Entertainment

Bill Cosby: Evolution of an icon

Updated 3:22 PM ET, Tue September 25, 2018
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Bill Cosby is taken away in handcuffs after he received a prison sentence of three to 10 years on Tuesday, September 25. In April, the entertainer had been found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago. Mark Makela/Pool/AP
Cosby, shown here in 1969, began his career in New York nightclubs as a standup comedian. His clean-cut style became a career mainstay. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Cosby feeds one of his children in the mid-1960s. Cosby first made his name with his comedic storytelling, often based on his childhood experiences. In 2011, SPIN magazine put "To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With" at the top of its 40 Greatest Comedy Albums of All Time list. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Cosby won three Emmys for his portrayal of Alexander Scott, an Oxford-educated spy who travels undercover with his tennis-playing partner, Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp) in "I Spy," which aired on NBC from 1965 to 1968. Cosby was the first African-American to star in an American dramatic series. NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
In 1972, Cosby starred in "The New Bill Cosby Show," a variety program. Among his guests was Ray Charles, whose version of "Night Time Is the Right Time" would play such a standout role on "The Cosby Show" years later. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
In 1972, Cosby helped create "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," a Saturday morning TV series that ran for more than a decade. It later became a 2004 live-action film starring Kenan Thompson as Fat Albert. 20th century fox
Cosby's biggest TV hit, "The Cosby Show," premiered in 1984. Phylicia Rashad played his wife, Clair Huxtable. Carsey-Werner Productions
After "The Cosby Show" was another sitcom, "Cosby," which aired from 1996 to 2000. Cosby played retired airline agent Hilton Lucas. The show also starred T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh. Carsey-Werner Co.
President Bill Clinton chats with Cosby and TV correspondent Linda Ellerbee at a 1996 conference on children's television. Cosby, who has a doctorate in education, is a strong believer in using television to send educational messages. LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images
In 1997, Cosby suffered the loss of his son, Ennis, who was fatally shot on the side of an Los Angeles freeway. Cosby's series' "Little Bill" used the phrase "Hello, friend" -- Ennis' regular greeting -- in tribute to his son. nickelodeon
Cosby shares a laugh with baseball great Hank Aaron after they both received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. The medal is America's highest civilian award. Mark Wilson/Getty Images/File
Cosby and comedian Jerry Seinfeld embrace in 2009 at the annual awarding of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Cosby declined the prize twice before accepting. His mother read Twain to him as a child -- a huge influence on his storytelling. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
Cosby accepts the Marian Anderson Award in 2010 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. William Thomas Cain/Getty Images/File
Cosby speaks at the 20th anniversary of the Rev. Al Sharpton's organization, the National Action Network, in 2011. In recent years, Cosby has been outspoken on the subjects of poverty, family and responsibility in the black community. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/File
Cosby speaks in 2012 during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows supporting the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the American Comedy Fund. The comedian is active in several charitable causes. Jason Merritt/Getty Images for BHH/File
Cosby performs at the Buell Theater in Denver in 2015. Brennan Linsley/AP
Andrew Wyatt, a Cosby spokesman, raises his fist as Cosby exits a courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in June 2017. Cosby was facing three counts of aggravated indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Andrea Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University. But it ended in a mistrial after a jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision. Constand was the first of more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. Cosby has denied wrongdoing. Matt Rourke/AP
The jury in Cosby's retrial found the TV icon guilty on all three counts in April. Mark Makela/pool/Getty Images