Actor, Earle Hyman, most admired for his role as Bill Cosby’s on-screen father, Russell Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has passed away. He reportedly died on Nov. 17, at the age of 91, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.
Hyman reportedly died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey, according to his nephew, Rick Ferguson.
Hyman kickstarted his career in 1944, making his debut on Broadway in Anna Lucasta. He also appeared in several other Broadway shows over the years, including The Merchant of Venice and No Time for Sergeants.
Hyman guest-starred on many TV shows in the 1950s and 60s, such as Camera Three, East Side/West Side and The Defenders. He also appeared on the big screen in war film, The Bamboo Prison (1954) and in the crime drama Fighting Back (1982).
The actor skyrocketed to a new level of stardom for his role in The Cosby Show. From 1984-92, across 40 episodes of the NBC show, Hyman played Cliff Huxtable’s dad and grandfather to the family of five.
In 1986, Hyman was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Performer in a comedy series for his work on the episode, “Happy Anniversary.” That episode focused on the Huxtable Family planning the 49th wedding anniversary for Russell and Anna. It included the memorable scene of the family lip-syncing to Ray Charles’ “(Night Time Is) the Right Time.”
Ferguson leaves behind three nieces and a nephew.