Friday, February 6, 2009
Bill Cosby, American Comedian, Actor, Author and More
William Henry Cosby Jr., Ed.D. (born July 12, 1937) is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a vanguard role in the 1960s action show I Spy. He later starred in his own series, The Bill Cosby Show, in 1969. He was one of the major characters on the children's television show The Electric Company for its first two seasons, and created the humorous educational cartoon series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, about a group of young friends growing up in the city. Cosby also acted in numerous films.
During the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in what is considered one of the decade's defining sitcoms, The Cosby Show, which lasted eight seasons from 1984 to 1992, and is still seen in syndication. The sitcom highlighted the experiences and growth of an upper middle-class African-American family. He also produced the hit sitcom A Different World, which became second to The Cosby Show in ratings.
In the 1990s, Cosby starred in Cosby, which aired from 1996 to 2000, and during the show's last two seasons, hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things, and appeared in a number of movies. He has also appeared on the stand-up circuit.
His good-natured, fatherly image has made him a popular personality and garnered him the nickname of "America's Dad". He has also been a sought-after spokesman and over the years has plugged numerous products including Jell-O Pudding, Kodak Film, Ford, Texas Instruments and Coca-Cola (as well as New Coke).
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Bill Cosby on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.