Who Was the Inspiration for Fat Albert?

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on July 26, 2013

Was Fat Albert from the 1970s cartoons based on a real person? How many of the voices were done by Bill Cosby?
—Donald Stephens, Santa Barbara, Calif.

The title character in the fondly remembered Saturday morning TV series was inspired by creator and producer Bill Cosby’s childhood pal Albert Robertson, while Russell was based on Cosby’s younger brother, also named Russell. Cosby voiced several characters, including Fat Albert, Bill, Mushmouth and Mudfoot. Other members of the North Philly Junkyard gang included Dumb Donald, Weird Harold, Rudy and Bucky. “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Complete Series,” which aired from 1972 to 1985, is now on DVD.