Earl Hyman, Grandpa Huxtable in 'The Cosby Show,' dies at 91

Earle Hyman, Grandpa Huxtable on 'The Cosby Show,' dies at 91

Actor Earl Hyman, who played Grandpa Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," has died. He was 91. (Source:AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File) Actor Earl Hyman, who played Grandpa Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," has died. He was 91. (Source:AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)

(RNN) - Veteran actor Earle Hyman, perhaps best known for his role as Russell Huxtable, the lovable grandfather on 'The Cosby Show," has died. He was 91. Hyman died Friday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey, his nephew Rick Ferguson told The Hollywood Reporter.

Hyman appeared on 41 episodes of "The Cosby Show" throughout the groundbreaking series' run from 1984 to 1992. In 1986, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy Series for the episode "Happy Anniversary," a fan favorite in which the family lip-synchs to "(Night Time Is) The Right Time" by Ray Charles.

On Sunday night, actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played young Rudy Huxtable on the show, posted a tribute on her Instagram account, featuring a photo of herself with her TV grandparents, Hyman and the late Clarice Taylor. The caption read, "We have gained another angel."

Cosby took to Twitter to honor his former co-star.

Fans may also know Hyman's voice from "Thundercats," the popular 1980s animated series, in which he played Panthro.

The actor, a North Carolina native, started his career on Broadway in 1943, when he was just a teenager. He became a charter member of the American Shakespeare Theater, and in 1980, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in "The Lady from Dubuque." He played Othello hundreds of times onstage, according to The Hollywood Reporter

After seeing his first play by Henrik Ibsen, the actor become a big fan. He became fluent in Norwegian and later bought property in Norway, spending a lot of spare time there. Although Hyman played Cliff Huxtable's father in the show, Hyman was only 11 years older than co-star Bill Cosby, who played Cliff.

Hyman is survived by his nephews Rick and Derryl and his nieces Cassandra, Yvette and Monica.

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