AceShowbiz - Former "The Cosby Show" actress Ethel Ayler has died at the age of 88.
She passed away in California on November 18, but her family only announced the news on Friday, December 21, when an obituary was posted online.
Born in Alabama, Ayler enjoyed a career spanning more than five decades, starting in the theatre.
She made her Broadway debut in the 1957 production of musical Jamaica, and went on to star in the original staging of August Wilson's "Fences", alongside James Earl Jones and Courtney B. Vance in the late 1980s.
On TV, she was perhaps best known for portraying Carrie Hanks, the mother of Phylicia Rashad's Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show", making guest appearances throughout the sitcom's run from 1984 until 1992.
Ayler also featured in films such as "The Bodyguard" and "Eve's Bayou", while her other TV credits included "Sister, Sister", "Melrose Place", "Friends", "Martin", and "7th Heaven" - her final screen role in 2006.