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Bill Cosby Is 76 Years Old Today... Your Favorite Cosby Memories?

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by Tambay A. Obenson
July 12, 2013 7:29 PM
8 Comments
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Bill Cosby

Today in history, July 12th, 1937, William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He's 76 years old today.

You fave Cosby memories, whether on screen or off?

Revisiting one of my favorite on screen Bill Cosby memories - his very first big screen role, in 1971's Man And Boy. Prior to this, he was primarily a TV celeb.

A Western, occurring just after the Civil War, Cosby's Caleb Revers is a man with a family (wife and son, played well by Gloria Foster and George Spell) he must protect from racist whites determined to scare them off their newly acquired homestead. But Caleb refuses to be bullied; he's fearless, carrying a loaded rifle, and shoots with intent to kill, more than a few times; and he won't be belittled or condescended to.

It's part road movie, part father/son bonding drama, with the search for a stolen horse, and a man's pride at the center of it all, as well as a colorful cast of friends and foes along the way.

There's even quite a fight scene between Cosby and Yapphet Kotto, an apparent long-time nemesis in the film. It's not like the well-choreographed, *dirty* sequence between Bourne and Desh in The Bourne Ultimatum; but, for its time, it's a good one.

It's the 19th century American west (the Arizona desert, specifically), where the most feared and most wanted man is black, and he goes by the name of Lee Christmas, played by Douglas Turner Ward, who's also pretty crafty and surgical with a gun.

Overall, certainly not a top-notch work, but a solid drama about family, heartfelt, with good performances all around. 

It was initially difficult to get past the Bill Cosby we've all come to know and love (or hate, depending on your POV) over the last 25 years; but once I was sold, I believed him as this man-on-a-mission to protect what's his, even if it means giving his own life in the process.

There is some humor, but it's limited.

Here's the trailer, which doesn't really do the film justice. 

You own Bill Cosby memories, whether on, or off screen:

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8 Comments

  • Kelea | August 6, 2013 1:01 AMReply

    Some of Bill Cosby's most overlooked projects are the best memories for me. Have to say Cosby Mysteries, Cosby (1996), The Bill Cosby Show (1969), Kids Say the Darndest Things were all gems. Just growing up seeing him everywhere on commercials and tv specials, almost like a second dad. Everything he touched is golden to me. Yet to see a project of his I don't like.

  • Kelea | August 6, 2013 12:52 AMReply

    Super late but I'm proud to share a birthday with him. Surprised to see not many that commented have seen Man and Boy, I rather enjoyed it. I love watching movies like Man and Boy because there just aren't very much of them in existence, so I'm probably a bit more forgiving of their faults than I should be. I believe I first discovered it in middle school or early high school around the same time that I "discovered" Bill Cosby's comedy routines for myself. I can watch anything with the Cos in it and he just brings that extra level of talent to whatever project he works on. I just couldn't see something like the Cosby Show, Fat Albert or even I Spy working the same without him.

  • Donella | July 14, 2013 12:48 AMReply

    This is my first experience of Man and Boy. Totally got by me. I'm going to have to look this up. Thanks!

  • kimberly reese | July 13, 2013 6:09 PMReply

    My favorite memory of him is When he was guest speaker at my Cousin Ira Murchison Day. Ira won a gold medal in 1956 and he beated Jesse Ownes record they ran with each other in College when Cosby when to Temple and he sat by my little sister and I sat on the opposite of him. I am glad Ira had his day before he passed away in 1994. Ira day was 1986

  • deecreative | July 12, 2013 10:19 PMReply

    The fact the Cosby Show is in existence and that it was on for I believe 8 years, not to mention the 'A different world spin off' is absolute genius!! My favorite Cosby memory is 'Bill Cosby Himself' comedy show, thirty plus years later is still hilarious! I loved when the Cosby family on the show would sing, singing 'Night and day' is probably one the best TV moments in American history

  • No | July 12, 2013 10:04 PMReply

    I was a big Bill Cosby fan as a kid: I loved all of his comedy albums and was an ardent follower of I Spy. My mother could never understand why I supported the Black Panthers and still liked Bill Cosby. As if the two were mutually exclusive. I used to have a self-made sign: " 'Cos is cool."

  • No | July 12, 2013 10:07 PM

    Never saw "Man and Boy," and it certainly look C-grade material. I would like to see just for the sake of seeing it. Cosby did better film work in Saturday Night Uptown with Sidney Poiter and in Let's Do It Again.

  • ALM | July 12, 2013 7:49 PMReply

    And this post is the beauty of Shadow and Act. The staff is very informative. I had never heard of "Man and Boy" before today. It's before my time. "I Spy" is before my time too, but of course "I Spy" has been repeatedly referenced by Hollywood multiple times over the years.

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