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Bill Cosby

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Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high school through a correspondence course. He later took up an athletics scholarship at Temple University, supporting himself during his studies by tending bar, where his easy-going style and witty joking with the clientèle prompted suggestions that he try stand-up comedy. This he did and was soon to be discovered by the legendary Carl Reiner. In his early twenties, he appeared on many well-known variety programs including The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) (aka "The Ed Sullivan Show"). His big break came in 1965 when he appeared as "Alexander Scott" in I Spy (1965), winning numerous Emmys for his performance. He later appeared in The Bill Cosby Show (1969), playing a teacher, although originally the show only lasted for two years. He then created a Filmation cartoon based on many of his high school buddies including Weird Harold, Dumb Donald, Mushmouth, and others: the show was, of course, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972). The theme was humorous but also focused on Cosby's more educational side. He studied for many years during his career in the 1960s and 1970s, and he received a doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts. Cosby also starred in some highly successful movies such as Uptown Saturday Night (1974), Let's Do It Again (1975), A Piece of the Action (1977), Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), and California Suite (1978). During his early years he also made some comedy albums that sold very well; his most notable comedy song being "Little Old Man." He was one of the original cast members of The Electric Company (1971), and he was featured in the series Pinwheel (1977) during the late 1970s and then appeared in the mediocre The Devil and Max Devlin (1981). In 1984, 'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids' stopped production, and The Cosby Show (1984) commenced. The show was originally intended to follow a blue-collar family, but finally ended up portraying a white-collar family. It was originally rejected by ABC, accepted by a then-floundering NBC, and was an almost instant success. From 1985 to 1987 the show broke viewing records, with Cosby becoming perhaps the strongest driving force in television during the eighties. Despite this great success, he arguably created his own downfall. The Cosby Show led what was considered by many at that time to be the best night of television: the line-up included Night Court (1984), Hill Street Blues (1981), and Family Ties (1982), which all followed The Cosby Show. Cosby was dissatisfied with the way minorities were portrayed on television. He produced the TV series A Different World (1987) and insisted that this program should follow the Cosby Show, rather than Family Ties. A Different World was set in an historically Black college and concentrated on young people and education. Impact was felt on the show immediately; at its peak, the Cosby Show logged an estimated 70 million viewers. However, after the scheduling reshuffle, the show lost roughly 20% of its massive audience. However, Cosby was still riding high in the early nineties until massive competition from The Simpsons (1989). The Cosby Show finally ended in 1992, conceding to The Simpsons (1989), with the final production considered to be one of the highest-rated shows of the season and featured a pleading Cosby asking for peace in riot-torn Los Angeles during the height of the Rodney King riots. Cosby never seemed able to top the success of the Cosby Show; his film Leonard Part 6 (1987) was considered to be one of the worst American films in history and may have contributed in part to his downfall as a film actor, along with his performance in Ghost Dad (1990). He did attempt a minor comeback in 1996 starring in the Robin Williams film Jack (1996), which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola; and in another show, Cosby (1996), (starring Phylicia Rashad, who appeared as his wife in the previous Cosby Show). Since then he has produced films such as Men of Honor (2000), and shows including Little Bill (1999). Sadly, his son Ennis was murdered in 1997. Throughout the years, Bill Cosby has taken a socially conscious tone, often associated with family values, coupled with a distinctly urban spin on his style.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Bill Cosby Sued by Former Lawyers for Unpaid Legal Services

Bill Cosby Sued
You Still Owe Our Firm, Cos ... Despite Bailing on Retrial

12:17 PM PT -- Cosby's attorney, Joe P. Green, tells us, "This claim arises from a disagreement over the amount of legal fees charged. Mr. Cosby’s team offered to submit that dispute… READ MORE >

'Cosby Show' Star Geoffrey Owens Says Trader Joe's Photo Hurt Him

'Cosby Show' Star Geoffrey Owens
Devastated Over Trader Joe's Pic ... But There's a Silver Lining

Geoffrey Owens says he was anguished when a photo of him working the register at a Trader Joe's surfaced and people insinuated he was a loser, but he's heartened by the folks who have backed him… READ MORE >

- 16 days ago
Cops Swarm Bill Cosby's Pennsylvania Mansion on Comedian's 81st Birthday

Bill Cosby
Cops Swarm Mansion On His 81st BDay

6:10 PM PT -- Cosby's reps, Andrew V. Wyatt and Ebonee M. Benson, tell TMZ ... "No police officers entered the property nor did any officer from Montgomery County make a request that the 'live'… READ MORE >

- 70 days ago
Bill Cosby's Ex-Lawyer to Spill the Beans on Famous P.I.'s New Radio Show

Bill Cosby's Ex-Lawyer
Spilling the Beans ... On Famous P.I.'s New Radio Show

Bill Cosby's ex-lawyer will break his silence for the first time since the disgraced comedian's aggravated indecent assault conviction ... and he's dishing deets with his private investigator who… READ MORE >

- 92 days ago
Andrea Constand Breaks Silence About Cosby Drugging and Sexually Assaulting Her

Andrea Constand
Breaks Silence He Gave Me 3 Blue Pills and Sexually Assaulted Me

Andrea Constand has spoken out for the first time -- aside from testifying in court -- about how Bill Cosby gave her 3 blue pills and then attacked her. Constand spoke to NBC's Kate Snow about… READ MORE >

- 112 days ago
Kadeem Hardison Says Bill Cosby Can't Erase Impact of 'A Different World'

'A Different World'
Cosby Can't Smear Legacy of Our Show ... Says Kadeem Hardison

Bill Cosby's criminal behavior should not overshadow the cultural impact "A Different World" had in the '80s and '90s -- and could still have today -- according to one of its stars, Kadeem… READ MORE >

- 132 days ago
Roman Polanski's Attorney Rips The Academy in Legal Letter

Roman Polanski's Attorney
Rips The Academy Lemme Fight My Case!!!

Roman Polanski got a heavy dose of injustice when The Academy blatantly disregarded its own rules to give him the boot ... so says his attorney. Harland W. Braun fired off a legal… READ MORE >

- 135 days ago
Akon Defends 'Hero' Bill Cosby Following Sexual Assault Conviction

Akon
Cosby's My Hero ... How Do We KNOW He Committed Sexual Assault?!

Akon's got Bill Cosby's back ... or so it seems. We got the singer at LAX on Monday and asked him what's the right prison sentence for the disgraced comedian, who was found guilty of… READ MORE >

- 135 days ago
Bill Cosby Sentencing Will Have a Swarm of Security for His Protection

Bill Cosby
Security Will Swarm Courthouse ... For Sentencing

Bill Cosby will have no shortage of protection when he appears before the judge for sentencing in his sexual assault case. Montgomery County Sheriff Sean Kilkenny tells us ... law enforcement in… READ MORE >

- 137 days ago
Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski Expelled from The Academy

Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski
Booted from The Academy

1:54 PM PT -- Roman's attorney, Harland Braun, tells us both he and Polanski were never notified about the expulsion. Braun says according to the rules, The Academy should have notified them and… READ MORE >

- 140 days ago
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