Bill Cosby’s journey from near-bankruptcy to comedy and sitcom legend is chronicled in a new book, titled “Cosby: His Life and Times.”
The biography, written by former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker with help from Cosby and his inner circle, offers never-revealed details surrounding the funnyman, including his rise on the comedy scene, groundbreaking work on TV and the death of his son Ennis, among other things. The entertainer’s womanizing is also captured in “Cosby: His Life and Times: as he discovers a new way to stay focused and away from the opposite sex.
The following are excerpts from “Cosby: His Life and Times,” via The Hollywood Reporter:
Cosby’s effort to get away from his womanizing:
“In a comic essay for Ebony, Cosby even talked about how aging had affected his roving eye for women. “One of the most important things when you turn 40 is that you weigh things thusly,” he wrote. “You look at the enjoyment you may get from a given activity, and then you look at the amount of work that may have to go into it … for example, sex with a young beautiful woman who has plenty of energy.” In a picture that accompanied the story, Cosby stood on a diving board, smoking a cigar, looking over his shoulder wistfully at a bikini-clad, mocha-skinned beauty. “One of those things you want but are glad you can’t have,” the caption read.
“Cosby didn’t tell Ebony readers about another step that he had taken to prove that he was serious about cutting back on his womanizing. He told one longtime girlfriend that he wanted to put an end to their relationship, and then he invited the woman and her mother, who had always disapproved of her daughter being involved with a married man, out to dinner. “I’m very happy to be here,” the mother told Cosby, “because I always thought you had more sense than that!”
Cosby’s success with and influence over his Jell-O commercials:
“As Cosby’s renown as a pitchman grew, so did his reputation for clashing with the people who made advertising. As always, he preferred to ad lib rather than to recite ad copy word for word. Cosby was notoriously demanding about the kids in the Jell-O commercials. He thought they should reflect an array of races and ethnicities, and he would protest if he didn’t get the “rainbow” he wanted. He had little time for the kind of spoiled behavior that was all too common among child models and their stage parents, and more than once he had an offending brat thrown off the set. Cosby made no excuses for his impatience with the Madison Avenue culture. Deep down, he believed that he understood the products he was selling better than most of the executives who oversaw the accounts.”
Cosby’s initial thoughts on his “Cosby Show” characters Cliff and Clair Huxtable:
“Cosby thought it would be funny for the character to drive a limousine. It would allow him to tell stories about all the people and situations he encountered on the job, and give him a flexible schedule so he could be at home during the day to interact with his children. Cosby proposed that the wife be a plumber or a carpenter. And she would be Latino and speak Spanish, so that when they had an argument, her husband wouldn’t be able to understand what she was saying.”
“Cosby: His Life and Times” is scheduled to be released on Sept. 16. For more excerpts from the book, visit Hollywood Reporter.
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