Actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist are names that proudly represent Bill Cosby born on the 12th of July 1973. During much of his early childhood, Cosby’s father was away in the U.S. armed forces and spent several years fighting in World War II. As a student, he described himself as a class clown.
Cosby was the captain of both the baseball team and the track and field team at Mary Channing Wister Public School in Philadelphia, as well as the class president. He starred in his own sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show.
He was one of the major performers on the children’s television series The Electric Company during its first two seasons, and created the educational cartoon comedy series FatAlbert and the Cosby Kids, about a group of young friends growing up in the city.
Cosby also acted in a number of films. Cosby met his wife Camille while he was performing stand-up in the early 1960s. They married in 1964, and had five children: daughters Erika Ranee, Erinn Chalene, Ensa Camille, and Evin Harrah, and son Ennis William.
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 a 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.
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).
The late 1990s brought trouble for Cosby as well, first in early 1997 with the death of his only son, Ennis, who was shot to death in a random act of violence. Mikhail Markhasev is convicted of Ennis Cosby’s murder.
He is later sentenced to life in prison. Also that year, he was dragged into a court case that involved a young woman named Autumn Jackson who claimed that he was her biological father.
Cosby admitted to an affair with Jackson’s mother but denied fathering Jackson. She was convicted of extortion and sentenced to 26 months in prison. Cosby has also made numerous records and has remained active in community work.
He is the author of several books. He has played the drums since childhood and loves to listen to Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and other jazz classics.
Cosby resides in Philadelphia, where he continues to support his alma mater, Temple, as well as his favourite team, the Philadelphia Eagles.