Grampa Huxtable, actor Earle Hyman, Dies at 91


Earle Hyman

A veteran of stages around the world, he received an Emmy nom for his work on the long-running NBC sitcom and was a voice on ‘Thundercats.’

Earle Hyman, the admired stage, television and film actor best known for playing Bill Cosby’s sage father, Russell Huxtable, on The Cosby Show, has died. He was 91.

Hyman died Friday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., his nephew Rick Ferguson told The Hollywood Reporter.

Hyman played Othello hundreds of times, appeared often on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for featured actor in a play for his performance as Oscar in the original 1980 production of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque. He also appeared on stages throughout Europe during his career.

Meanwhile, animation fans know him as the baritone voice of the aggressive Panthro, a member of the ThunderCats. He worked on 125 episodes of that cartoon series in the 1980s.

From 1984-92, across 40 episodes of NBC’s ratings smash, Hyman was always memorable on The Cosby Show as obstetrician Cliff Huxtable’s dad and a wise grandfather to Theo (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), Denise (Lisa Bonet), Vanessa (Tempestt Bledsoe), Rudy (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Sondra (Sabrina Le Beauf).

Russell was at one time a prominent jazz trombonist who went by the nickname “Slide” Huxtable. (In real life, he was just 11 years older than Cosby.) His wife, Anna, was played by the late actress Clarice Taylor.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here