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Theo Huxtable
Theo Huxtable is the third of five children of Cliff and Clair Huxtable on the series.
Personal Information
Gender: Male
Born: October 21, 1970 (age 51)
Theo is the third oldest of five children and the only boy born to Cliff and Clair Huxtable who appears on the series.
Related to: Cliff Huxtable (father)
Clair Huxtable (mother)
Sondra Huxtable-Tibideaux (sister)
Elvin Tibideaux (brother-in-law)
Denise Huxtable-Kendall (sister)
Martin Kendall (brother-in-law)
Vanessa Huxtable (sister)
Rudy Huxtable (sister)
Olivia Kendall (step-niece)
Nelson Tibideaux (nephew)
Winnie Tibideaux (niece)
Russell Huxtable (grandfather)
Anna Huxtable (grandmother)

Elijah Ray Sanders Cousin

Character information
Appeared on: The Cosby Show
Episodes appeared in: 176 in series
Character played by: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Theodore Aloysius "Theo" Huxtable (born October 21, 1970) the third child and only son of Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" and Clair Huxtable who appears on The Cosby Show. The part of Theo is played on the series by Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

About Theo[]

Theo is athletic and obsessed with impressing girls, and obtaining a sports car or motorcycle. He is fourteen years old when the series begins, making his birth year 1970. In the pilot episode, he is lectured by his father for not applying himself at school ("I brought you in this world, and I'll take you out"). Also in the early seasons, he was somewhat of a troublemaker, as illustrated through incidents both alluded to and explicitly portrayed in the series, but his behavior had improved by the time he left high school.

A running theme of the early seasons revolved around Theo's academic struggles, especially in his sophomore-year geometry class, taught by Mrs. Westlake (Sonia Braga). As the seasons progressed, Theo gradually evolved from being an under-achiever to a successful high school - and college - student (in interviews, Cosby noted a similar change in his real-life son, Ennis). While Theo was a student at NYU, it was revealed that he suffered from dyslexia, a learning disability that inspired him to work harder, and as a result overcame it. By the final season, Theo was a student teacher, helping other children with dyslexia at a local education center. In the show's final episode, he graduated from NYU with a degree in psychology.

In the pilot, and once more in Season 1, (an episode entitled "Bad Dreams"), he is referred to by Vanessa as "Teddy", instead of "Theo."

Theo has a long-running, but on-and-off relationship with a girl named Justine Phillips, who is mentioned many times throughout the series, but appears in only nine episodes. During his high school years, Theo's best friend was Walter Bradley, better known as "Cockroach", who was more of a scholastic underachiever than Theo. The two of them would occasionally compose rap songs for various school assignments or take other "easy road" schemes, such as planning to listen to a recording of Shakespeare's Macbeth, then trying to watch the play, then finally settling on reading the play's "cleland notes".

When Theo got tickets to "Dance Mania" (a "Soul Train"-like television dance show), and only one of them was allowed into the studio, Theo let Cockroach have the spot, but did not feel good about it when he saw Cockroach on TV, and as the center of their friends' attention the next day at school. After this particular episode, Carl Anthony Payne II, the actor who played Cockroach was fired from the show after supposedly refusing to cut his hair at Bill Cosby's request.[citation needed] Cockroach was written out of the series and rarely mentioned after this episode.


  • The character is loosely based upon Cosby's only son Ennis, who was approximately the same age as Theo (and was also dyslexic).
  • Theo was originally going to be THE main character. It would be Theo, Cliff and the family.
  • In real life, Warner was close friends with Michelle Thomas, who played Justine, and was at her bedside when she passed away.