Cobbs, Bill 1935–

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Cobbs, Bill 1935–


Full name, William Cobbs; born June 16, 1935, in Cleveland, OH; father, a construction worker, mother, a domestic worker. Avocational Interests: Music, playing the drums, reading, golf.

Addresses: Agent—TalentWorks, 3500 West Olive Ave., Suite 1400, Burbank, CA 91505; Cunningham/Escott/ Slevin and Doherty Talent Agency, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 140, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

Career: Actor. Voice performer for television and radio commercials. Worked as a sales representative for International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, a toy salesperson, a car salesperson, a cab driver, and a repairperson. Military service: U.S. Air Force, electronic technician, for eight years.

Awards, Honors: Drama Desk Award, most promising performance, 1973, for Freeman and What Winesellers Buy.


Film Appearances:

Man on platform, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (also known as Pelham 1-2-3 and El tomar de Pelham uno dos tres), United Artists, 1974.

Mr. Jones, Greased Lightning, Warner Bros., 1977.

Bartender, A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich, New World Pictures, 1978.

Louisiana Slim, The Hitter, 1979.

Bartender, Trading Places, Paramount, 1983.

Man in lunchroom, Silkwood, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1983.

Big Joe Ison, The Cotton Club, Orion, 1984.

Walter, The Brother from Another Planet, Cinecom International Films, 1984.

Sergeant Williams, Compromising Positions, Paramount, 1985.

Klebenov's dishwasher, Streets of Gold, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1986.

Orvis, The Color of Money, Buena Vista, 1986.

Judge Franklin, Suspect, TriStar/ML Delphi Premier, 1987.

Man in coffee shop, Five Corners, Cineplex Odeon, 1987.

Dr. Caulfield, Bird, Warner Bros., 1988.

Jesse Johnson, Dominick and Eugene (also known as Nicky and Gino), Orion, 1988.

Detective Reilly, The January Man (also known as January Man), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1989.

Abraham White, Exiled in America (also known as Exiled), Prism Entertainment, 1990.

Grandpa Booker, The People under the Stairs (also known as Wes Craven's "The People under the Stairs"), Universal, 1991.

Old man, New Jack City, Warner Bros., 1991.

Raggedy man, The Hard Way, Universal, 1991.

Devaney, The Bodyguard, Warner Bros., 1992.

Oscar, Roadside Prophets, Fine Line Features, 1992.

Elderly Zachary Lamb, Demolition Man, Warner Bros., 1993.

(Uncredited) Man in park, Fatal Instinct (also known as Triple Indemnity), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1993.

Moses, The Hudsucker Proxy (also known as Hudsucker-Der grosse Sprung), Warner Bros., 1994.

Bert, Fluke, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1995.

Caleb, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, 1995.

Jeff, Tuesday Morning Ride (short film), 1995.

Malt, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, Miramax, 1995.

Vernon, Captiva Island, R.S. Entertainment, 1995.

Charlie Evers, Ghosts of Mississippi (also known as Ghosts from the Past), Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1996.

Del Paxton, That Thing You Do!, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1996.

Speet, First Kid, Buena Vista, 1996.

Tipton (some sources say Tippet), Ed, Universal, 1996.

Arthur Chaney, Air Bud (also known as Disney's "Air Bud," MVP: Most Valuable Pooch, and Tobby le joueur), Buena Vista, 1997.

Mr. Williams, Soulmates, Curb Entertainment, 1997.

Estes, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (also known as I Know What You Did Last Summer: The Sequel, I Know What You Did Last Summer … The Story Continues, I Know What You Did Last Summer 2, I Know What You Did Two Summers Ago, I Still Know, and The Man with a Hook), Columbia, 1998.

Nurse, Hope Floats, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1998.

Virgil, Paulie (also known as Polly, a Parrot's Tail), DreamWorks, 1998.

Marvin, Random Hearts, Columbia, 1999.

Valdesta's Place, VSL Entertainment International, 2000.

Dr. Elton Lloyd, Sunshine State, Sony Pictures Classics, 2002.

Jim Toller, Enough, Columbia, 2002.

Sweet Deadly Dreams, Falken Arts Productions/North River Pictures, 2002.

Blues musician, A Mighty Wind, Warner Bros., 2003.

Franklin Harmon, The Mortuary (short film), Watergem Pictures, 2004.

Dr. Daniel Green, The Final Patient, 2005.

Houston Jones, The Derby Stallion, Scorpio Pictures, 2005.

Lou, Special Ed, Pharmhouse Productions, 2005.

Morgan Wendell, Squirrel Man (short film), Labor of Love Productions, 2005.

Norman, Duck, Cut Entertainment Group, 2005.

Saul Burroughs, Return to Sender (short film), Sansar Films, 2005.

Marvin Jeffries, Retirement, Corner Stone Pictures, 2006.

Ted Hamilton, The Ultimate Gift, Film Foundry Releasing, 2006.

Television Appearances; Series:

Dutchman, The Slap Maxwell Story, ABC, 1987–88.

Phil Drexler, Homeroom, ABC, 1989.

Lewis Coleman, I'll Fly Away, NBC, 1991–93.

James Stevenson (Ben's father), The Gregory Hines Show (also known as Square One), CBS, 1997–98.

Elmer Greentree, The Others, NBC, 2000.

Jack, The Michael Richards Show, NBC, 2000.

Tony, The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 2002–2004.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Abraham Wilson, Rage of Angels (also known as Sidney Sheldon's "Rage of Angels"), NBC, 1983.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Wiggins, Johnny Bull, ABC, 1986.

Elijah Crooks, Carolina Skeletons, NBC, 1991.

Lewis Coleman, I'll Fly Away: Then and Now, PBS, 1993.

Henry Griggs, Man with a Gun (also known as Hired for Killing and Gun for Hire), HBO, 1995.

Lyman Weeks, Out There, Showtime, 1995.

Pullman porter, Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long, TNT, 1995.

Sippy, Divas, Fox, 1995.

Norm, Thrill, NBC, 1996.

Old man, Nightjohn, The Disney Channel, 1996.

"Tuesday Morning Ride," Stories from the Edge, 1996.

Right Burke, Always Outnumbered (also known as Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned and Socrates), HBO, 1998.

Proprietor and conductor, For All Time, CBS, 2000.

Bitter Winter, 2001.

Television Appearances; Specials:

T. T., "The Member of the Wedding," NBC Live Theater, NBC, 1982.

Bovanne, "My Man Bovanne," Ossie and Ruby!, PBS, c. 1987.

Gee Penniwell, "Decoration Day," Hallmark Hall of Fame, 1990.

Voice, The Tulsa Lynching of 1921: A Hidden Story (documentary), Cinemax, 2000.

Himself, Beah: A Black Woman Speaks (documentary), HBO, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Vegetable Soup, New York public television and syndicated, c. 1975.

Mr. Gillard, "Evans versus David," Good Times, CBS, 1976.

Harry, "The Distant Fire," The Equalizer, CBS, 1985.

Larry Sills, "If You Knew Sammy," Spenser: For Hire, ABC, 1987.

Sam, "The Goodbye Girl," Kate & Allie, CBS, 1987.

Sam, "Stage Mother," Kate & Allie, CBS, 1987.

"Belle of the Bald," L.A. Law, NBC, 1988.

Henry Charlie, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," Designing Women, CBS, 1990.

Walker Green, "I'm Nobody," Gabriel's Fire, ABC, 1990.

Willis, "Money Changes Everything," Married People, ABC, 1990.

Bernard Freeman (Ron's father), "Favorite Son," True Colors, Fox, 1991.

George Roberts, "Why So Happy, Hayden?," Coach, ABC, 1992.

Jerome, "Gesundeit," Empty Nest, NBC, 1993.

Angelo Maxwell, "The Letter," Northern Exposure, CBS, 1994.

Hiram, "Reversal of Fortune," The Watcher, UPN, 1995.

Emmett Hawkins, High Incident, ABC, 1996.

Norval Stevens, "The Nutty Confessor," NYPD Blue, ABC, 1996.

Patient's grandfather, "The Match Game," ER (also known as Emergency Room), NBC, 1996.

Fred Watson (love connection), "Black Widower," The Wayans Bros., The WB, 1997.

Gino Costa, "Full Contact," Walker, Texas Ranger, CBS, 1997.

Second elder, "The Camp," The Outer Limits (also known as The New Outer Limits), Showtime, Sci-Fi Channel, and syndicated, 1997.

Bob, "What about Bob?," L.A. Doctors (also known as L.A. Docs), CBS, 1998.

Uncle Stanley, "The Hair Club for Men," For Your Love, The WB, 1998.

Joe Dell, "Fathers & Sons," The Outer Limits (also known as The New Outer Limits), Showtime, Sci-Fi Channel, and syndicated, 1999.

Uncle Stanley, "The Golf War," For Your Love, The WB, 1999.

Arthur Turner, "Till Death Do Us Part," The Practice, ABC, 2000.

Reverend James, Sr., "Do Not Resuscitate," The Sopranos, HBO, 2000.

Chaplain Matthew Turner, "Answered Prayers," JAG, CBS, 2001.

Chet Armatrow, "The Fire Fight," The Fighting Fitzgeralds, NBC, 2001.

Henry Baldwin, "Band of Angels," Touched by an Angel, CBS, 2001.

Mr. Jones, "The Room," Six Feet Under, HBO, 2001.

Warren Bell, "Loving Sons," Philly, ABC, 2001.

Alan Tatum, "Enemies Foreign and Domestic," The West Wing, NBC, 2002.

Chaplain Matthew Turner, "Port Chicago," JAG, CBS, 2002.

Minister, "The Anniversary: Parts 1 & 2," My Wife and Kids (also known as Wife and Kids), ABC, 2002.

Bernie Carpenter, "Maybe Baby," NYPD Blue, ABC, 2003.

Chaplain Matthew Turner, "A Merry Little Christmas," JAG, CBS, 2003.

Chaplain Matthew Turner, "Posse Comitatus," JAG, CBS, 2003.

Earl Edmonds, "Mercy, Mercy Me," 10-8: Officers on Duty (also known as 10-8), ABC, 2003.

Mr. Greene, "Strangers," The Division (also known as Heart of the City), Lifetime, 2003.

Mr. Bradford, "Fear Eats the Soul," Soul Food, Showtime, 2004.

Cashier at barbecue, "Barbecue," Yes, Dear, CBS, 2005.

Dr. Emory Erickson, "Daedalus," Enterprise (also known as Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Series V, and Star Trek: Untitled Fifth Series), UPN, 2005.

Appeared as a chief in The Wild Thornberrys (animated), Nickelodeon; appeared in episodes of other series, including Sesame Street and Storytime, both PBS.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Attorney Adam Johnson, Baby, I'm Back, 1978.

Lieutenant Langston, The Stiller and Meara Show, NBC, 1986.

Phil Drexler, Homeroom, ABC, 1989.

Lewis Coleman, I'll Fly Away, NBC, 1991.

Abe, Moe's World, ABC, 1992.

James Stevenson (Ben's father), The Gregory Hines Show (also known as Square One), CBS, 1997.

Elmer Greentree, The Others, NBC, 2000.

Jack, The Michael Richards Show, NBC, 2000.

Stage Appearances:

Lloyd, Ride a Black Horse, Negro Ensemble Company, St. Mark's Playhouse, New York City, 1971.

Customer, "Players Inn," and Tex, "Cop and Blow," Black Visions, New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, New York City, 1972.

Freeman Aquila (title role), Freeman, American Place Theatre, New York City, 1973.

What Winesellers Buy (also known as What Wine Sellers Buy), New Federal Theatre, New York City, beginning 1973.

Hamm, Les Femmes Noires, New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, New York City, 1974.

Mongo and Preach, Waiting for Mongo, St. Mark's Playhouse, 1975.

Understudy for Alexander and J. D., Black Picture Show, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York City, 1975.

Understudy, The First Breeze of Summer, Negro Ensemble Company, Palace Theatre, New York City, 1975.

Collins, The Brownsville Raid, Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York City, 1976–77.

Getting Out, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1977–78.

Back Alley Tales, Inner City Cultural Center, Los Angeles, 1978–79.

Zeke, Mobile Theatre: The Mighty Gents, New York Shakespeare Festival, Delacorte Theatre/Central Park, New York City, 1979.

Twelfth Night (also known as Twelfth Night, or What You Will), Cincinnati Playhouse, Cincinnati, OH, 1979–80.

Jake Hendricks, Weep Not for Me, Negro Ensemble Company, Theatre Four, New York City, 1981.

The Amen Corner, Center Stage Theatre, Baltimore, MD, 1981–82.

Standby for Sam and Willie, Master Harold … and the Boys, Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 1982–83.

The Road, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1983–84.

Understudy for Cutler, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Cort Theatre, New York City, 1984–85.

"Endgame," Poncho Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA, 1985–86.

Rose, Rose Cottages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York City, 1986.

Appeared in other productions, including Purlie Victorious (amateur production), Karamu House Theatre, Cleveland, OH.

Major Tours:

Hoke, Driving Miss Daisy, beginning 1988.