The One Film Bill Cosby Refused To Promote Because Of How Bad It Was

Before his dramatic fall from grace within the last decade, Bill Cosby’s career success was arguably unparalleled. He was considered one of the funniest men in the world, and had built up a personal empire that made him worth nearly half a billion dollars. The comedian had always been followed by a cloud of sexual allegations dating as far back as the ‘60s.

Things only truly started to unravel for him in 2014, however, when multiple people came forward in quick succession and accused him of various instances of assault against them. Although the allegations saw Cosby spend time behind bars, he was released in 2021 following an overturn of his original conviction.

The outcome left his reported victims and the public at large horrified, as most people felt he was only let off on a legal technicality. Despite multiple concerted efforts to see the conviction reinstated, Cosby’s status as a free man was confirmed in 2022, as it was revealed that the Supreme Court would not be ruling against the decision.

Despite all this, there is very little chance of Cosby rebuilding his career. Most of his work was in TV productions, but he also enjoyed success as an actor, writer and producer on the big screen.

Bill Cosby Has Featured In Dozens Of Films

Bill Cosby’s career in big screen productions began in 1969, albeit in an uncredited role in the film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. He featured as a patron at a nightclub. In 1971, he starred in a Western drama film titled Man and Boy. The movie was set in the American Civil War period, and followed the story of Caleb Revers, an ex-soldier who moves his family west to settle in [the] lawless Arizona. Cosby played that leading role.

In the following year, he portrayed a private detective known as Al Hickey in the ne0-noir crime film Hickey & Boggs. His next major movie role came in 1974, when he joined his friend Sidney Poitier in the action comedy Uptown Saturday Night. Harry Belafonte also joined the star-studded cast, in a production that was also directed by Poitier himself.

Cosby then went on to feature in movies like Let’s Do It Again, A Piece of the Action, California Suite, The Devil and Max Devlin as well as Mother, Jugs & Speed. His final acting roles on the big screen were in the ‘90s films Ghost Dad, The Meteor Man and Jack.

Bill Cosby Wrote And Starred In Leonard Part 6

In the mid-198os, having starred in a number of films, Bill Cosby decided to take things a notch higher. He wrote a script for a spy parody movie titled Leonard Part 6, which was reportedly inspired by the Sylvester Stallone-led franchise Rambo. He also produced the picture, and played the main character in it as well.

Leonard Part 6 told the story of Leonard Parker, a retired secret agent who is brought back into service to save the world from Medusa Johnson, an evil vegetarian who brainwashes animals to kill human beings. She does this via a mind control serum that she uses to take over the minds of animals and create an army to take over the world.

With Cosby starring as Parker, he also enlisted the services of Tom Courtenay, Joe Don Baker, Moses Gunn and Gloria Foster — among others — to join him in the cast. To pen the script, he signed up Jonathan Reynolds, best known for his work on stage plays. Mr. Bean’s Paul Weiland took on directorial duties, with a total production budget of $24 million.

Bill Cosby Refused To Promote Leonard Part 6 After The Movie Flopped

Leonard Part 6 was released in the United States on December 18, 1987, and was an overwhelming commercial and critical failure. Out of the $24 million that went into the production, the film only managed to make $4.6 million at the box office. It was also universally panned by critics and audiences alike, and has since come to be considered one of the worst movies of all time.

Years later, director Paul Weiland expressed his regret at having taken on the project. “It was a terrible mistake,” he said, in an interview with the Guardian, per IMDb.

Even before Leonard Part 6 hit the cinemas, the negative reviews were already overwhelming. In the wake of this, Bill Cosby refused to participate in any promotional undertakings for the film. In fact, he purportedly told fans to avoid going to watch the movie altogether. In the end, he was awarded a Golden Raspberry Award for “Worst Actor.”

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