Bill Cobbs, ‘The Bodyguard’ and ‘The West Wing’ Actor, Dies at 90

In 2020, Bill Cobbs won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding limited performance in a daytime program for his work in the series “Dino Dana.”

Bill Cobbs
Actor Bill Cobbs has passed away at the age of 90.

Bill Cobbs, a distinguished character actor with a career spanning five decades and nearly 200 film and television credits, passed away on Tuesday at his home in Riverside, California, his representative confirmed. He was 90 years old.

Actor Bill Cobbs Dies at 90

Cobbs’ career was marked by a series of memorable roles. He gained particular acclaim in Season 3 of “The West Wing,” where he portrayed Alan Tatum, who visits the White House with his son. In the Coen brothers’ film “The Hudsucker Proxy,” Cobbs played Moses, the clock man who delivers the film’s prologue.

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Another notable performance was as manager Devaney in the film “The Bodyguard,” starring Whitney Houston.

Cobbs’ television debut came in 1975 with “Vegetable Soup,” an educational series on New York public television. Over the years, he appeared in numerous popular shows, including “The Sopranos,” “Good Times,” “Sesame Street,” and “My Wife and Kids.” In 2020, he won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding limited performance in a daytime program for his work in the series “Dino Dana.”

In his “West Wing” episode, Cobbs’ character Alan Tatum is moved when Charlie Young, the president’s personal aide, reveals they had rediscovered a letter Tatum had written to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a child.

Cobbs made his feature film debut in the 1974 thriller “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.” His extensive filmography includes roles in “The Hitter” (1979), “Brother From Another Planet” (1984), “Air Bud” (1997), “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” (1998), and “The Muppets” (2011). He is also remembered for his role as security guard Reginald in “Night at the Museum” (2006), starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

Born in Cleveland, Bill Cobbs served as an Air Force radar technician before pursuing acting at the age of 36. His first professional role was in “Ride a Black Horse” with the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City. Cobbs’ dedication to his craft led him to perform in various small theater productions, street theater, regional theater, and at the Eugene O’Neill Theater.

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Thomas Cobbs, a relative, commemorated Bill Cobbs on Facebook, describing him as a “beloved partner, big brother, uncle, surrogate parent, godfather, and friend.”

“As a family, we are comforted knowing Bill has found peace and eternal rest with his Heavenly Father,” the post read. “We ask for your prayers and encouragement during this time.”

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