“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 blackdoctor.org (
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.