Earle Hyman


Actor

About

Also Known As
George Earle Plummer
Born
October 11, 1926
Died
November 17, 2017

Biography

Earle Hyman was an American character actor who appeared on film, TV, and stage, but was perhaps best known for lending his voice talents to the beloved 80s cartoon "ThunderCats" (The WB, 1985-1989), as well as his Emmy nominated portrayal of Cliff Huxtable's father on "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992). Born George Earle Plummer on October 11, 1926, in Rocky Mount, NC, Hyman and his fami...

Biography

Earle Hyman was an American character actor who appeared on film, TV, and stage, but was perhaps best known for lending his voice talents to the beloved 80s cartoon "ThunderCats" (The WB, 1985-1989), as well as his Emmy nominated portrayal of Cliff Huxtable's father on "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992). Born George Earle Plummer on October 11, 1926, in Rocky Mount, NC, Hyman and his family moved to Brooklyn in the late 1920s. For his 13th birthday, Hyman's parents took him to see a production of Henrik Ibsen's play "Ghosts," which gave the young man the acting bug. Four years later, in 1943, Hyman made his Broadway debut in the show "Run, Little Chillun," and joined the American Negro Theater. He got his first big stage role the next year when he began a two-year run on Broadway, playing Ruben in "Anna Lucasta," an adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie" rewritten by the American Negro Theater. During this time, Hyman made his film debut with an uncredited role in Billy Wilder's Best Picture-winning classic "The Lost Weekend" (1945). In 1955, Hyman joined the American Shakespeare Theatre just in time for their first season, and went on to play the titular role in their 1957 production of "Othello." The following year, Hyman went to London for the first time to play the leading role in a Royal Court production in "Moon on a Rainbow Shawl." He would return to the other side of the pond a year later for the first London production of August Wilson's classic "A Raisin in the Sun." Over the next few years, Hyman would build up his Shakespeare bona fides, appearing in a TV version of "Macbeth" (PBS, 1968), and film adaptations of "Julius Caesar" (1979) and "Coriolanus" (1979). Hyman got his first big break in 1985 when he was cast as the voice of Panthro and various other characters on the ubiquitous 80s Saturday morning cartoon "ThunderCats" (The WB, 1985-1989), but it would be the part of Russell Huxtable, the father of Bill Cosby's successful doctor and hapless family man Cliff Huxtable on the beloved, groundbreaking sitcom "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992), that made Hyman a household name. He even earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Comedy Series by the third season of the show. Hyman retired from acting following a guest role on the supernatural drama series "Twice in a Lifetime" (CTV/PAX, 1999-2001). On November 17, 2017, Earle Hyman died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, NJ. He was 91 years old.

Life Events

1943

Made Broadway debut in "Run, Little Chillun"

1945

Made feature debut in Billy Wilder's "The Lost Weekend"

1963

Had a guest role as a Premier on "Espionage"

1964

Appeared on an episode of "Playdate"

1964

Played a District Attorney on an episode of "The Defenders"

1968

Played the title role in a TV adaptation of "Macbeth"

1984

Had breakout role as Russell Huxtable on "The Cosby Show"

1985

Voiced Panthro on Saturday morning cartoon "Thundercats"

1996

Appeared in made-for-TV crime drama "Hijacked: Flight 285"

2000

Was featured in TV movie "The Moving of Sophia Myles"

2001

Had final screen role on an episode of "Twice in a Lifetime"

Bibliography