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Bill Cosby

Biography

Few people have had the kind of unparalleled success that Bill Cosby has enjoyed over his forty-something years in show business. The fact that Cosby is an African-American and had his first success in the early 1960s underscores the comedian's ability to connect with people regardless of their ethnic, religious or social background. The childhood recollections and anecdotes on Cosby's 1963 debut, Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow...Right! struck a chord with the public and garnered him his first of many Grammy nominations. Although Cosby never told racial jokes in his stand up routines, he was instrumental in breaking network television's color barrier when, in 1964, he became the first African-American to star in a television show. Although many Southern affiliates threatened not to air I Spy, the show was a hit with the public and Cosby won an Emmy for his portrayal of Agent Alexander Scott. Film roles followed, as did a couple of music albums, but Cosby found his most devoted audience through the Saturday morning cartoon, Fat Albert. A number of failed prime time series attempts throughout the late-'70s and early-'80s followed, until 1984's The Cosby Show. The success of The Cosby Show helped NBC dominate the ratings game for most of the '80s, and introduced Cosby to a new generation of fans. He also authored three books that spent several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Clearly, whether he's performing stand-up comedy, acting, or doing commercials for Jell-O, Cosby has the sort of easygoing sense of humor that resonates with the masses.
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