Originally created 09/22/03

Bill Cosby receives Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at Emmys



LOS ANGELES -- Putting aside his funnyman shtick for a moment, Bill Cosby collected a special Emmy Award on Sunday for a lifetime of good deeds.

The 66-year-old comic received the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in recognition of his breakthrough work for black actors, his contributions to educational causes and his career of family-friendly humor.

Cosby, wearing black shades, got a standing ovation and paid tribute to his wife, Camille, and son, Ennis, who was fatally shot in 1997.

"Thank you," Cosby said. "My wife has shown unconditional love, and that's very, very important."

He then spoke about bonding with his son thanks to his work on the 1970s animated series "Fat Albert."

"When we were doing 'Fat Albert,' I took Ennis to the studio ... Ennis ran up to me - 'Dad, you are Fat Albert!' And we were tight ever since then," Cosby said.

He also paid homage to Fred Rogers of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," who died Feb. 28 after battling stomach cancer.

Ray Romano of "Everybody Loves Raymond" presented the trophy to Cosby, followed by clips and a variety of tributes from Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Walter Cronkite and others.

Cosby's television success includes the groundbreaking "I Spy," which in the 1960s became the first drama to feature a black actor, and the hit 1980s family sitcom "The Cosby Show."

He also produced the spin-off sitcom "A Different World," which ran from 1987-93 and made stars out of Jada Pinkett Smith, Sinbad and Jasmine Guy.

Cosby has supported education through donations to colleges and scholarships and the Hello Friend-Ennis William Cosby Foundation.

In addition, Cosby established the Franklin & Marshall College Scholarship, which supports a student at that college who goes on to study education at Columbia University Teachers College, Ennis' alma mater.

The comedian is the second recipient of the award given by the academy in honor of Hope, who died in July at 100. Winfrey received the inaugural award last year.

On the Net:

http://www.emmys.com/

http://www.hellofriend.org