BILL COSBY Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Bill Cosby, full name William Henry Cosby, was born in North Philadelphia on 12 July 1937.


Cosby grew up in relative poverty. He attended Wister Elementary School where some of his friends would inspire characters in his comedy routines like Fat Albert and Dumb Donald.


In the late 1950s Cosby served in the American navy. Afterwards he gained a track and field scholarship and studied at Temple University in Philadelphia.


Cosby gave up his studies to pursue a career as a nighclub comic. His first appearance was at The Cellar, a room in a nightclub called The Underground.


It was not long before Bill Cosby got involved in acting. In 1965 he became a star in the NBC show I Spy, for which he won 3 Emmys.


A succession of TV shows, mainly featuring Cosby in their titles followed and included the hugely succesful The Cosby Show.


As well as having his own production company and acting in movies, Bill Cosby has also released 21 comedy albums, for five of which Cosby won the Best Comedy Album Grammy


Bill Cosby’s books have also been huge commercial successes. They include Fatherhood, Time Flies, Love and Marriage, and Childhood.


In recent times Bill Cosby has been embroiled in controversy. He was accused by a woman of sexual assault, although prosecutors decided not to press charges.


Cosby has also split opinion in the black community, saying that low-income blacks were not “holding up their end” by failing to get a good education or raise their children properly.


Some criticised Cosby for airing dirty laundry in public and providing ammunition for racists, but he responded:


“Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, cursing as they’re walking up and down the street. “They think they’re hip; they can’t read, they can’t write. They’re laughing and giggling, and they’re going nowhere.”


Bill Cosby’s son, Ennis, was murdered in Los Angeles in 1997.