William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. Ed.D, (born July 12, 1937),
is an American actor, comedian, educator, television producer and philanthropist.
He was the first African-American man to star in his own television series (I Spy with Robert Culp, in the mid-1960s), and also broke racial boundaries with his stand-up comedy career in the 1960s and 1970s.
After I Spy he starred in other series, some of which were successful (such as the long-running cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids), while others were not.
In the mid-1980s, his sitcom The Cosby Show was a runaway hit (rescuing NBC from possible bankruptcy), and notable for being one of the first television programs to star a well-to-do middle-class Black family.
During the 1980s, Cosby was among the highest-paid entertainers in the United States.
In recent years his reputation has been affected by his controversial statements regarding the advancement of the Black community and allegations of sexual harassment, but Cosby still remains a much-beloved icon of popular culture.