Bill Cosby, born in 1937, broke many color barriers in
television. He became the first Black actor in a recurring
"non-traditional" role when he co-starred in I Spy
. He also
became the first Black Actor to win Emmy Awards (in 1966 and 1967) for
best actor in a continuing series.
The first Black star in a television series that did not deal directly
with racial themes, he would later helm the incredibly successful
The Cosby Show in the 1980s, which is credited with
resurrecting the family sitcom. He also created the successful
children's show The Fat Albert Show, based on characters from
his early comedy routines.