Earle Hyman, Voice Of Panthro In THUNDERCATS, Dies At 91

Earle Hyman, star of many plays on and off Broadway as well as key roles in Thundercats and The Cosby Show, died Friday at the age of 91.

Earle Hyman, who is best known for his roles as the voice of Panthro on the ‘80s Thundercats cartoon series and as Bill Cosby’s father on The Cosby Show, died Friday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, NJ.  He was 91.

Though many will forever remember his voice from their favorite childhood cartoon series and as a wise father figure to Bill Cosby, Hyman’s true love was the theater.  Born in Rocky Mount, NC on October 11, 1926, his Broadway stage debut came in 1943 at the age of 16 in Run, Little Chillun.  He later joined the American Negro Theater.

Earle Hyman became known in Broadway circles as an actor who broke boundaries.  He often took roles that black actors hadn’t previously been considered for, even becoming the first American to perform for Norwegians in their own language.  He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in New York in 1997.  He also won a CableACE Award for best actor in a dramatic presentation for Long Day’s Journey Into Night and was nominated for a Tony and an Emmy Award.

Earle Hyman opened doors for many black actors and will be well remembered whether it be as Panthro, Russell Huxtable or his many, many other roles in TV, film and the stage.  He was a well accomplished and respected actor and will be greatly missed.

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