby. Domestic. Died in 1991.
brother:
Russell Cosby. Younger.
brother:
Robert Cosby. Younger.
brother:
James Cosby. Younger; died c. 1947 of rheumatic fever at age six.
daughter:
Erika Ranee Cosby. Born c. 1965; enrolled at Berkeley to get graduate degree in Afro-American Art in 1991.
daughter:
Erinn Charlene Cosby. Born c. 1967; publicly disclosed her struggles with substance abuse in the 1980s.
son:
Ennis William Cosby. Student. Born c. 1969; enrolled at Columbia University in doctoral program; found shot to death near his car on the side of the road in California on January 16, 1997.
daughter:
Ensa Camille Cosby. Born c. 1973.
daughter:
Evin Harrah Cosby. Born c. 1977.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Wit and Wisdom of Fat Albert"
"Bill Cosby's Personal Guide to Power Tennis"
"Fatherhood"
"Time Flies"
"Love and Marriage"
"Childhood" G.P. Putnam's Sons
"The Meanest Thing to Say: Little Bill Books for Beginning Readers"
"The Best Way to Play"
"The Treasure Hunt"
"Shipwreck Saturday"
"Super-Fine Valentine"
"Money Troubles"
"Congratulations! Now What? - A Book for Graduates" Hyperion
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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