Cosby Show star Earle Hyman, who played Grandpa Huxtable, dies at 91

Earle Hyman poses before an induction to the Theater Hall of Fame at the Gershwin Theatre in New York

It is not yet known how he died, but his nephew Rick Ferguson confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that the celebrated actor died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J.

Actor Earle Hyman, who we all know as Grandpa Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has passed away at the age of 91. His Shakespearean background would serve him well when he took on the role of Russell Huxtable, the father of Bill Cosby's Cliff Huxtable.

His character was also wise grandfather to Theo (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), Denise (Lisa Bonet), Vanessa (Tempestt Bledsoe), Rudy (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Sondra (Sabrina Le Beauf).

Hyman received an Emmy nomination in 1986 for one of his many guest appearances on The Cosby Show, but he was also known to TV audiences as the voice of Panthro/Redeye in the '80s animated series ThunderCats.

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Off camera, Hyman was well known on Broadway, including a two-year run in "Anna Lucasta" in 1944 and shows including "The Merchant of Venice", "Othello", "Waiting for Godot" and "The Master Builder". Earle came from North Carolina and made his Broadway debut back in 1943 when he was just a teenager.

He would go on to become a charter member of the American Shakespeare Theater.

He also appeared on stages throughout Europe during his career.

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