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Actor Bill Cobbs Dies at 90: Known for Roles in ‘The Bodyguard’ and ‘Night At The Museum’

Bill Cobbs, a legendary actor who appeared in many films and television shows, passed away peacefully at his home in Inland Empire, California, on Tuesday, June 25, after a long battle with natural causes. He was accompanied by his family. He was 90.

His death was disclosed by family members on Facebook and verified by his publicist, Chuck I. Jones.

Thomas G. Cobbs, Bill’s brother, expressed his family’s sadness at the news of his death. “On Tuesday, June 25, Bill died quietly at his home in California. Bill, a loving partner, big brother, uncle, surrogate dad, godfather, and friend, recently celebrated his 90th birthday with loved ones. As a family, we are relieved that Bill has achieved peace and everlasting rest with his Heavenly Father. We would appreciate your prayers and encouragement at this time.

Jones said, “Bill was a terrific human being in addition to being a fantastic performer. He was extremely nice, generous, and sensitive to others.”

As an actor, Cobbs got his start at the African American Performing Arts Center and Karamu House Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City. He was born Wilbert Francisco Cobbs on June 16, 1934.

His feature film début was in 1974, with a brief role in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. Subsequent parts followed quickly, including appearances on TV’s Good Times and in films like Greased Lightning and The Hitter in the mid- to late 1970s. In the early 1980s, he had minor parts in Trading Places and Silkwood before taking on a larger role as Walter in John Sayles’ seminal independent film Brother From Another Planet.

Cobbs, who was on his way to becoming an immediately identifiable character actor, appeared in films (The Cotton Club, The Color Of Money) and television shows (The Equalizer, Sesame Street, Kate & Allie, Spencer For Hire, and L.A. Law) during the 1980s. In 1987, he became a series regular on The Slap Maxwell Story, a one-season comedy starring Dabney Coleman that was well-received. Coleman died last month.

Cobbs had a hectic schedule throughout the 1990s, appearing in one-off TV shows (Designing Women, The Trials of Rosie O’Neil, Coach, Empty Nest, Northern Exposure, Ed, and ER) and in films (The Hudsucker Proxy, That Thing You Do!, and Air Bud). In 1992, he appeared in the smash Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner picture The Bodyguard, and in 1996, he portrayed Medgar Evers’ elder brother Charles Evers in Rob Reiner’s Ghosts of Mississippi.

Cobbs appeared in both seasons of the critically acclaimed 1991-93 television series I’ll Fly Away, and he returned for the 1993 TV reunion film. He was a prominent cast member on the 1997-99 series The Gregory Hines Show, and in 2000, he was a regular on the supernatural series The Others and the comedy The Michael Richards Show, which aired eight episodes.

Other television credits include: The Sopranos, JAG, The Drew Carey Show, One Tree Hill, Star Trek: Enterprise, Yes, Dear, Go On (recurring), The West Wing, NYPD Blue, Lost, Army Wives, The Glades, The Bay, and many more.

In 2020, he appeared in the two-part series finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That same year, he received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Performance in a Daytime Program for his performance in the kids’ program Dino Dana.

Cobbs’ most noteworthy appearance occurred in Ben Stiller’s 2006 blockbuster comedy Night at the Museum, when he portrayed security officer Reginald. He played the character again in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014).

“He was especially very proud of receiving a Daytime Emmy Award,” according to Jones, his publicist, “and his work with the cast & crew on such films as Demolition Man, The Bodyguard and Oz, The Great and Powerful.”

Is Bill Cobbs in a wheelchair?

Yes, Bill Cobbs was in a wheelchair during the last few months of his life. He had been sick and used a machine to help him breathe. Despite using a wheelchair for mobility, his spirits are high, underlining his dedication to public appearances and interaction with fans.

What is Bill Cobbs famous for?

Bill Cobbs was a well-known character actor with several film credits. Some of his most renowned are:

Night at the Museum (Reginald)
The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston’s Manager)
Oz, the Great and Powerful (Master Tinker)

How much is Bill Cobbs’ net worth?

Bill Cobbs, an American actor, has a $2 million net worth. Bill Cobbs has approximately 200 acting credits to his name over the course of a career spanning many decades. He was most recognized for his appearances in movies including “The Hitter,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Night at the Museum,” “The Bodyguard,” and “The Brother from Another Planet,” as well as television shows like “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “The Sopranos.”

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