Earle Hyman, 'Cosby Show' Grandpa and Shakespearean Actor, Dead at 91

Danny Woods
November 20, 2017

He played Russell Huxtable - father of Bill Cosby's character Cliff - for nine seasons of the show.

Furthermore, he earned a guest performer Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Cliff Huxtable's father on The Cosby Show.

It is not yet known how he died, but his nephew Rick Ferguson confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that the celebrated actor died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J. However, the cause of death has not been revealed as of this time.

Fans may also know Hyman's voice from "Thundercats", the popular 1980s animated series, in which he played Panthro. The actor was unmarried and had no immediate relatives.

The actor was born in North Carolina as George Earle Plummer.

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"The first play I ever saw was a present from my parents on my 13th birthday - Nazimova in "Ghosts" at Brighton Beach on the subway circuit - and I just freaked out", Hyman said, during an interview in 2000.

Hyman made his Broadway debut in 1943 and went on to appear in almost a dozen shows on the Great White Way through the early '90s, garnering a Tony nomination along the way for "The Lady from Dubuque" (1980).

While most well known for his role as grandfather Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Hyman was also a prominent stage and film actor.

He also appeared on stages throughout Europe during his career.

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

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