BORN: July 12, 1937,
EDUCATION: Bachelor's and master's degrees from Temple University; doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, 1976
RECORDING CAREER: Has won nine Grammy Awards, including four for best comedy record (1967-1969, 1986).
TV BREAK: Landed the role of Alexander Scott on NBC's
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Played Chet Kincaid on "The Bill Cosby Show," 1969-1972; developed a cartoon series, "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," based on his adolescence; starred in several
successful films, including "Uptown Saturday Night (1974), "Mother, Jugs & Speed" (1976) and "California Suite" (1978).
'THE COSBY SHOW': Starred as father and Dr. Cliff Huxtable in one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. It aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992,
setting viewership records from 1985 to 1987.
FAMILY LIFE: Married his wife, Camille, in 1964; they had five children, the third of which, Ennis, was murdered in 1997. SOCIAL VOICE: Has challenged the way minorities have been portrayed in the media and lobbied lawmakers for greater education funding. Recent efforts include peer pressure and sexism and violence in rap music.
TRIVIA: Is the first black actor to win an Emmy;
inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences Hall of Fame
SOURCES: INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE; TV.COM