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Phylicia Rashad 1984

Aunt of Elijah Ray Sanders

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Clair Olivia Huxtable (nee Hanks) is the very eloquent, elegant wife of Cliff. Clair is playful, silly, yet very assertive. Her age is directly stated only once during the series, and two separate episodes provide contradictory information on the age difference between herself and Cliff. He celebrates his 50th birthday during Season 3 ("Cliff's 50th Birthday"), while she celebrates her 46th during Season 5 ("Birthday Blues," two years later), indicating that she is six years younger. However, in the Season 4 episode "The Locker Room," it is stated that Clair is four years younger.

Her character was originally supposed to be a housewife, but when the show finally aired, she became a lawyer. During the series, she becomes a partner in her law firm, Greentree, Bradley and Dexter, and she successfully represents her daughter, Sondra, in a case over dishonest car repairs. When it came to the Huxtable household, she was in charge, even though she let Cliff think he was in charge (although Cliff was known to lay down the law when he had to). She was the chief disciplinarian of the children, as shown in an episode where Vanessa and her friends sneak off to Baltimore to see a rock concert and Clair delivers a memorable and scathing diatribe to her. Clair is also something of a disciplinarian to Cliff, particularly in matters of Cliff sticking to a healthful diet and rationing his junk food intake.

Clair makes several appearances on The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World, even after her daughter, Denise, is removed from that series.

Clair is once referred to as Clair Olivia when Cliff is asking their old professor what grade she received in the class. The character of Olivia Kendall is later introduced as Denise's stepdaughter.

Clair Huxtable was voted as television's "Favorite TV Mom" in a poll conducted by the Opinion Research Company in 2006.

The character is loosely based upon Cosby's wife, Camille Olivia Hanks-Cosby. Phylicia Rashad


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