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Bill Cosby
2011 Bill Cosby.jpg
Cosby in 2011
William Henry Cosby Jr.

(1937-07-12) July 12, 1937 (age 84)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater
OccupationActor, comedian, musician, author
Years active1961–2018[1]
Spouse(s)Camille Hanks (m. 1964–present) «start: (1964-01-25)»"Marriage: Camille Hanks to Bill Cosby" Location: (linkback:
Children5, including Erika Cosby and Ennis Cosby
Bill Cosby
MediumStand-up comedy, film, television
GenresObservational 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.[2]

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.[3][4][5]


Early life

Cosby was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied at Temple University.


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.

On the big screen, he appeared in Leonard Part 6 (1987), Ghost Dad (1990), and The Meteor Man (1993).

Personal life

Cosby married Camille Hanks Cosby in 1964. Together, they have five children. Cosby lives in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Since 2016, Cosby has been legally blind, as a result of keratoconus.[6]

Sexual assault charges

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.[7] This charge is based on the 2005 allegations of a January 2004 incident.[8][9] He was released on a $1 million dollar bail later that day.

Cosby's trial started on June 5, 2017.[10] He hired layer Thomas Mesereau.[11]

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.[2]

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.[3]



Comedy albums

Music albums



Year Single Chart Positions
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


Year Title Role Notes
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
1971 Aesop's Fables Aesop
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 Cos Host TV series
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 Jack Lawrence Woodruff
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
2003 Baadasssss! Himself
2004 Fat Albert Himself
2009–2011 OBKB Himself
2014 Bill Cosby 77 Himself


      . OCLC 15686687
      . OCLC 16081611
      . OCLC 18984758
      . OCLC 23650310
      . OCLC 39498709
      . OCLC 40979923
      . OCLC 48915448
      . 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
      . OCLC 52206847
      . 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


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


Best Comedy PerformanceGrammy Awards
1965 I Started Out as a Child
1966 Why Is There Air?
1967 Wonderfulness
1968 Revenge
1969 To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With
1970 Sports
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

Cosby has been awarded at least 57 honorary degrees since 1985.[20] Several of these honorary degrees have been rescinded due to allegations of sexual assault and/or immoral behavior:


  1. Allyn, Bobby (January 23, 2018). "Bill Cosby Makes Surprise Stand-Up Appearance Ahead Of Retrial". National Public Radio. Retrieved May 10, 2018. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Bill Cosby is freed after serving three years of his sentence for sexual assault.. New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2021. 
  6. Smith, Emily. "Bill Cosby is ‘completely blind’ and homebound". Page Six. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  7. Dale, Maryclaire (December 30, 2015). "Bill Cosby charged with sexually assaulting a woman". Associated Press. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  8. The Latest: Bill Cosby Charged With Sexual Assault. ABC TV. December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  9. Ohlheiser, Abby (30 December 2015). "Bill Cosby charged in sexual assault case". Washington Post (Online). Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  10. Rappleye, Connor, Hannah, Tracy (September 6, 2016). "Bill Cosby's Sex Assault Trial Set for June 5". NBC News. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  11. "Bill Cosby's new lawyer represented Michael Jackson". 
  12. TV News Desk. "Video: Bill Cosby: Far From Finished on Blu-Ray/DVD Today". Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  13. "Biography of Bill Cosby". John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2007. 
  14. Asante, Molefi K. (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Pyr Books. ISBN 978-1-57392-963-9 . 
  15. The comedians' comedian. December 30, 2015. 
  16. "Lone Sailor Award recipients". 
  17. Mass, Chief. "MCPON Designates Bill Cosby Honorary Chief". United States Navy. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  18. "Bill Cosby's honorary chief status revoked amid controversy". Navy Times. December 4, 2014. 
  19. Navy Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Title Amid Sex Assault Claims. NBC News. December 5, 2014. 
  20. "To Revoke or Not: Colleges That Gave Cosby Honors Face a Tough Question". The New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  21. "Boston University rescinds Bill Cosby’s honorary degree". Boston Globe. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  22. "Bill Cosby is Marquette University’s spring Commencement speaker". Marquette University Office of Marketing and Communication. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  23. "University of San Francisco Rescinds Bill Cosby Honorary Degree". NBC BAY AREA. September 30, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  24. "Oberlin College gives Cosbys, Stevie Wonder honorary doctorates". Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  25. "Oberlin College rescinds honorary degree awarded Bill Cosby". New York Daily News. December 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  26. "VCU 40th Anniversary Events". Virginia Commonwealth University. Archived from the original on February 25, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  27. "Commencement 2007: Celebrating Honors and Achievements". Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  28. Berklee College of Music (May 8, 2004). "Retiring College President Lee Eliot Berk and Bill Cosby Honored at Berklee College of Music's 2004 Commencement". Press release. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  29. "Three Score: The Berklee 60th Anniversary Concert". Berklee College of Music. January 28, 2006. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  30. "Wilkes University rescinds Cosby’s honorary degree". CITIZENS VOICE. October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  31. "Bill Cosby Lifts Baylor, Waco Spirits At "Pep Rally"". Baylor University. September 5, 2003. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  32. Stottlemyre, Matthew (October 9, 2015). "Baylor rescinds honorary doctorate given to Bill Cosby in 2003". Waco Tribune-Herald. 
  33. "Honorary Degrees". Yale Bulletin and Calendar 31 (31). June 6, 2003. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  34. "Georgia college considers rescinding honorary degree given to Bill Cosby; will vote next week". Star Tribune. October 17, 2015. 
  35. "Bill Cosby Commencement Speech 2002". Drew University. May 2002. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  36. "Honorary Degree Recipients". Haverford College. July 7, 2009. Archived from the original on October 8, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  37. Cosby Urges Rensselaer Graduates: Be Honest, Be Humble. Albany, New York. May 12, 2001. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  38. Laura Sanicola (September 24, 2015). "Another hit for Cosby: Fordham rescinds honorary degree". USA TODAY College. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  39. Gregorian, Dareh (September 24, 2015). "Fordham revokes Bill Cosby's honorary degree". Daily News (New York). Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  40. "Baltimore's Goucher College Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree". WBOC 16. October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  41. "Tufts University Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree". CBS Boston. October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  42. Bill Cosby: Commencement Speaker. May 22, 1999. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  43. "A Joyous Day of Academic Celebration – USC's 115th Commencement, May 8, 1998". USC News. May 8, 1998. Retrieved March 27, 2012. 
  44. "Commencement: Speakers". University of Connecticut. May 18, 1996. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  45. "Commencement: Honorary Degrees". University of Connecticut. May 18, 1996. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  46. MEGAN, KATHLEEN. "UConn Revokes Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree" (in en-US). Retrieved 2018-04-26. 
  47. "Past Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients". Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  48. "Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree at Cal Poly Pomona Revoked". Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  49. "Commencement: Honorary Degrees". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  50. "Commencement: Speakers Since 1938". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  51. "Brown revokes Bill Cosby’s honorary degree". Brown Daily Herald. September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 

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