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Cosby Show Actor Earle Hyman Dead At 91

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Nov. 19 2017, Published 9:37 p.m. ET

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The Cosby Show star Earle Hyman, who played Grandpa Huxtable, has died at 91.

The veteran actor of screen and stage was widely known for playing Russell Huxtable on the famous sitcom.

Hyman died Friday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey.

His death was confirmed today by Jordan Strohl, a representative for The Actors Fund.

He is best known for The Cosby Show where he played the father to Bill Cosby's Cliff Huxtable, despite being only 11 years his senior.

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His character was also the wise grandfather to Theo (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), Denise (Lisa Bonet), Vanessa (Tempestt Bledsoe), Rudy (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Sondra (Sabrina Le Beauf).

The TV and film star appeared in 40 episodes over the show's nine-season run and earned a guest performer Emmy nomination for the role in 1986.

Hyman also voiced Pathro in the 1980s cartoon Thundercats in 125 episodes, and also appeared in All My Children and The Defenders.


A North Carolina native, Hyman made his Broadway debut as a teenager in 1943.

He would go on to become a charter member of the American Shakespeare Theater.

In 1980 Hyman received a Tony nomination for his role in Broadway show The Lady From Dubuque.

The actor is survived by several nieces and nephews.

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