‘The Bodyguard’ and ‘Air Bud’ actor, Bill Cobbs, dead at 90

Bill Cobbs, a beloved veteran actor known for his roles in The BodyguardAir Bud, and Night at the Museum, passed away peacefully at his home in Riverside, California, on Tuesday, June 25. He was 90 years old.

A relative shared the sad news on Facebook, stating: “We are saddened to share the passing of Bill Cobbs. On Tuesday, June 25, Bill passed away peacefully at his home in California. A beloved partner, big brother, uncle, surrogate parent, godfather, and friend, Bill recently and happily celebrated his 90th birthday surrounded by cherished loved ones.”

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

The cause of death was not disclosed. TMZ reported that Cobbs died at his Riverside home, about an hour east of Los Angeles.

Cobbs’ acting career spanned more than five decades, marked by diverse and memorable roles. According to his IMDb biography, Cobbs began his acting journey at the Karamu House Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, where he starred in the play “Purlie Victorious.”

Credit: J. Merritt / FilmMagic / Getty.

Born in Cleveland, Cobbs served in the U.S. Air Force and worked in various jobs, including selling office products and cars, before moving to New York City at the age of 36 to pursue acting. He initially took on menial jobs before landing his first professional acting role in Ride a Black Horse at the Negro Ensemble Company. Cobbs made his feature film debut in the 1974 crime thriller The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

Cobbs’ career saw him star alongside many Hollywood greats. In 1992, he appeared opposite Kevin Costner and the late Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard, portraying Bill Devaney, a trusted bodyguard. In 1997, he charmed audiences as Arthur Chaney in Disney’s Air Bud. Cobbs also made a notable appearance in “The Sopranos” Season 2, sharing a memorable scene with the late James Gandolfini as Reverend James Sr.

In the 2006 film Night at the Museum, Cobbs played the role of Bill, alongside Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney. He also had a recurring role in the short-lived NBC sitcom Go On, starring the late Matthew Perry. Cobbs’ extensive TV credits included roles in Walker, Texas RangerCSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.

Bill Cobbs at the ‘Night at the Museum’ launch party. Credit: Chris Polk / FilmMagic / Fox Home Entertainment / Getty.

In 2020, Cobbs received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Performance in a Daytime Program for his work in Dino Dana, highlighting his talent and versatility even in his later years.

Bill Cobbs’ enduring legacy in film and television, along with his warm presence, has left an indelible mark on the industry and those who knew him. As his family mourns his loss, they take comfort in knowing he has found peace. The outpouring of love and support from fans and colleagues alike is a testament to the impact he made throughout his illustrious career.

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