William Henry Cosby Jr.
July 12, 1937
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, musician, author|
Camille Hanks (m. 1964)
|Children||5, including Erika Cosby and Ennis Cosby|
|Medium||Stand-up comedy, film, television|
|Genres||Observational comedy, satire, surreal humor, deadpan|
William Henry Cosby Jr. (/ˈkɒzbi/; born July 12, 1937) is an American former stand-up comedian, actor, author, producer, musician, and activist. He was also a regular star of movies and television. He was known for creating and starring in The Cosby Show.
In 2018, Cosby went to prison because of many sexual assault allegations.
He got out of prison in 2021, because the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found that the justice system had made a mistake in the process of convicting him.
Life[change | change source]
Early life[change | change source]
Cosby was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied at Temple University.
Cosby was the class president and a captain of the baseball.
Career[change | change source]
He is the creator of such shows as Filmation's animated Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, NBC's The Cosby Show (in which he played a doctor named Heathcliff Huxtable) and Nick at Nite's Fatherhood (with Blair Underwood).
On television, he starred in the 1960s spy spoof I Spy, and has also advertised Jell-o and other products.
In 1983, Cosby released the concert film Bill Cosby. Cosby performed his first TV stand-up special in 30 years.
On the big screen, he appeared in Leonard Part 6 (1987), Ghost Dad (1990), and The Meteor Man (1993).
On May 2, 2015, his last show of the "Far from Finished" tour was performed at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.
His last known standup performance prior to his conviction was held at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia on January 23, 2018.
Bill Cosby was among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
Personal life[change | change source]
Cosby married Camille Hanks Cosby in 1964. Together, they have five children: Erika, Erinn, Ennis, Ensa and Evin. Cosby lives in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cosbys have three grandchildren.
Since 2016, Cosby has been legally blind, as a result of keratoconus.
Cosby and his wife have collected more than three hundred works of African-American art since 1967.
Sexual assault charges[change | change source]
As of December 30, 2015, numerous civil lawsuits are active against Cosby, and he faces one felony charge of aggravated indecent assault in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; a warrant was issued for his arrest. This charge is based on the 2005 allegations of a January 2004 incident. He was released on a $1 million dollar bail later that day.
In 2014, Cosby was set to release his new standup special Bill Cosby 77 on Netflix. The release of the film was canceled due to allegations of sexual assault against Cosby.
Cosby's trial started on June 5, 2017. He was found guilty of three counts of assault on April 26, 2018, and was sentenced to 3–10 years in prison in late September 2018. He used lawyer Thomas Mesereau.
Cosby got out of prison on 30 June 2021, because the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found that the justice system had made a mistake in the process of convicting him. In 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to not hear the case about Cosby getting out of prison.
Works[change | change source]
Discography[change | change source]
Comedy albums[change | change source]
- Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow...Right! (1963)
- I Started Out as a Child (1964)
- Why Is There Air? (1965)
- Wonderfulness (1966)
- Revenge (1967)
- To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With (1968)
- 200 M.P.H. (1968)
- 8:15 12:15 (1969)
- It's True! It's True! (1969)
- Sports (1969)
- Live: Madison Square Garden Center (1970)
- When I Was a Kid (1971)
- For Adults Only (1971)
- Bill Cosby Talks to Kids About Drugs (1971)
- Inside the Mind of Bill Cosby (1972)
- Fat Albert (1973)
- My Father Confused Me... What Must I Do? What Must I Do? (1977)
- Bill's Best Friend (1978)
- Bill Cosby: Himself (1982)
- Those of You with or Without Children, You'll Understand (1986)
- Oh, Baby! (1991)
- Bill Cosby: Far from Finished (TV broadcast on November 23, 2013, Blu-ray, DVD, CD and digital distribution on November 26, 2013)
Music albums[change | change source]
- Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings (1967)
- Bill Cosby Sings Hooray for the Salvation Army Band! (1968)
- Badfoot Brown & the Bunions Bradford Funeral & Marching Band (1971)
- Charles Mingus and Friends in Concert – As master of ceremonies (Columbia, 1972)
- Bill Cosby Presents Badfoot Brown & the Bunions Bradford Funeral Marching Band (1972)
- At Last Bill Cosby Really Sings (1974)
- Bill Cosby Is Not Himself These Days (1976)
- Disco Bill (1977)
- Where You Lay Your Head (1990)
- My Appreciation (1991)
- Hello Friend: To Ennis, With Love (1997)
- Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby – The Original Jam Sessions 1969 (2004)
- Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby – The New Mixes Vol. 1 (2004)
- State of Emergency (2009)
- Keep Standing (2010)
Compilations[change | change source]
- The Best of Bill Cosby (1969)
- More of the Best of Bill Cosby (1970)
- Bill (1973)
- Down Under (1975)
- Cosby and the Kids (1986)
- At His Best (1994)
- 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bill Cosby (2001)
- The Bill Cosby Collection (2004)
- Icon (2011)
Singles[change | change source]
|1967||"Little Ol' Man (Uptight—Everything's Alright)"||4||18|
|1970||"Grover Henson Feels Forgotten"||70||—|
|1976||"I Luv Myself Better Than I Luv Myself"||—||59|
|"Yes, Yes, Yes"||46||11|
Filmography[change | change source]
|1965–1968||I Spy||Alexander Scott||TV series|
|1969||Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice||Patron at nightclub (uncredited)|
|1969||Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert||Bill / Fat Albert / Dumb Donald (voice)||TV movie|
|1969–1971||The Bill Cosby Show||Chet Kincaid||TV series|
|1971–1973||The Electric Company||Hank||TV series|
|1971||Man and Boy||Caleb Revers||TV movie|
|1972||The New Bill Cosby Show||Host||TV series|
|1972–1985||Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids||"Fat" Albert Jackson (voice)||TV series|
|1972||To All My Friends on Shore||Blue||TV movie|
|1972||Hickey & Boggs||Al Hickey|
|1974||Uptown Saturday Night||Wardell Franklin|
|1974||Journey Back to Oz||The Wizard of Oz||TV version only|
|1975||Let's Do It Again||Billy Foster|
|1976||Mother, Jugs & Speed||Mother|
|1977||A Piece of the Action||Dave Anderson|
|1978||Top Secret||Aaron Strickland||TV movie|
|1978||California Suite||Dr. Willis Panama|
|1981||The Devil and Max Devlin||Barney Satin|
|1984–1992||The Cosby Show||Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable||TV series|
|1987||Leonard Part 6||Leonard Parker||Also producer and writer|
|1987||Bill Cosby:49||Himself||Live comedy concert film released on VHS|
|1987||A Different World||Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable||TV series|
|1990||Ghost Dad||Elliot Hopper|
|1992–1993||You Bet Your Life||Host||TV series|
|1993||The Meteor Man||Marvin|
|1994||The Cosby Mysteries||Guy Hanks||TV movie|
|1994–1995||The Cosby Mysteries||Guy Hanks||TV series|
|1994||I Spy Returns||Alexander Scott||TV movie|
|1996–2000||Cosby||Hilton Lucas||TV series|
|1998–2000||Kids Say the Darndest Things||Host||TV series|
|1999–2004||Little Bill||Captain Brainstorm (voice)||TV series|
|2002||Sylvia's Path||Voice||TV movie|
|2014||Bill Cosby 77||Himself|
Books[change | change source]
- Cosby, Bill (1986). Fatherhood. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-23410-8. OCLC 15686687.
- Cosby, Bill (1987). Time Flies. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-24040-6. OCLC 16081611.
- Cosby, Bill (1989). Love and Marriage. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-24664-4. OCLC 18984758.
- Cosby, Bill (1991). Childhood. New York: Putnam. ISBN 978-0-399-13647-4. OCLC 23650310.
- Cosby, Bill (1998). Kids Say the Darndest Things. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-11043-2. OCLC 39498709.
- Cosby, Bill (1999). Congratulations! Now What?: A Book for Graduates. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-0-7868-6572-7. OCLC 40979923.
- Allen, Dwight William; Cosby, Bill (2000). American Schools: The $100 Billion Challenge. New York: IPublish.com. ISBN 978-0-7595-5000-1. OCLC 48915448.
- Cosby, Bill; Booth, George (2001). Cosbyology: Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-0-7868-6810-0. OCLC 46359836.
- Cosby, Bill (2003). I Am What I Ate. and I'm Frightened!!!: And Other Digressions from the Doctor of Comedy. New York: HarperEntertainment. ISBN 978-0-06-054573-4. OCLC 52387894.
- Cosby, Bill; Cosby, Erika (2003). Friends of a Feather: One of Life's Little Fables. New York: Harper Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-06-009147-7. OCLC 52206847.
- Cosby, Bill; Poussaint, Alvin F. (2007). Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. ISBN 978-1-59555-092-7. OCLC 153581209.
- Cosby, Bill (2011). I Didn't Ask to Be Born (But I'm Glad I Was). New York: Center Street. ISBN 978-0-89296-920-3. OCLC 707964887.
Awards and honors[change | change source]
- 1969: Received his third Man of the Year award from Harvard University's performance group the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.[source?]
- 1991: Induction into the Television Hall of Fame.[source?]
- 1998: Received the Kennedy Center Honor.
- 2002: The Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to television[source?]
- 2002: The scholar Molefi Kete Asante included him in his book The 100 Greatest African Americans.
- 2003: The Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.[source?]
- 2005: In a British poll broadcast on Channel 4 to find the Comedian's Comedian, he was voted among the top-50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
- 2010: Received the Lone Sailor Award by the United States Navy Memorial.
- 2009: Presented with the 12th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.[source?]
- 2011: Made an honorary Chief Petty Officer (Hospital Corpsman) in the United States Navy. The Navy revoked this award on December 4, 2014.
Emmys[change | change source]
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series – Primetime Emmys
1966 I Spy – Alexander Scott
1967 I Spy – Alexander Scott
1968 I Spy – Alexander Scott
Outstanding Variety Or Musical Program – Primetime Emmys
1969 The Bill Cosby Special
Grammys[change | change source]
Best Comedy Performance – Grammy Awards
1965 I Started Out as a Child
1966 Why Is There Air?
1969 To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With
1987 Those of You with or Without Children, You'll Understand
Best Recording for Children – Grammy Awards
1971 The Electric Company – Cast member
1972 Bill Cosby Talks to Kids About Drugs
Honorary degrees[change | change source]
Cosby has been awarded at least 57 honorary degrees since 1985. Several of these honorary degrees have been rescinded due to allegations of sexual assault and/or immoral behavior:
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Boston University, May 18, 2014 (Rescinded) 
- Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Marquette University, May 19, 2013. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from The University of San Francisco, May 18, 2012. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Oberlin College, May 1, 2010. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, December 5, 2008.
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Carnegie Mellon University, May 20, 2007; he was also the keynote speaker for the commencement ceremony.
- Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, May 8, 2004. Cosby was also the host of the school's 60th Anniversary Concert in January 2006.
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Wilkes University, May 2004.(Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Baylor University, September 4, 2003, at the "Spirit Rally" for the Baylor and Central Texas communities. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Yale University, May 26, 2003.
- Honorary Degree in 2003 from Sisseton Wahpeton College for his contributions to minority education.[source?]
- Honorary Doctorate from West Chester University of Pennsylvania during the 2003 graduation ceremony.[source?]
- Honorary Doctorate from Paine College in 2003.
- Honorary Doctorate from Drew University during the 2002 graduation ceremony. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Haverford College, May 2002.
- Honorary Degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Cincinnati in 2001.[source?]
- Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Fordham University in 2001. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctorate from Goucher College, 2001. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Tufts University, 2000. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctorate from Amherst College, May 1999. (Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa) (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctorate from Colgate University, May 22, 1999; he was also the keynote speaker for the commencement ceremony.
- Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California, May 8, 1998.
- Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Connecticut, and served as the commencement speaker, May 18, 1996. (Rescinded) 
- Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Swarthmore College, 1995. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 1992. (Rescinded)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Pennsylvania, 1990. He also served as the commencement speaker in May 1997.
- Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Brown University, May 1985. (Rescinded)
References[change | change source]
- ↑ Allyn, Bobby (January 23, 2018). "Bill Cosby Makes Surprise Stand-Up Appearance Ahead Of Retrial". National Public Radio. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 CNN, Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper. "Bill Cosby guilty on all three counts in indecent assault trial". CNN. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
|last1=has generic name (help)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Ray Sanchez; Sonia Moghe; Kristina Sgueglia (July 1, 2021). "Bill Cosby is a free man after Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns sex assault conviction". CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
- ↑ Lauren McCarthy (June 30, 2021). "Bill Cosby's release prompts criticism from #MeToo, praise from the actress Phylicia Rashad". New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
- ↑ "Bill Cosby is freed after serving three years of his sentence for sexual assault". New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20080208211219/http://www.tv.com/bill-cosby/person/4026/trivia.html
- ↑ "Comedians Salute the Stand-Up Comedy Classic Bill Cosby: Himself". 22 May 2013.
- ↑ https://www.boston.com/entertainment/celebrity/2015/05/04/bill-cosby-battles-hecklers-atlanta-performance-stop-this-our-show/RPCHbthiLrHsjpHaSpMfsI/story.html
- ↑ Genzlinger, Neil (2013-11-22). "The Art of Burning Rubber vs. Steady Wins the Race". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
- ↑ Smith, Emily (19 July 2016). "Bill Cosby is 'completely blind' and homebound". Page Six. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- ↑ https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/museums/conversations-museums-african-art-outshines-cosbys-african-american-art/2014/11/09/89b2b1f6-682c-11e4-b053-65cea7903f2e_story.html
- ↑ Dale, Maryclaire (December 30, 2015). "Bill Cosby charged with sexually assaulting a woman". Associated Press. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- ↑ "The Latest: Bill Cosby Charged With Sexual Assault". ABC News. ABC TV. Associated Press. December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- ↑ Ohlheiser, Abby (30 December 2015). "Bill Cosby charged in sexual assault case". Washington Post. No. Online. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- ↑ Rappleye, Connor, Hannah, Tracy (September 6, 2016). "Bill Cosby's Sex Assault Trial Set for June 5". NBC News. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
- ↑ "Bill Cosby's new lawyer represented Michael Jackson". NBC News.
- ↑ "Supreme Court turns away prosecutors' appeal in Bill Cosby case". WGN-TV. 2022-03-07. Retrieved 2022-03-07.
- ↑ https://direkte.vg.no/nyhetsdognet/news/hoeyesterett-avviste-cosby-anke.mRijPwHC2?utm_source=vgfront&utm_content=hovedlopet_row14_pos1. VG. Retrieved March 7, 2022
- ↑ TV News Desk. "Video: Bill Cosby: Far From Finished on Blu-Ray/DVD Today". Retrieved December 6, 2014.
- ↑ "Biography of Bill Cosby". John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2007.
- ↑ Asante, Molefi K. (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Pyr Books. ISBN 978-1-57392-963-9.
- ↑ "The comedians' comedian". Chortle.co.uk. December 30, 2015.
- ↑ "Lone Sailor Award recipients". navymemorial.org. Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
- ↑ Mass, Chief. "MCPON Designates Bill Cosby Honorary Chief". United States Navy. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- ↑ Ember, Sydney; Moynihan, Colin (6 October 2015). "To Revoke or Not: Colleges That Gave Cosby Honors Face a Tough Question". The New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- ↑ "Boston University rescinds Bill Cosby's honorary degree". Boston Globe. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- ↑ "Bill Cosby is Marquette University's spring Commencement speaker". Marquette University Office of Marketing and Communication. Archived from the original on September 5, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
- ↑ "University of San Francisco Rescinds Bill Cosby Honorary Degree". NBC BAY AREA. September 30, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
- ↑ "Oberlin College gives Cosbys, Stevie Wonder honorary doctorates". Retrieved October 12, 2015.
- ↑ "Oberlin College rescinds honorary degree awarded Bill Cosby". New York Daily News. December 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- ↑ "VCU 40th Anniversary Events". Virginia Commonwealth University. Archived from the original on February 25, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Commencement 2007: Celebrating Honors and Achievements". Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Retiring College President Lee Eliot Berk and Bill Cosby Honored at Berklee College of Music's 2004 Commencement" (Press release). Berklee College of Music. May 8, 2004. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Three Score: The Berklee 60th Anniversary Concert". Berklee College of Music. January 28, 2006. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Wilkes University rescinds Cosby's honorary degree". CITIZENS VOICE. October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
- ↑ "Bill Cosby Lifts Baylor, Waco Spirits At "Pep Rally"". Baylor University. September 5, 2003. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ Stottlemyre, Matthew (October 9, 2015). "Baylor rescinds honorary doctorate given to Bill Cosby in 2003". Waco Tribune-Herald.
- ↑ "Honorary Degrees". Yale Bulletin and Calendar. 31 (31). June 6, 2003. Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Georgia college considers rescinding honorary degree given to Bill Cosby; will vote next week". Star Tribune. October 17, 2015. Archived from the original on January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- ↑ "Bill Cosby Commencement Speech 2002". Drew University. May 2002. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- ↑ "Honorary Degree Recipients" (PDF). Haverford College. July 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Cosby Urges Rensselaer Graduates: Be Honest, Be Humble". Albany, New York. May 12, 2001. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- ↑ Laura Sanicola (September 24, 2015). "Another hit for Cosby: Fordham rescinds honorary degree". USA TODAY College. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- ↑ Gregorian, Dareh (September 24, 2015). "Fordham revokes Bill Cosby's honorary degree". Daily News. New York. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- ↑ "Baltimore's Goucher College Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree". WBOC 16. October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- ↑ "Tufts University Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree". CBS Boston. October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- ↑ "Bill Cosby: Commencement Speaker". Newswise. May 22, 1999. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- ↑ "A Joyous Day of Academic Celebration – USC's 115th Commencement, May 8, 1998". USC News. May 8, 1998. Archived from the original on August 16, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
- ↑ "Commencement: Speakers". University of Connecticut. May 18, 1996. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
- ↑ "Commencement: Honorary Degrees". University of Connecticut. May 18, 1996. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
- ↑ MEGAN, KATHLEEN. "UConn Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree". courant.com. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
- ↑ "Past Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients". Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- ↑ "Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree at Cal Poly Pomona Revoked". Retrieved November 20, 2015.
- ↑ "Commencement: Honorary Degrees". University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on August 20, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Commencement: Speakers Since 1938". University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on July 10, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- ↑ "Brown revokes Bill Cosby's honorary degree". Brown Daily Herald. September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Bill Cosby on IMDb
- 1937 births
- Living people
- Actors from Philadelphia
- American people convicted of assault
- African American actors
- African American comedians
- American movie actors
- American prisoners
- American sex offenders
- American television actors
- American television producers
- American television writers
- American voice actors
- Comedians from Philadelphia
- Criminals from Pennsylvania
- Emmy Award winning actors
- Golden Globe Award winning actors
- Kennedy Center honorees
- Mark Twain Prize recipients
- African American players of American football
- African-American military personnel
- American Protestants
- American activists
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- American movie directors
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- American musicians
- Philanthropists from Pennsylvania
- American screenwriters
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- American television directors
- Democrats (United States)
- Grammy Award winners
- Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
- Singers from Pennsylvania
- Warner Bros. Records artists
- Writers from Philadelphia