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Who is that Actor: Bill Cobbs

November 9, 2010

Bill Cobbs’ face is familiar to those who watch tons of action and big budget films. He’s the go-to guy for “Wise, old, grizzled black guy” roles. More than just a Designer Imposture version of Morgan Freeman or Bill Cosby – whom he is often conflated with – Cobbs’ presence often lends an air of gravitas to otherwise stinky fare. Trust me, films such as The Bodyguard and Demolition Man need all the gravitas/help they can get.

Cobbs in Demolition Man:

Cobbs in The Bodyguard:

In addition to often being the best thing about very terrible films, Cobbs also lends his talents to community outreach and empowerment programs. Here’s an interview he did dishing his thoughts on acting and good works.

Cobbs’ interview with Blackademics:

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. evmaroon permalink
    November 9, 2010 4:47 pm

    I remember him in The Color of Money, which was a dog of a film, but hey, he was great. He’s been in more than 100 films! Awesome recap, Snarky.

  2. November 9, 2010 6:27 pm

    I really appreciate these posts for reminding me that there are names that go along with the faces that are so familiar and in so many movies/TV shows I’ve seen.

    He was in the Hudsucker Proxy too! And Lost, which I totally don’t remember at all. Oh no wonder, its in reference to a Dean Cain movie. Nevermind. 🙂

  3. hsofia permalink
    November 10, 2010 2:26 am

    He didn’t get his first feature film role until he was 40! Very inspiring.

  4. November 10, 2010 9:24 am

    Echoing what popscribblings said, thank you! I first noticed him in The Hudsucker Proxy too, where I kept remembering him as someone else. If not for these posts, I’d never realized how familiar I was with the body of work of some of these fine actors!

  5. November 10, 2010 10:50 am

    representing Cleveland!! I see you, Unscrambled.

    I know he was in stuff before it, but he’s always in my memory from I’ll Fly Away. I also really liked him the John Sayles movie Sunshine State .

  6. November 10, 2010 11:07 am

    Sadly, Mr. Cobbs is most iconic to me in the film The Bodyguard!

  7. Chi permalink
    November 11, 2010 2:57 pm

    Of all things, I most associate him as a husband of a corpse-of-the-week on Six Feet Under, where he sat up with his wife’s body all night at the funeral home and (if I remember this right) had died in the morning. He said something to one of the brothers about why he wouldn’t leave that went like, “one day you’re getting married, the next thing you know you’ve been waking up next to the same woman for 40 years.” It really got to me as an end of life meditation.

  8. November 11, 2010 3:47 pm

    Of all things, I most associate him as a husband of a corpse-of-the-week on Six Feet Under, where he sat up with his wife’s body all night at the funeral home and (if I remember this right) had died in the morning.

    Oh yeah! That was a fabulous episode! For some reason I thought he was the corpse-of-the-week who drove himself to the funeral home and died – with burial instructions – in their front driveway. But you’re right, Cobbs was in the one you mentioned! Nice catch!

  9. November 14, 2010 3:35 pm

    Bill Cobbs makes everything better.

  10. Jojob permalink
    April 18, 2012 6:14 am

    I just stumbled onto this discussion. I’m a long time Bill Cobbs fan. No one has mentioned two pieces of his tv work that I particularly liked. He was one of the stars in “The Others”. He played the wise older man with deep knowledge of dark supernatural matters. Julianne Nicholson and Gabriel Macht were also in it. Unfortunately, it only lasted one season. He also had a nice story arc as a negative, sarcastic bus driver on the Drew Carey show. Very funny, dry humor.

  11. sinky permalink
    June 24, 2012 3:43 pm

    Wow—thank you so much for showing this interview with Mr. Cobbs–as an activist myself, it’s cool to know that he’s involved community outreach and things like that. I remember him from I’LL FLY AWAY and a whole bunch of other films I’ve seen him in. I love seeing these overlooked/underrated character actors I like get the spotlight on someone’s blog page. Frist time I’ve ever seen an interview with him–cool! I think he was also in a classic cult film I like called THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET,TOO.

  12. January 30, 2013 1:29 am

    If Keven Bacon weren’t around, we’d have 6 degrees of Bill Cobbs!!

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