Death noted: Rocky Mount native Earle Hyman

“I was born in Rocky Mount, N.C., where my maternal grandmother is from. My mother took my younger brother and two younger sisters and me and relocated to Brooklyn, N.Y., when I was around 6 years old for a better education. North Carolina had beautiful, natural surroundings. I would go back every summer….

“My friends and I would pay our 10 cents and go upstairs to the ‘colored section’ of the movie theater, the peanut gallery. I was there anytime I could get 10 cents. I was fascinated by the movies: Lena Horne, Bette Davis, ‘Tarzan,’ ‘King Kong’ — I loved it all. I internalized how these performers could do what they could do. I wanted to imitate them. ”

— From “What Ever Happened to Earle Hyman?” by Deanna Martin-Osuagwu in Jet (April 3, 2014)

“There was no library for Blacks when he left, but upon returning one summer, he found [Rocky Mount] had built a community center with a library for African Americans. ‘I asked the librarian, “What’s the biggest book you have?” and she said, “Well, I guess that would have to be the complete works of William Shakespeare.” And from there I was hooked.’ ”

— From “Earle Hyman: Longevity Through A Lifetime Of Learning”  by Carter Higgins at (


Despite his long-running, Emmy-nominated tour as Grandpa Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” Hyman was better known in Norway for his  performances in Ibsen plays. He died last week at age 91.