The Cosby Show Wiki
Cliff Huxtable
Dr. Cliff Huxtable, played by Bill Cosby
Personal Information
Gender: Male
Born: May 12, 1939 (age 52)
Dedicated doctor and proud father of five children; loving relationship with wife Clair
Related to: Clair Huxtable (wife)
Sondra Huxtable-Tibideaux (daughter)
Elvin Tibideaux (son-in-law)
Denise Huxtable-Kendall (daughter)
Martin Kendall (son-in-law)
Theo Huxtable (son)
Vanessa Huxtable (daughter)
Rudy Huxtable (daughter)
Olivia Kendall (step-granddaughter)
Nelson Tibideaux (grandson)
Winnie Tibideaux (granddaughter)
Russell Huxtable (father)
Anna Huxtable (mother)
Al Hanks (father-in-law)
Carrie Hanks (mother-in-law)
Sarah Hanks (sister-in-law)

Elijah Ray Sanders Nephew

Character information
Appeared on: The Cosby Show
Episodes appeared in: All in series
Character played by: Willam Henry Cosby Jr.

Dr. Heathcliff Isaac "Cliff" Huxtable (originally "Clifford Huxtable") is the main protagonist and main character of The Cosby Show. He currently resides in Brooklyn Heights, New York.


The handsome, princely Cliff Huxtable was born on May 12, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Russell and Anna Huxtable. Cliff had a brother, James Theodore Huxtable (1941-1948), who died of rheumatic fever at the age of 7. In his high school and college years, he was an athlete who played wrestling, football, and field track. He is an OB/GYN, and got married to Clair Huxtable, in 1963. Both Cliff and Clair attended the fictional Hillman College. Together, they have five children: Sondra (b. 1964), Denise (b. 1967), Theo (b. 1970) Vanessa (b. 1973) and Rudy (b. 1979), Cliff enjoys live jazz, has an extensive collection of albums, and tries to eat junk food whenever he can get away with it.

Cliff is very eccentric and silly to most people around him, especially his family. Despite this, he is very kind-hearted and a dedicated father with a strong sense of humor. He is also very competitive, often making bets with Clair over various things, such as the date a certain jazz song was released, or having a "Smooth Contest" to see which of them looked more elegant for a night on the town, as judged by the children. He also plays a monthly game of pinochle against his father and some friends, which sometimes gets very passionate. Unfortunately, Cliff often finds himself on the losing end of most of his bets and games, as, for example, he has never beaten his father-in-law at chess. However, Cliff eventually broke his losing streak at pinochle against his father and his friend Homer Dobson with the help of Dr. Foster (played by Roscoe Lee Browne), who also happened to be his and Clair's literary professor at Hillman College.

In the pilot episode, Bill Cosby's character's full name is Clifford, as shown on a sign on the exterior of the house. His full name was subsequently changed to Heathcliff, even though in one episode Clair called him "Heathclifford", and he is commonly called "Cliff" throughout the series.

Originally, Cliff was to have worked as a chauffeur, with most of the humor coming from his interactions with customers. However, the show was changed before airing to have Cliff be a doctor, and the humor to come from his interactions with his family.

At many points in the series, Cliff makes the famous "Cosby face", in which he presses his lips tightly and rolls back his eyes.

The character is loosely based upon Bill Cosby himself.


  • Mostly he runs a successful private practice as an obstetrician.
  • Mostly he wants his kids out of the house and go to college.
  • Mostly Rudy would have been out of the house until 1997.