Sep. 20, 1984
30 min.
NBC TV Network

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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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Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable The Cosby Show
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Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable

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  Played by:
Malcolm-Jamal WarnerMalcolm-Jamal Warner
Was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. Named after 'Malcolm X' (qv) and legendary jazz pianist 'Ahmad Jamal'. ...

Character Bio

Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable photo
Theodore Aloysius "Theo" Huxtable is the middle child and only son of Cliff and Clair Huxtable, and is athletic and obsessed with impressing girls, and obtaining a sports car or motorcycle. He is fourteen years old when the series begins, making his birth year 1970. In the pilot episode, he is lectured by his father for not applying himself at school ("I brought you in this world, and I'll take you out"). Also in the early seasons, he was somewhat of a troublemaker, as illustrated through incidents both alluded to and explicitly portrayed in the series, such as letting his best friend's younger sister pierce his ear, resulting in an infected earlobe, but his behavior had improved by the time he left high school.

A running theme of the early seasons revolved around Theo's academic struggles, especially in his sophomore-year geometry class, taught by Mrs. Westlake (Sonia Braga). As the seasons progressed, Theo gradually evolved from being an under-achiever to a successful high school—and college—student (in interviews, Cosby noted a similar change in his real-life son, Ennis). While Theo was a student at NYU, it was revealed that he suffered from dyslexia, a learning disability that inspired him to work harder, and as a result overcame it. By the final season, Theo was a student teacher, helping other children with dyslexia at a local education center. In the show's final episode, he graduated from NYU with a degree in psychology.

In the pilot, and once more in season one (the episode "Bad Dreams"), he is referred to by Vanessa as "Teddy", instead of "Theo".

Theo has a long-running, but on-and-off relationship with a girl named Justine, who is mentioned many times throughout the series, but appears in only nine episodes. During his high school years, Theo's best friend was Walter Bradley (Carl Anthony Payne II), better known as "Cockroach", who was more of a scholastic underachiever than Theo. The two of them would occasionally compose rap songs for various school assignments. When Theo got tickets to "Dance Mania" (a "Soul Train"- like television dance show), and only one of them was allowed into the studio, Theo let Cockroach have the spot, but did not feel good about it when he saw Cockroach on TV, and as the center of their friends' attention the next day at school. This episode marked the final appearance of the character, and Cockroach was rarely mentioned in subsequent episodes. Theo appears in the series the most out of the Huxtable children.

The character is loosely based upon Cosby's only son Ennis, who was approximately the same age as Theo (and was also dyslexic).

Theo also appears in two episodes of A Different World: "My Dinner With Theo" (with Rudy) and "Risky Business" (with Clair and Vanessa).

Episode Screenshots

05x16 - No Way, Baby
Season 5, Episode 16
07x06 - Getting the Story
Season 7, Episode 06
05x07 - The Birth (2)
Season 5, Episode 07
03x04 - Man Talk
Season 3, Episode 04
[More Episodes]

Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable Photos

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