Clarice Taylor, 93, the actress and comedian best known for playing grandmothers on The Cosby Show and Sesame Street, died Monday at her Englewood, N.J., home.

During a five-decade career, she performed on radio and TV, in film and on stage, including in the original Broadway cast of the musical The Wiz. Her films included the 1971 Clint Eastwood thriller Play Misty for Me.

Both Ms. Taylor and Earle Hyman, who played her husband on The Cosby Show, received Emmy nominations in 1986 for their roles as Anna and Russell Huxtable, parents of Bill Cosby's character and grandparents of the Huxtable youngsters.

In 1987, she played the pioneering black female comedian Jackie "Moms" Mabley in an original Off-Broadway play, Moms. She later toured as Mabley in a one-woman show. She also played Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, on stage in The Wiz, which opened in 1975.

Ms. Taylor began her acting career with Harlem's American Negro Theatre, and in the late 1960s was one of the original members of the New York-based Negro Ensemble Company. - AP