Bill Cobbs Dies At 90: Legendary Hollywood Actor Was Known For Night At The Museum, The Bodyguard

Bill Cobbs known for featuring in more than 200 Hollywood films, passes away at 90! He featured in films like The Bodyguard, The Hudsucker Proxy among others

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Bill Cobbs Dies At 90: Legendary Hollywood Actor Was Known For Night At The Museum, The Bodyguard
Bill Cobbs, the veteran character actor known for his wise and soulful presence on screen, has passed away at the age of 90. Cobbs died peacefully at his home in the Inland Empire, California, surrounded by family and friends. His publicist, Chuck I. Jones, suggested that natural causes were likely responsible for his death. A native of Cleveland, Cobbs had a remarkable career in film and television, leaving a lasting impact with his performances in movies like "The Hudsucker Proxy," "The Bodyguard," and "Night at the Museum." His first film role was in the 1974 movie "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three," and from there, he went on to accumulate around 200 film and TV credits over the decades. Most of his significant roles came in his 50s, 60s, and 70s, where filmmakers and TV producers often cast him in small but crucial roles that showcased his deep and worn soulfulness.


Bill Cobbs

Cobbs made numerous television appearances, including on shows like "The Sopranos," "The West Wing," "Sesame Street," and "Good Times." He was known for his portrayal of Whitney Houston's manager in "The Bodyguard," the mystical clock man in the Coen brothers' "The Hudsucker Proxy," and a doctor in John Sayles' "Sunshine State." Other memorable roles included the coach in "Air Bud," the security guard in "Night at the Museum," and the father in "The Gregory Hines Show." While he rarely had major roles that garnered awards, Cobbs was a familiar and memorable everyman whose performances left a lasting impression on audiences. In 2020, he won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding limited performance in a daytime program for the series "Dino Dana."

Wendell Pierce, who worked with Cobbs on "I'll Fly Away" and "The Gregory Hines Show," paid tribute to him, calling Cobbs a "father figure, a griot, an iconic artist" who influenced him through his life and work as an actor. Born Wilbert Francisco Cobbs on June 16, 1934, he served eight years in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from high school in Cleveland. Post-service, Cobbs sold cars until a customer invited him to act in a play. This marked the beginning of his acting career in 1969. He started in Cleveland theater and later moved to New York, where he joined the Negro Ensemble Company and acted alongside prominent figures like Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Cobbs often reflected on acting as a way to express the human condition, especially during the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s.

“To be an artist, you have to have a sense of giving,” Cobbs said in a 2004 interview. “Art is somewhat of a prayer, isn't it? We respond to what we see around us and what we feel and how things affect us mentally and spiritually.” Cobbs' legacy as an actor and his contributions to cinema and television will be remembered and cherished by many.

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