Celebrated Hollywood Actor, Bill Cobbs, Passes Away at 90

‘The Hudsucker Proxy' and 'Night at the Museum' Star Dies on Tuesday at His Home

Veteran actor, Bill Cobbs, known for his memorable roles in films such as The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Air Bud (1997), and Night at the Museum (2006), passed away at the age of 90. Cobbs’ death marks the end of a prolific career spanning over five decades, during which he became a beloved figure in Hollywood.

Cobbs died on Tuesday at his Riverside home due to natural cause, leaving a legacy defined by his versatile acting skills and warm, commanding presence on screen. His publicist Chuck I. Jones confirmed the news.

Born on June 16, 1934, in Cleveland, Ohio, Wilbert Francisco Cobbs didn’t start his acting career until his late 30s. Before stepping into acting, he served in the United States Air Force as a radar technician for eight years and worked a variety of jobs, including driving a taxi and working as a salesman.

Cobbs’ big break came with the 1974 film The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. His role as the undercover cop opened doors to numerous opportunities, establishing him as a reliable character actor. Reflecting on his debut, Bill once said, “I came back home to see my mom and dad, and all our friends and neighbours went to see the movie, and everyone was waiting for my appearance.” Cobbs added, “I walk up to a policeman in the subway and say, ‘Hey, man. What’s goin’ on?’”

Bill Cobbs’ role as Harlan in the Coen brothers’ The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) remains one of his most memorable performances. In the film, Cobbs’ character provides a grounding, almost magical presence amidst the corporate chaos. Similarly, his portrayal of Reginald in Night at the Museum (2006) charmed audiences with its blend of humour and wisdom.

In addition to his film work, Cobbs had a significant presence on television, with roles in shows like The Sopranos (2000), One Tree Hill (2008), and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2020). His deep, resonant voice and expressive face made him a favourite for roles requiring gravitas and warmth. Bill Cobbs stood out for his collaborative spirit and dedication to the craft of acting. His demise is a significant loss to the entertainment industry. As Hollywood mourns the loss of this iconic actor, it also celebrates the remarkable life and career of Bill Cobbs.

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