|dedicated doctor and proud father of five children; loving relationship with wife Claire|
|Related to:||Clair Huxtable (wife)|
Theo Huxtable (son)
Sondra Tibideaux (daughter)
Denise Kendall (daughter)
Vanessa Huxtable (daughter)
Rudy Huxtable (daughter)
Russell Huxtable (father)
Anna Huxtable (mother)
|Appeared on:||The Cosby Show|
|Episodes appeared in:||All in series|
|Character played by:||Bill Cosby|
Dr. Heathclifford Henry William "Cliff" Huxtable, lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York. He was born on May 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, making him 47 years old at the beginning of the series. Cliff had a brother, James Theodore Huxtable (1941-1948), who died of rheumatic fever at the age of 7. In his high school and college years, he was an athlete who played wrestling, football, and track. He is an OB/GYN, and is married to Clair Huxtable. Both Cliff and Clair attended the fictional Hillman College. Together, they have five children: Sondra (b. 1966), Denise (b. 1968), Theo (b. 1970) Vanessa (b. 1973) and Rudy (b. 1978), Cliff enjoys live jazz, has an extensive collection of albums, and tries to eat junk food whenever he can get away with it.
Cliff is very eccentric and silly to most people around him, especially his family. Despite this, he is very kind-hearted and a dedicated father with a strong sense of humor. He is also very competitive, often making bets with Clair over various things, such as the date a certain jazz song was released, or having a "Smooth Contest" to see which of them looked more elegant for a night on the town, as judged by the children. He also plays a monthly game of pinochle against his father and some friends, which sometimes gets very passionate. Unfortunately, Cliff often finds himself on the losing end of most of his bets and games, as, for example, he has never beaten his father-in-law at chess. However, Cliff eventually broke his losing streak at pinochle against his father and his friend Homer Dobson with the help of Dr. Foster (played by Roscoe Lee Browne), who also happened to be his and Clair's literary professor at Hillman College.
In the pilot episode, Cosby's character's full name is Clifford, as shown on a sign on the exterior of the house. His full name was subsequently changed to Heathcliff, even though in one episode Clair called him "Heathclifford", and he is commonly called "Cliff" throughout the series.
Originally, Cliff was to have worked as a chauffeur, with most of the humor coming from his interactions with customers. However, the show was changed before airing to have Cliff be a doctor, and the humor to come from his interactions with his family.
At many points in the series, Cliff makes the famous "Cosby face", in which he presses his lips tightly and rolls back his eyes.
The character is loosely based upon Cosby himself.