Claire Huxtable, matriarch of THE COSBY SHOW clan, has been named best TV mother in a new poll.

Played by Phylicia Rashad, Claire Huxtable was the witty, tough mother of five who also worked as a lawyer. Rashad played alongside Bill Cosby's CLIFF HUXTABLE for eight years, until the classic sitcom ended in 1992.

The 55-year-old actress, who's starring in the Broadway production of A RAISIN IN THE SUN with rap mogul SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS, was also named "TV mom closest to your own mom in spirit".

OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION conducted the poll from 8-11 April (04). Results were based on 720 adults who have a living mother or mother-in-law.

HAPPY DAYS' MRS CUNNINGHAM, played by Marion Ross, came second, followed by THE SIMPSONS' MARGE SIMPSON, voiced by Julie Kavner.

04/05/2004 09:07