Happy 69th Birthday Phylicia Rashad. ~ Claire Huxtable on the '80s' Most Successful Comedy Series, The Cosby Show.

Phylicia Rashad or Rashād is an American actress, singer and stage director. She is known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, which earned her Emmy Award nominations in 1985 and 1986. 
Born: June 19, 1948 (age 69), Houston, TX
Children: Condola Rashad, William Lancelot Bowles III

"I can't proceed as a human being and I certainly can't proceed as an artist if I focus on racism. I learned that from my mother early on, who did everything to keep her young children from being permanently scarred. From her I learned that the spirit is much bigger than man-made law. 

Phylicia and her three siblings grew up in Houston, where their mother preferred to tell them, "It's a private club and we're not members," when they wondered why they weren't allowed in certain theaters or amusement parks. Her parents divorced when she was 6 but there was always a full, friendly and learned family around.

"Our parents had the good sense to allow us to love them both," Rashad says. "What I learned from my parents and their brothers and sisters was the joy of working [her father was a dentist, her mother an accomplished pianist] and the value of education." (She graduated from Howard University.)

Without parental prodding, Phylicia and her sister (Debbie Allen--choreographer, dancer, producer, director) knew early on they were headed for the world of song and dance and acting. Theirs was a typical sister relationship: "I thought she was a pest but I've come to understand she looked up to me," Rashad says, laughing, and the relationship remains close.

Phylicia is now playing the role of Taye Diggs' Mother on Empire.