‘Cosby Show’ actor Earle Hyman dies at 91

Veteran actor Earle Hyman, posing at the Gershwin Theatre in New York in 1997, portrayed paternal grandfather Russell Huxtable on "The Cosby Show."
(Ron Frehm / Associated Press)

Earle Hyman, a veteran actor of stage and screen who was widely known for playing Russell Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” has died.

Jordan Strohl, a representative for the Actors Fund, said Hyman died Friday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J. He was 91.

A North Carolina native, Hyman made his Broadway debut as a teenager in 1943. He would go on to become a charter member of the American Shakespeare Theater. In 1980 Hyman received a Tony nomination for “The Lady From Dubuque.”

Hyman is best known, however, for “The Cosby Show” where in which he played the father to Bill Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable, even though he was just 11 years his senior. He earned a guest performer Emmy nomination for the role in 1986.