William Henry “Bill” Cosby, Jr. is an American actor, comedian, author and singer-songwriter. Using the Fat Albert character developed during his stand-up routines, Cosby created, produced, and hosted the animated comedy television series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, a show that ran from 1972 to 1985, centering on a group of young friends growing up in an urban area. Cosby’s start in stand-up comedy began at the hungry i in San Francisco, and was followed by his landing a starring role in the 1960s television show I Spy. During the show’s first two seasons, he was also a regular on the children’s television series The Electric Company. Beginning in the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in a television sitcom, The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992 and was rated as the number one show in America for five years, 1984 through 1989.
Cosby has been the subject of publicized sexual assault allegations since about 2000. Cosby has been accused by over 50 women of rape, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct, with the earliest alleged incidents taking place in the mid-1960s.
Cosby received the National Football Foundation’s Gold Medal in 2010. In 2014, Cosby was set to release his new stand-up special Bill Cosby 77 on Netflix. The release of the film was cancelled due to allegations of sexual assault.