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Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby Biography

WILLIAM H. COSBY, JR. is, by any standards, one of the most influential stars in America today. Whether through concert appearances or recordings, television or films, commercials or education, Bill Cosby has the ability to touch people's lives. His humor often centers on the basic cornerstones of our existence, seeking to provide an insight into our roles as parents, children, family members, and men and women. Wthout resorting to gimmickry or lowbrow humor, Bill Cosby's comedy has a point of reference and respect for the trappings and traditions of the great American humorists such as Charlie Chaplin, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields and Groucho Marx. Read Full Bio >>

Bill Cosby Awards

YearAwardCategoryForResult
2011 TV Land Awards "The Cosby Show" (1984). Won
2007 Image Awards Won
2004 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Animated Program "Little Bill" (1999). Won
2003 Primetime Emmy Awards Won
2002 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class Animated Program "Little Bill" (1999). Nominated

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Bill Cosby Trivia

  • National Enquirer offers $100,000 reward for the capture of the killer of Bill's son, Ennis. [January 1997]
  • Bill's son, Ennis Cosby (27), was shot dead while fixing a flat tire off the San Diego Freeway. [16 January 1997]
  • He and Camille have five children: Erika, Erinn, Ensa, Evin, and Ennis (deceased)
  • In 1976, he earned a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His dissertation was titled "An Integration of the Visual Media Via "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning."
  • His wife, Camille Hanks, is a direct descendant of Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln's mother.
  • At one time expressed a very public interest in purchasing the National Broadcasting Company.
  • Sang on a number of albums in the 70s.
  • In addition to numerous best-selling comedy albums over the years, for which he won several Grammy awards, Cosby had a top-40 hit as a singer in 1969 with "Little Old Man."
  • Insisted that "The Cosby Show" be filmed in New York; he disliked working in Hollywood.
  • Grand marshal, Tournament of Roses parade [2003]
  • Many elements of "The Cosby Show" (1984) were references to his own family. Phylicia Rashad (Clair Huxtable)'s maiden name was Hanks, like his wife Camille's maiden name. Also, like he has in real life, the Huxtables had four daughters and one son.
  • Was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
  • Son Ennis is buried on Cosby family estate in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.
  • First Black performer to win an Emmy (I Spy).
  • Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 120-122. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
  • Cliff Huxtable, Cosby's character on "The Cosby Show" (1984), was ranked #1 by TV Guide in its list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
  • The oldest of 4 children.
  • Inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1994.
  • Broke Radio City's 53-year-old attendance record for his concert appearance. (1986)
  • Was an Honoree at the Kennedy Center Awards, and attended the ceremony with Bill Clinton, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Is also a best-selling author.
  • As a child, he listened to great comedians such as: Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Jimmy Durante and Fred Allen.
  • "Fat Albert," "Weird Harold," and "Dumb Donald," were based on his series of routines on his school pals, and tested them on his most appreciative audience: his mother.
  • Was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) for his commitment to advancing higher education and for his longtime love and promotion of jazz. [May 2004]
  • Was once part owner of the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association.
  • Has been imitated by various comedians: Eddie Murphy, Jaime Foxx, Dave Coulier, Eddie Griffin, and of course, actor Kenan Thompson.
  • The character Dr. Hibbert from "The Simpsons" is based on him.
  • Within 15 seconds after watching Kenan Thompson's "Fat Albert" audition tape, he said to director Joel Zwick, "Hire him!"
  • He wrote many songs in the 60s and 70s, including the Stevie Wonder hit "Uptight (Everything is Alright)."
  • When "The Simpsons" started competing with "The Cosby Show" in 1989, the already declining audience of "The Cosby Show" decreased even more. Because of this, both shows had a playful attitude to each other. "The Cosby Show" made small references to the "The Simpsons", including one episode where Bill wore a Bart Simpson mask, and "The Simpsons" made small references to "The Cosby Show", including the character of Dr. Hibbert, a direct reference to Cosby.
  • Decided to become a stand-up comedian when he was a bartender. Many of the bars customers would comment on how funny he was and tell him to try his act on stage for an audience. He is one of the most successful stand up acts in history, releasing numerous hit records of his shows and still selling out venues to this date.
  • When "The Cosby Show" was ruling the NBC line up in mid 1980s, he insisted that his newly produced show, "A Different World", a spin-off to "The Cosby Show", follow after his show instead of the hit "Family Ties". He wanted this done because he felt there was a lack of shows on TV that promoted African-Americans in a positive light. NBC made the move, which led to two things happening. "The Cosby Show" audience was cut by 1/5 and never fully recovered, and "Family Ties" struggled to get the high numbers it once received and was canceled by 1989.


Bill Cosby Photos

  • Bill Cosby

    2012 Track and Field - 118th Annual Penn Relays - April 27, 2012

  • Bill Cosby

    Apollo Theater 75th Anniversary Gala - Arrivals

  • Bill Cosby

    Esquire Magazine and Harlem Village Academies Honor Bill Cosby

  • Bill Cosby

    Esquire Magazine and Harlem Village Academies Honor Bill Cosby

  • Bill Cosby

    Esquire Magazine and Harlem Village Academies Honor Bill Cosby

  • Bill Cosby

    The 55th Annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Pressroom

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