Birthday: March 20, 1944
T V & Movie Producers
Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Camille Olivia Cosby, Camille Olivia Hanks, Camille O. Cosby, Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby
Born in: Washington, D.C.
Famous as: Television Producer
Height: 1.70 m
Spouse/Ex-: Bill Cosby (m. 1964)
father: Guy Hanks
mother: Catherine Hanks
children: Ennis Cosby, Ensa Cosby, Erika Ranee, Erinn Chalene Cosby, Evin Harrah Cosby
U.S. State: Washington
education: University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts (PhD)
Camille Cosby is an American TV producer, philanthropist, author, and the wife of popular comedian Bill Cosby. Her husband is known for his famous comedy show, ‘The Bill Cosby Show.’ One of the main characters of ‘The Cosby Show,’ another of her husband’s comedy shows, was based on Camille. She is also her husband’s manager. Bill had once stated that Camille had a reputation of being harsh on clients and that a lot of people got in touch with Bill to avoid the wrath of his wife. She was born in Washington DC and was the eldest of the four children in the family. She also happens to be a distant cousin of actor Tom Hanks, and her ancestry leads back to Abraham Lincoln. Camille has also devoted her time to the issue of black rights and has penned several books to address the issue. She has also written forewords for many American authors. Camille stood by her husband when several women accused him of sexual assault. Bill was subsequently found guilty of three counts of sexual assault. She has produced several films for TV and the big screen during the course of her career. Some of her noteworthy projects are ‘Sylvia’s Path,’ ‘Fat Albert,’ and ‘The American Experience.’
Childhood & Early Life
Camille Cosby was born Camille Olivia Hanks, in Washington DC, on March 20, 1944, to Guy A Hanks Sr. and Catherine C Hanks. She was the eldest of the four children in her family. Soon after her birth, her family moved to a new house located a little off Washington, in Maryland.
Camille’s family tree leads back to Abraham Lincoln, and she also happens to be a distant cousin of famous actor Tom Hanks. Both her parents were working, and the family lived comfortably and without any monetary troubles. Her father worked as a chemist at a hospital, and her mother worked at a nursery.
Camille was academically good and graduated high school with flying colors. Belonging to a religious family, Camille attended Catholic schools as a child. She attended ‘St. Cyprian’s’ and later joined ‘St. Cecilia’s Academy.’ She had her eyes set on a career in psychology.
Following her high-school graduation, she attended the ‘University of Maryland,’ where she studied psychology. There, she met Bill Cosby. Bill was a struggling stand-up comedian at the time. The couple went on a blind date and fell in love with each other soon. Following this, she quit college and moved in with Bill.
Bill and Camille got married in 1964, when she was just 19 years old. When her life settled a bit, she went back to university and finished her graduation. She later claimed that it had helped her gain her confidence back.
Bill and Camille had five children. The most famous of them were Erika Cosby and Ennis Cosby. The former is a popular painter, while the latter became famous when he was murdered in January 1997.
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During the initial years of her life, her career moved with that of Bill’s. During the mid-1960s, Bill’s comedy career blossomed beyond their wildest dreams. The couple decided to move to Los Angeles after enjoying Bill’s new-found success.
By the early 1970s, there was a rift between the couple, as Camille had moved to Shelburne Falls with three of their children. Bill visited his family several times a year, as Camille had refused to bring up her children in Los Angeles because she believed that the culture in Hollywood was toxic.
Following Bill Cosby’s rise as a successful comedian, Camille became his manager and started taking care of all his money and assignments. She became famous for her shrewd ways of dealing with people, and this made people scared of her. Soon, people would directly call Bill up, instead of getting in touch with his manager first.
Apart from being the brain behind Bill’s management, Camille also gave creative suggestions for many of his shows and sketches. In the mid-1980s, she got involved with ‘The Cosby Show,’ where she even played a small, uncredited role. In 1987, she wore the director’s cap for her husband’s show ‘Bill Cosby: 49.’
Simultaneously, she also kept working toward promoting African-American literature, which she believed was a major part of America’s strong social fabric. In the mid-1990s, she wrote the foreword for Thelma Williams’s novel ‘Our Family Table: Recipes and Food Memories from African-American Life Models.’ She also wrote forewords for many books that emphasized the value of the African-American community.
In 1994, Camille released her book ‘Television’s Imageable Influences: The Self-Perception of Young African-Americans.’ The book spoke openly about how the black community had being represented in the media and how different that perception was from real life. The book was originally meant to be her thesis project for her doctorate degree.
She also co-authored and edited the books ‘The Other Side of Color: African American Art in the Collection of Camille O. and William H. Cosby Jr.’ and ‘A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary African American Elders Speak,’ respectively.
Camille also acted as a co-producer for the ‘Broadway’ play ‘Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years,’ which was based on a book of the same name. The play was immensely successful, and the Cosbys soon acquired its TV rights.
In 1999, Camille produced a TV film based on the same ‘Broadway’ play.
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In 2000, Camille worked as the executive producer for the documentary film ‘Ennis’ Gift.’ In 2002, she produced the TV movie ‘Sylvia’s Path.’
In 2004, she produced the animated film ‘Fat Albert.’ The film received bad reviews but was a moderate box-office hit.
In 2009, Camille produced a web series named ‘OBKB,’ which was loosely inspired by the concept of ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things.’ The show featured Bill Cosby interviewing children from all over the country. The show was successful and ran for three seasons, from 2010 to 2012, and was spread across 38 hilarious episodes.
Camille Cosby stood by her husband when he was accused by several women of raping them in the 1970s. Camille later stated that while she was aware that her husband had cheated on her a few times, he could not be termed a rapist.
In April 2018, Bill was convicted of sexual assault. Camille maintained that the charges were racially motivated. Camille also demanded a trial on the prosecutor who had convicted her husband.
The family suffered a tragedy when Camille’s only son, Ennis Cosby, was murdered by a robber on January 16, 1997. In February 2001, after a long trial, his murderer, Mikhail Markhasev, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment.