By Robert D. Mcfadden, nytimes.com
Earle Hyman, who broke racial stereotypes on Broadway and in Scandinavia in works by Shakespeare and Ibsen but was better known to millions of Americans as Bill Cosby’s father on “The Cosby Show,” died on Friday in Englewood, N.J. He was 91.
His death was confirmed by Jordan Strohl, a representative for The Actors Fund.
Like many actors who love the stage, Mr. Hyman paid the bills with television work — soap operas and police dramas, “Hallmark Hall of Fame” and “The United States Steel Hour,” and made-for-TV movies. Most memorably, he played Russell Huxtable, the father of Dr. Cliff Huxtable, in 40 episodes of Mr. Cosby’s hugely popular NBC situation comedy about an upper-middle-class black family, broadcast from 1984 to 1992.