Earle Hyman first found his passion for acting as a young boy in Brooklyn, after seeing a production of Ibsen's "Ghosts" in 1939. His love for the stage grew from that point on, and he made his debut on Broadway in the 1943 production of "Run, Little Chillun," with his film debut coming two years later in Billy Wilder's drama "The Lost Weekend." Hyman continued to work in theater throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as well as maintaining a reputation in Hollywood as a formidable character actor in television, with bit parts in shows like the war drama "Espionage," "Playdate," and the legal drama "The Defenders." His work in TV did not deter him from pursuing his first love, the stage, and in 1968, Hyman played Macbeth for a television version of the Shakespeare play and took on the Bard's work again in 1979 when he played Cicero in a TV version of "Julius Caeser." Hyman's most notable role, however, came in 1984 when he landed the part of Russell Huxtable on the groundbreaking sitcom "The Cosby Show," a role that earned him a great deal of long overdue respect. One year after "The Cosby Show"'s inception, he voiced the character of Panthro in the Saturday morning cartoon "Thundercats." Hyman stuck with television throughout the end of the 1990s as he appeared in made-for-TV movies like the crime drama "Hijacked: Flight 285" and the personal drama "The Moving of Sophia Myles."