"Cosby Show" actor Earle Hyman dies at 91

Earle Hyman

Earle Hyman, the veteran actor best known as Grandpa Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has passed away.

Beyond his TV work, Hyman was an acclaimed stage actor, particularly in Shakespearean roles.

He had prominent roles in TV versions of "Macbeth" (1968), "Julius Caesar" (1979) and "Coriolanus" (1979), and from 1985-1989 was the voice of Panthro on "Thundercats".

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From 1984 to 1992, Hyman played the father of obstetrician Cliff Huxtable and offered sage advice to his five grandchildren.

Hyman died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., according to the Hollywood Reporter. Jordan Strohl, a representative for The Actors Fund, confirmed to the New York Times that Hyeman died on Friday. He received a guest performer Emmy nomination for the role in 1986. Earle came from North Carolina and made his Broadway debut back in 1943 when he was just a teenager. He would go on to join the American Shakespeare Theater in its founding year in 1955 and played Othello in 1957. In real life, he was only 11 years Cosby's senior and was first cousins with another great talent Phyllis Hyman. He was nominated for a Tony Award for featured actor in a play for his performance as Oscar in the original 1980 production of Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque.

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