Date of Birth:
July 12, 1937
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States In a Relationship With:
Camille Hanks Best Quotes:
“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”
“If you speak your mind and if it is true what you're saying, then I think the integrity of what you're saying carries through.”
Bill Cosby (born William Henry “Bill” Cosby Jr. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 12, 1937) is an American comedian, actor, author, and more. Bill began his career as a stand-up in the 1960s after leaving Temple University. His first big break came when he appeared on The Tonight Show in 1963, and released his first stand-up album in 1964. Bill’s comedy was family-oriented and family-friendly; a huge diversion from the more raunchy style of comedy at the time.
In 1965, he became the first black actor to co-star in a drama for his role in I Spy, for which he has won three Emmys. In 1969, Bill developed The Bill Cosby Show for NBC, a sitcom, which ran for two seasons. His Saturday morning cartoon show Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was a little more successful; it ran from 1972 to 1979.
The Cosby Show, which debuted in 1985, was easily the project which marked Bill’s name in history; it is currently the highest-ranking sitcom of all time.
After The Cosby Show, Bill would go on to a number of film and television roles and hosting gigs. His TV and film appearances gradually tapered as he aged, but he continues to record stand-up. His most recent album, Bill Cosby: Far From Finished, was released in 2012 when he was 76 years old.
Best Known For:
Bill is best known for his stand-up and for creating The Cosby Show, which debuted in 1985 and ran for 8 seasons and 202 episodes.
Bill met wife Camilla Olivia Hanks while performing stand-up in Washington, D.C. in the 1960s. They married in 1964, and had five children (Erika Ranee, Erinn Charlene, Ensa Camille, Evin Harrah, and Ennis William); Ennis was tragically murdered in 1997.
Bill had a relationship out of wedlock with a woman named Shawn Upshaw in the 1970s; in 1997, he testified that he had made private payments to her. Shawn alleged that her daughter, Autumn Jackson, was his; when Autumn tried to extort Bill for $50 million in 1999, she was sentenced to 26 months in prison.
Bill has been the target of many accusations of sexual assault; in Nov. 2006, he settled out of court with a Canadian woman who claimed that he drugged and sexually assaulted her. He has been accused by over 10 separate women of similar crimes.