The real reason Lisa Bonet left the Cosby Show
She was the breakout star on one of America’s most popular sitcoms of the 1980s and early ’90s. “The Cosby Show” transformed NBC’s Thursday night lineup into must-see television and Lisa Bonet became a hot commodity. In fact, Bonet was so popular that an entire spin-off series was based on the character’s adventures in college as Denise Huxtable embarked on a new life.
A Different World” was originally a Bonet vehicle, though she only lasted one season with the series (via Biography). She eventually returned to “The Cosby Show” but was written out series, leaving many fans wondering why.
The “High Fidelity” star was just 17 years old when she played Denise, the most free-spirited of the Huxtable kids on the landmark sitcom. Bonet is also a free spirit in real life, and her personality has led to confrontations with Bill Cosby, the sitcom’s star, creator and executive producer. Stories of on-set tensions between the two actors playing father and daughter finally surfaced, with Bonet criticizing the show and being accused of often being late to work. This didn’t sit well with Cosby so he convinced Bonet to join the spin-off.
Lisa Bonet made some changes in her life during the first season of “A Different World” in 1987. First, she starred in the feature film “Angel Heart” with Mickey Rourke and chose to have her breasts sculpted. ceiling for Interview Magazine, according to Biography. She then married musician Lenny Kravitz and quickly announced her pregnancy, which ended her participation in “A Different World”.
According to TVWeb, producer Debbie Allen suggested writing Bonet’s pregnancy into the show because she thought having a college student pregnant could be innovative. Cosby replied: “Lisa Bonet is pregnant, but Denise Huxtable is not.” Cosby also feared Bonet’s lifestyle would detract from the wholesomeness he was trying to portray in his sitcom.
So Denise Huxtable is married to a military veteran and shows up at her door with him and her brand new stepdaughter, Olivia, played by a pint-sized Raven Symone. Bonet returned to “The Cosby Show” where she started, but it didn’t last long and the actress was permanently fired in 1991. Cheat Sheet reported that Cosby said the actress was let go quit because she went beyond the role and material she was given. However, Kravitz saw things differently and wrote in his memoir titled “Let Love Rule” that his ex-wife’s “relationship with Bill was strained and ultimately irreparable.”