Bill Cobbs - 'Night at the Museum' and 'The Bodyguard' star - dies days after 90th birthday

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

Bill Cobbs, best known for starring in movies including Night at the Museum and Sunshine State, has died aged 90.

The popular character actor was born in Cleveland and had a stellar career, portraying Whitney Houston's manager in 1992's The Bodyguard, as well as the Master Tinker, builder of the Tin Woodsman, in Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013.

Other notable roles included playing the older brother of Medgar Evers in Rob Reiner’s Ghosts of Mississippi, and starring as a jazz pianist in Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do!, both released in 1996. 

Cobbs's publicist, Chuck I. Jones, confirmed news of the star's death, just days after he turned 90 years old.

GettyImages-1156622048.jpgBill Cobbs has died aged 90. Credit: Leon Bennett/WireImage/Getty Images

Jones told the Hollywood Reporter that Cobbs died from natural causes at his home in Riverside.

As well as movies, the actor had also had an impressive television career, having appeared as Dr. Emory Erickson, the inventor of the Transporter on Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as playing the bartender The Dutchman on the Dabney Coleman - starring The Slap Maxwell Story, and the bus driver Tony on The Drew Carey Show.

He also played the title character's father on The Gregory Hines Show.

Another notable role was as Moses, the mystical man who has the ability to stop time, in the Coen Brothers' 1994 movie The Hudsucker Proxy.

Younger fans would also know him as Reginald, the security guard approaching retirement, in Night At The Museum, starring in the 2006 original as well as the 2014 sequel.

GettyImages-450588084.jpgThe actor was a fan-favorite of movies and television. Credit: Bobby Bank/GC Images/Getty Images

Born Wilbert Francisco Cobbs in June 1934, he joined the US Air Force after graduating from East Tech High School in Cleveland, and served for eight years.

It was during his time in the Air Force that he began experimenting with stand-up comedy, but before finding fame as an actor with his first stage role in 1969, he also worked for IBM and sold cars.

His first big-screen debut was when he showed up on a subway platform in the 1974 movie The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

GettyImages-117744415.jpgYounger fans will know him from Night At The Museum. Credit: Chris Polk/FilmMagic for Fox Home Entertainment/Getty Images

He said of the role in 2013: "I came back home to see my mom and dad, and all our friends and neighbors went to see the movie, and everyone was waiting for my appearance.

"I walk up to a policeman in the subway and say, ‘Hey, man. What’s goin’ on?'”

Our thoughts remain with Cobbs' family, friends, and fans at this difficult time.

Featured image credit: Leon Bennett/WireImage/Getty Images

Bill Cobbs - 'Night at the Museum' and 'The Bodyguard' star - dies days after 90th birthday

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

Bill Cobbs, best known for starring in movies including Night at the Museum and Sunshine State, has died aged 90.

The popular character actor was born in Cleveland and had a stellar career, portraying Whitney Houston's manager in 1992's The Bodyguard, as well as the Master Tinker, builder of the Tin Woodsman, in Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013.

Other notable roles included playing the older brother of Medgar Evers in Rob Reiner’s Ghosts of Mississippi, and starring as a jazz pianist in Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do!, both released in 1996. 

Cobbs's publicist, Chuck I. Jones, confirmed news of the star's death, just days after he turned 90 years old.

GettyImages-1156622048.jpgBill Cobbs has died aged 90. Credit: Leon Bennett/WireImage/Getty Images

Jones told the Hollywood Reporter that Cobbs died from natural causes at his home in Riverside.

As well as movies, the actor had also had an impressive television career, having appeared as Dr. Emory Erickson, the inventor of the Transporter on Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as playing the bartender The Dutchman on the Dabney Coleman - starring The Slap Maxwell Story, and the bus driver Tony on The Drew Carey Show.

He also played the title character's father on The Gregory Hines Show.

Another notable role was as Moses, the mystical man who has the ability to stop time, in the Coen Brothers' 1994 movie The Hudsucker Proxy.

Younger fans would also know him as Reginald, the security guard approaching retirement, in Night At The Museum, starring in the 2006 original as well as the 2014 sequel.

GettyImages-450588084.jpgThe actor was a fan-favorite of movies and television. Credit: Bobby Bank/GC Images/Getty Images

Born Wilbert Francisco Cobbs in June 1934, he joined the US Air Force after graduating from East Tech High School in Cleveland, and served for eight years.

It was during his time in the Air Force that he began experimenting with stand-up comedy, but before finding fame as an actor with his first stage role in 1969, he also worked for IBM and sold cars.

His first big-screen debut was when he showed up on a subway platform in the 1974 movie The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

GettyImages-117744415.jpgYounger fans will know him from Night At The Museum. Credit: Chris Polk/FilmMagic for Fox Home Entertainment/Getty Images

He said of the role in 2013: "I came back home to see my mom and dad, and all our friends and neighbors went to see the movie, and everyone was waiting for my appearance.

"I walk up to a policeman in the subway and say, ‘Hey, man. What’s goin’ on?'”

Our thoughts remain with Cobbs' family, friends, and fans at this difficult time.

Featured image credit: Leon Bennett/WireImage/Getty Images