Phylicia Rashad’s Intense Stare Scored Her the Role of Clair on ‘The Cosby Show’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Phylicia Rashad

Casting is an important a part of the inventive course of for movies and tv reveals. After all, casting a horrible actor can destroy even a incredible script. On the flip aspect, there are actors so spectacular at their craft that even a lackluster plot might be delivered to life after they gentle up the display. Choosing who to solid in every function is a tough and nuanced course of that usually hinges on tiny particulars. That was the case for Phylicia Rashad when she landed the a part of Clair on The Cosby Show

‘The Cosby Show’ was groundbreaking household TV

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Premiering in 1984, The Cosby Show was groundbreaking in some ways. It was one of many first tv reveals to heart on a Black higher middle-class household, and it had a heartwarming mixture of comedic moments wrapped round actual moments of drama and rigidity that resonated with on a regular basis viewers.

From themes of youth being pregnant to studying disabilities, the sequence tackled tough matters with out shying away from them, and followers have been impressed sufficient to offer the present an eight-season run. It wrapped up in 1992. 

The present centered across the Huxtables, a household headed up by Dr. Cliff Huxtable, an obstetrician, and his spouse Clair, a lawyer. The household had 5 youngsters — daughters Sondra, Denise, Vanessa, and Rudy and son Theo.

Bill Cosby, who performed Cliff Huxtable, pulled in a lot of his well-known standup routines to make observational jokes concerning the on a regular basis happenings within the household’s life. As a lot as Cosby’s early fame helped pull the present as much as its success, his downfall and arrest for sexual assault has left this present — as soon as a household traditional — tainted in trendy instances. 

Phylicia Rashad performed Clair Huxtable

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Many of the solid members on The Cosby Show grew to fame with their look on the sequence. For Phylicia Rashad, getting solid as Clair Huxtable represented an enormous break in her profession.

Prior to touchdown the 1984 function, Rashad had some small components on TV sequence and performed a Munchkin within the 1983 video for The Wiz. After touchdown the a part of Clair, Rashad’s star was actually on the rise. She stayed with the sequence for its whole run, and alongside the best way she discovered time to play Eliza in a TV film rendition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in addition to painting Clair in The Cosby Show spinoff, A Different World

After The Cosby Show got here to an finish, Rashad performed in additional TV films earlier than as soon as once more stepping in to play the spouse of Cosby’s character on the present Cosby, which ran from 1996-2000. The actor then went on to have a component as a voice actor on the animated sequence Little Bill.

In newer years, Rashad has had a component within the Creed franchise and a recurring function on the hit sequence Empire. She’s additionally within the new Netflix Christmas hit Jingle Jangle

Phylicia Rashad’s stony gaze helped earn her ‘The Cosby Show’ half

Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad | Deborah Feingold/Corbis by way of Getty Images

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Plenty of actors have been vying for the a part of Clair Huxtable, and Cosby was sitting in on the display assessments to assist decide who would ultimately land the function. The scene the auditions centered round had Clair arguing together with her on-screen son Theo. 

According to Mental Floss, Rashad’s audition stood out from the group due to her refined physique language throughout the argument. While a lot of the actors hoping to develop into Clair wagged their fingers and put their fingers on their hips to specific their displeasure with the child, Rashad took a unique method.

She froze and stared Theo down. The look was withering, and Cosby was sure that he had discovered the appropriate Clair. 

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