Once a beloved television icon, Bill Cosby's net worth and image have suffered due to chilling sexual assault allegations against him. His storied career and legend status as a popular comedian, Jell-O spokesperson, and television’s favorite dad in the 1980s and 90s have crumbled after dozens of women came forward with compelling allegations of sexual assault.
So what remains of his massive fortune after his shocking sexual assault scandals and prison time? And does he stand to lose even more? In this guide, we'll uncover the shameful story of Bill Cosby, his rise to fame and fortune, his fall from grace, and the details about his net worth.
|Bill Cosby’s Net Worth
|Date of Birth:
|July 12, 1937
|6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
|Source of Wealth:
|Comedian, Actor, Media Personality
|Role as Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show and sexual assault convictions
What is Bill Cosby's net worth?
According to various sources, Bill Cosby's net worth is an estimated $400 million.
Who is Bill Cosby?
Bill Cosby is an American comedian, actor, and media personality. He played a significant role in creating a more positive portrayal of Blacks on television and made notable contributions to American and African American culture in the 1980s and 1990s.
Bill’s award-winning portrayal of Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992 earned him a reputation as “America’s Dad.” However, a 2018 conviction of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman and numerous sexual abuse allegations from dozens of women tarnished Bill's reputation. This led to the revoking of several awards, accolades, and honorary degrees he received during his career.
Bill Cosby’s Early Life and Comedy Career
Bill Cosby was born William Henry Cosby Jr. on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born to parents Anna Pearl, a maid, and William Henry Cosby Sr., a U.S. Navy mess steward. A self-described “class clown” at school, Bill was known for joking around instead of studying. Still, he served as his class president and was a member of the track and field and baseball teams throughout junior high and high school.
Bill enlisted in the Navy in 1956 and was a hospital corpsman working in physical therapy and serving until 1960. After earning a high school equivalency diploma, Bill received a track and field scholarship to Temple University in 1961. There, he studied physical education, ran track, and played on the college's football team. He started bartending at a local club during college, quickly discovering he earned better tips when he told jokes to make customers laugh.
Soon, he dropped out of college to pursue a stand-up comedy career. However, he returned to Temple University in 1971, receiving his bachelor's degree for what the college labeled "life experience." He went on to earn a Master of Arts degree (1971) and a Doctor of Education degree (1976) from UMass Amherst.
Starting in Philly
Cosby continued to pursue his career as a comedian, landing gigs at clubs in Philadelphia and later New York City. He performed regularly at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village, NYC, where he established a signature comedic style characterized by a friendly stage persona and relaxed delivery.
Eventually, Bill started booking dates in Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Bill got his big break and exposure on a national level when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1963. The experience led to a Warner Bros. Records recording contract, and he released his debut LP, Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow…Right!, in 1964; this was the first in a series of highly successful comedy albums from Bill.
Bill's comedic style helped him stand out from other comedians who performed risqué and controversial material. In his shows, he stuck to funny childhood memories and stories that were free of controversy.
From 1963 to 2013, Bill released over 20 stand-up albums and specials. His 1983 release, Bill Cosby: Himself, is regarded by many as the greatest comedy concert film in history. Bill won eight Grammy awards for his comedy albums, including six consecutive awards for Best Comedy Album from 1965 to 1970.
Netflix planned to release the special Bill Cosby 77 in 2014 but canceled it due to the allegations of sexual abuse against Bill. His final stand-up performance occurred before his conviction at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia in January 2018.
Bill Cosby’s Acting Career
Amid his stand-up comedy career in 1965, Bill landed a role in NBC’s I Spy espionage adventure series. It was the first time a weekly series featured an African American in a starring role. For the role of a secret agent, he received three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1966-1968).
Bill’s most notable and successful work was his role as Cliff Huxtable in The Cosby Show, which appeared on NBC from 1984 to 1992. The hit sitcom depicted a prosperous Black family, and Bill's character was a doctor. The show avoided racial stereotypes and had a cross-cultural appeal, winning several awards. For his role, Bill won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical in 1985 and 1986.
Upon the conclusion of The Cosby Show, Bill starred in the spinoff series Cosby from 1996 to 2000.
Bill Cosby’s Convictions and Arrest
In April 2018, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Five months later, he was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison. After more than two years of prison time, he was released. Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill’s conviction, saying there was a violation of Bill’s due process rights.
However, it’s unlikely Bill’s legal troubles are over. Additional women continue to come out with sexual assault claims against Bill Cosby. In December 2022, he once again faced allegations of sexual assault, battery, and false imprisonment from five women.
What is Bill Cosby's net worth?
According to various sources, Bill Cosby's net worth is $400 million and has remained steady, although he paid a $1 million bond following his 2018 arrest for sexual assault and another $75,000 in fines.
What are the sources of Bill Cosby's wealth?
Bill Cosby has several sources of wealth contributing to his net worth:
- Acting, voice-over, and live comedy career
- Television, film, and concert film productions and royalties; Bill made millions from The Cosby Show royalties.
- Endorsement deals including White Owl Cigars, Jell-O pudding, Del Monte, Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola
- Artwork Collection estimated at $150 million, including the Cosby Collection of African American Art with over 60 pieces of art
- Real estate portfolio, owning more than $100 million in real estate, including properties in Beverly Hills and Pennsylvania
What was Bill Cosby's net worth before his legal issues?
Surprisingly, Bill Cosby’s net worth has remained at $400 million throughout his legal issues, incarceration, release, and additional lawsuits.
How did Bill Cosby make his money?
Bill earned the bulk of his wealth through his stand-up comedy albums, film concerts, and his television role as Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show.
What happened to Bill Cosby's net worth after the allegations were made?
Although Bill can no longer get work as an actor or comedian, his net worth was seemingly unaffected by the sexual assault allegations against him. Before and after his conviction and prison time, his net worth has been $400 million.
What happened to Bill Cosby's real estate portfolio?
Bill and his wife reportedly own more than $100 million in real estate with properties in Beverly Hills and Pennsylvania. However, since his legal woes began, he has started selling some of his real estate properties in Los Angeles, including several top-tier commercial properties in downtown Santa Monica.
How has Bill Cosby's stand-up career been affected by the allegations?
Bill Cosby is no longer performing stand-up comedy since his conviction and incarceration in 2018. His last known comedy performance was at Philadelphia’s LaRose Jazz Club on January 23, 2018. However, in a December 2022 radio interview, Bill said he might tour again in 2023.
How did Bill Cosby's endorsements and royalties change after the allegations?
Although Bill no longer has endorsement deals since the sexual assault allegations and his conviction, most of his earnings today come from The Cosby Show residuals.
The shameful story of how Bill Cosby achieved a massive net worth while assaulting countless women is disappointing and shocking. After the pain he has caused so many women and their families, many agree he doesn’t deserve his current $400 million net worth.
However, Bill’s story isn’t over yet. It’s still possible for him to experience financial repercussions for his crimes as new allegations and lawsuits come to light.
Do you have a bad taste in your mouth after reading about Bill Cosby's net worth and career? We don't blame you!
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