Houston, Texas, USA
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The Cosby Show
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Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Producer
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Phylicia Rashād (born Phylicia Ayers-Allen on June 19, 1948) is an American actress and singer, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show.
In 2004, Rashad became the first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, for her role in the revival of A Raisin in the Sun. She resumed the role in the 2008 television adaption of A Raisin in the Sun, which earned her the 2009 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. Rashād was born in Houston, Texas to Andrew Arthur Allen (d. 1984), an African-American descended from the Louisiana Creoles and Vivian Ayers, an African American. Arthur was a dentist and orthodontist. Vivian was a Pulitzer-prize nominated artist, poet, playwright, and publisher. Rashād`s siblings are jazz-musician brother Tex (Andrew Arthur Allen Jr, born 1945), sister Debbie Allen (1950), an actress, choreographer, and director, and brother Hugh Allen (a real estate banker in North Carolina). While Rashād was growing up, her family moved to Mexico and as a result, Rashād speaks Spanish fluently. She graduated from Howard University.
Rashād is best known for another television role, that of attorney Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. The show starred Bill Cosby as obstetrician Cliff Huxtable, and focused on their life with their five children. When Cosby returned to TV comedy in 1996 with CBS`s Cosby, he called on Rashād to play Ruth Lucas, his character`s wife. The pilot episode had been shot with Telma Hopkins, but Cosby then fired the executive producer and replaced Hopkins with Rashād. The sitcom ran from 1996 to 2000. That year, Cosby asked Rashād to work on his animated television series Little Bill, in which the actress voiced Bill`s mother, Brenda, until the show`s end in 2002. She also played a role in the pre-show of the "Dinosaur" ride at Walt Disney World`s Animal Kingdom theme park.
In 2003, she was honored as Woman of the Year by the Harvard Black Men`s Forum. In 2005, Rashād received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) degree from Brown University. She played Kill Moves` affluent mother on Everybody Hates Chris on Sunday, December 9, 2007. In 2007 she also appeared in the Psych episode Gus` Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy. She returned to the role in 2008, in the Psych episode "Christmas Joy". In February 2008 she appeared in the television adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun. She starred on Broadway as Big Mama in an all-African American production of Tennessee Williams`s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof directed by her sister Debbie Allen. She appeared alongside stage veterans James Earl Jones (Big Daddy) and Anika Noni Rose (Maggie), as well as film actor Terrence Howard, who makes his Broadway debut as Brick. She will appear as Violet Weston, the drug-addicted matriarch of Tracy Lett`s award-winning play, August: Osage County at the Music Box Theatre. Currently, she is a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.
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Arthur Allen (dentist)
Vivan Ayers (artist, poet, playwright, and publisher, Pulitzer-prize nominated)
Tex (musician), Hugh Allen (real estate banker in North Carolina)
Phylicia Rashad (born Phylicia Ayers-Allen; June 19, 1948) is an American actress, singer and stage director, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for this part in 1985 and 1986.
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