Joseph C. Phillips starred on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show from 1989 to 1991. He played US Navy Lt. Martin Kendall, the son in law of the show’s family patriarch. From 1994 to 1998, he portrayed Justus Ward, an attorney on the soap opera General Hospital. Between 2004 and 2009, Phillips made appearances on most NPR radio stations as a guest political commentator on News & Notes. He was a communications major when he attended the University of the Pacific but decided to go to the acting conservatory at New York University. He then graduated in 1983 with a BFA in acting.
Phillips has in numerous occasions talked about sickle cell disease and the effect that the disease brings to the family. As a matter of fact, Phillips is an ambassador for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. Other organizations Phillips has been part of include Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors Equity Association, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He was national co-chair of the African American Steering Committee for Bush Cheney 2004, named National Co-Chair of the African American Advisory Board of the Republican National Committee, named a 200 Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow, and appointed to the state board of directors of the California African American Museum by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Phillips is a conservative Republican. He is a commentator on television and radio and he contributes to weekly syndicated column promoting conservative views. These views include a return to America’s founding principles, limited government, and traditional family values. His 2006 autobiography, He Talk Like a White Boy, contains his views on subjects such as same-sex marriage, and affirmative action. Phillips has had three sons (Connor, Ellis, and Samuel) from his marriage to Nicole since 1994 and loves cooking.