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June 02, 2011

Clarice Taylor, Cosby Show Actress, Dies

She earned an Emmy nom for her performance as Bill Cosby’s mother on the hit NBC comedy.

Actress Clarice Taylor, who played Bill Cosby’s mother on The Cosby Show, died on May 30, 2011. She was 93.

According to news reports, the cause was heart failure.

Taylor earned an Emmy nomination in 1986 for her recurring role on The Cosby Show, NBC's long-running comedy series, as Anna Huxtable, the mother of Dr. Cliff Huxtable, played by Bill Cosby.

Born September 20, 1917, Taylor grew up in New York City and began her acting career with the American Negro Theatre. To support herself she worked for the U.S. Post Office, like her father.

In the early 1960s she became was one of the founding members of the Negro Ensemble Company, a theater group located on St. Mark’s Place in New York’s East Village.

A breakthrough came in the mid-1970s when she scored a role on the children’s series Sesame Street as Harriet, the grandmother of David.

She also had a recurring role on Sanford and Son as Grady’s Cousin Emma.

Her other television appearances include Ironside, Lady Blue, Spenser: For Hire and Due South.

Talor’s movie credits include Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, Sommersby and Smoke.

She is survived by two sons and five grandchildren.

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