Type
Scripted
Premiered
Sep. 20, 1984
Status
Canceled/Ended
Runtime
30 min.
Country
USA
Network
NBC TV Network
Genre

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The Cosby Show tv show photo

The Cosby Show

Doctor Heathcliff and Clair Huxtable, a happily married couple, are raising their children (Sondra, Denise, Theodore, Vanessa, and Rudy). The two oldest daughters eventually live adult lives and get married. As the children get older, the family gets larger and, to the chagrin of Cliff, keep on coming back home when he wants them to move out and live on their own for good.

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Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable The Cosby Show
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Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable

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  Played by:
Bill CosbyBill Cosby
William H. Cosby Jr. (born on July 12th, 1937), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and for over thirty years, ...

Character Bio

Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable photo
Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable is known for his comical antics, playful admonishments, and relentless teasing humor. He lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York. He was born in October 1937 in Philadelphia, making him 47 years old at the beginning of the series. Cliff had a brother, James Theodore Huxtable, who died of rheumatic fever at the age of 7. In his high school and college years, he was an athlete who played wrestling, football, and track. He later served in the Navy before going to medical school. He is an OB/GYN who runs a practice from the office annexed to his home. In the show, most characters outside of family and friends refer to him as "Dr. Huxtable", and he is well-respected in the community.

Cliff is married to Clair Huxtable. Both Cliff and Clair attended the fictional Hillman College. Together, they have five children: Sondra, Denise, Theodore (Theo), Vanessa, and Rudith (Rudy). Cliff enjoys live jazz, has an extensive collection of albums, and tries to eat junk food whenever he can get away with it.

Cliff is very eccentric and silly to most people around him, especially his family, however he is very kind-hearted and an extremely dedicated father with a strong sense of humor. Although he and his wife fostered a tight-knit, loving family, a running gag throughout the series is his thwarted attempts to get the grown children to leave the house.

Very playful, Cliff enjoys competition, often making bets with Clair over various things, such as the date a certain jazz song was released, or having a "Smooth Contest" to see which of them looked more elegant for a night on the town, as judged by the children. He also plays a monthly game of pinochle against his father and some friends, which sometimes gets very passionate. Unfortunately, Cliff often finds himself on the losing end of most of his bets and games, as, for example, he has never beaten his father-in-law at chess. However, Cliff eventually broke his losing streak at pinochle against his father and his friend Homer Dobson with the assistance of Dr. Foster (played by Roscoe Lee Browne), an expert pinochle player who also happened to be his and Clair's literary professor at Hillman College.

In the pilot episode, Cosby's character's full name is Clifford, as shown on a sign on the exterior of the house. His full name was subsequently changed to Heathcliff, even though in one episode Clair called him "Heathclifford", and he is commonly called "Cliff" throughout the series.

Originally, Cliff was to have worked as a chauffeur, with most of the humor coming from his interactions with customers. However, the show was changed before airing to have Cliff be a medical doctor, and the humor to come from his interactions with his family.

Cliff also appears in three episodes of A Different World: the pilot (with Rudy), "Rudy and the Snow Queen" (also with Rudy) and "If Chosen, I May Not Run".
He is the only character to appear in every episode.



Episode Screenshots

 - The Cosby Show: A Look Back
05x21 - Theo's Women
Season 5, Episode 21
06x14 - Cliff's Nightmare
Season 6, Episode 14
01x11 - You're Not a Mother Night
Season 1, Episode 11
[More Episodes]


Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable Photos

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