Character actor Bill Cobbs began his acting career relatively late in life after working odd jobs in Cleveland, OH. At the age of 36, he moved to New York and joined the Negro Ensemble Company, making his Broadway debut in First Breeze of Summer. His film career started in the late ’70s with small film roles and guest appearances on television. In the early ’80s, he worked on several performances for the NBC Live Theatre series and a PBS anthology with Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Usually cast as the token old black man dispensing words of wisdom, Cobbs’ weathered-yet-honest looks got him several guest spots on TV shows from Good Times to The West Wing.
He did end up with a few reoccurring roles on sitcoms like The Slap Maxwell Story, The Gregory Hines Show, and The Michael Richards Show. He even had a part in The Others, the NBC sci-fi drama answer to The X-Files. Perhaps his most memorable television appearance is his role as Regina Taylor’s father on I’ll Fly Away as well as in the TV movie version I’ll Fly Away: Then and Now.
Throughout his film career, he has built a long list of credits playing kindly fathers, grandfathers, and even Moses (in The Hudsucker Proxy). He was Whitney Houston’s manager in The Bodyguard, an old man in New Jack City, and Grandpa Booker in The People Under the Stairs.
Though he appears in nearly all genres of Hollywood films, he occasionally gets meatier roles in made-for-TV dramas like Carolina Skeletons, Nightjohn, and Always Outnumbered. In 2002, he played wisened elders in Sunshine State, Enough, and Sweet Deadly Dreams. Most recently Bill played in “Duck 2007, The Ultimate Gift 2007 ,Night at the Museum 2006 -Reginald Actor Film Sunshine State 2002”.