• May 26, 2024

What Happened To Rudy Huxtable From The Cosby Show?

Every fan of The Cosby Show had a favorite member of the Huxtable family whose hijinks really amused them. For many fans, that was the youngest of Cliff and Claire’s five children, Rudy, played by Keshia Knight Pulliam. Viewers really connected with her, and she drew some serious laughs. She also grew up before our very eyes, playing the character from the time she was five until she was 13.

It’s been nearly 30 years since The Cosby Show filmed its last scenes. Many of the show’s stars are living life outside of the spotlight nowadays. While Keshia definitely values her privacy, she hasn’t completely disappeared. In fact, she’s kept a pretty active acting career with a few exciting new projects in the pipeline, according to IMDb. Still, some people can’t help but see her as little Rudy Huxtable, passionately lip-syncing to Ray Charles on the sitcom home’s steps.

After The Cosby Show, Keshia laid low for a while

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When The Cosby Show ended, Keshia and her family moved to Virginia. She lived there and attended the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, followed by the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She graduated in 1997 and went off to Spelman College. At Spelman, Keshia joined the Eta Kappa chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She graduated in 2001 with a sociology degree.

Keshia returned to acting after college. She started out in a number of TV movies before appearing in 2009’s Madea Goes To Jail. In the following years, Keshia focused on work in television. She also gave reality TV a go. Keshia won Weakest Link: Child Star Edition in 2001, followed by Celebrity Fear Factor in September 2002.

Her main gig was on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne as Miranda, the second wife of Calvin Payne. She excelled in the role. It earned her the 2009, 2010, and 2012 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Keshia’s reprising her role as Miranda Payne

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In February, House Of Payne fans got the exciting news that the show would be returning. It will function as a seventh season of the show, taking place five years after where the series left off. Variety announced that all of the original cast members would reprise their roles. This holiday season, Keshia also has a new TV movie to share. She stars in Lifetime’s The Christmas Aunt.

Keshia is also winning in her private life. After a difficult divorce from ex Ed Hartwell, she’s come out the other side stronger. She’s cautiously returned to dating. Recently, she opened up about her relationship with actor Brad James. They met on the set of another Lifetime project, Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta. “I think that’s the best, when you can just genuinely get to know people without all the pretense, without all the pomp and circumstance. Just get to know and love the core and the heart of the person you’re dating. And that’s really how it happened,” she told Madame Noire.

Another major plus? He gets along great with her three-year-old daughter, Ella Grace Hartwell. “They love and adore each other. If that wasn’t the case then we wouldn’t be together because that’s definitely a priority. Any mom or any single mom will say that moving forward, it’s a package deal,” she said. “It’s not just about me anymore. I have a little one who is my world and my everything and comes first.”

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By Joey Keogh/Updated: June 25, 2020 2:33 pm EST

Phylicia Rashad’s role as Clair Huxtable on the The Cosby Show made her a star, but it’s worth noting the long-time actress was a veteran of the industry long before she became a sitcom mom, appearing in several top shows, including One Life to Live, The Love Boat, and Touched by an Angel. Still, Clair Huxtable remains her most iconic role, and she even reunited with controversial comedian and star Bill Cosby for 1996 sitcom Cosby.

The actress defended her former onscreen husband in 2015, in an interview with Showbiz 411, saying at the time, “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.” But in the years since, she’s kept mum on the allegations against him, instead choosing to reflect only positively on her Cosby Show experience. Rashad actually took a cookie jar that was used on the set of the series after it wrapped, “It was home,” she said of the memento’s significance (via Variety). Even so, there’s much more to Rashad than Clair Huxtable.

Phylicia Rashad is still playing complex mothers

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The actress, who’s long held the title of America’s favorite mom, particularly within the Black community, has enjoyed an eclectic career in the years post-Cosby, from doing voice work on The Cleveland Show to appearing in TV mega-hit Empire and modern Rocky sequels Creed and Creed II (a third installment is on the way, with Rashad reprising her role). One thing is consistent in her choices though; Rashad loves playing strong, complex mothers.

She’s a mom to two adult children in real life, Condola and William, describing her career thus far as “a humbling experience” in an interview with Oprah. She explained her approach: “As mothers, we’re all alike in what we go through to give birth, even though it might not be the exact same experience … We’re different because of our own individual stories. Each of our stories informs our way of being, thinking, and behaving.”

Longevity is a given for Phylicia Rashad

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Rashad isn’t shy about sharing how she’s survived Hollywood this long either, while looking practically the same as she did back in the day, telling Essence during a recent Facebook Live interview that staying healthy is paramount. She advised, “You have to take naps. Sleep is important; you’ve got to get your sleep.” The actress also learned the importance of drinking plenty of water from her father, as well as, “Really watching the kinds of food you eat. Certain foods make the body weak, and internal organs go off and with that goes your appearance.”

The Cosby Show legend still has a deep-seated passion for what she does, too, gushing to Variety, “My objective as an actor has been rooted in my understanding that human beings are more alike than they can ever be different. When I’m approaching any role … I want to know that person’s heart.” From Cosby to Creed, “My objective has always been, through my work, to impart that on other people.”

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By Jessie Lamb/Updated: Sept. 8, 2023 2:39 pm EST

If you’re anything like us, then you’ve probably binge-watched a sitcom or two in your life. After all, who doesn’t love a good comedic story? Throw in a well-rounded cast of characters and some wacky misadventures and you’ll see why this genre is an absolute staple in the cultural zeitgeist. Given their popularity today, you might be surprised to learn that sitcoms came close to extinction a few decades ago. Due to lackluster ratings, television executives felt that the genre was “dead.” But when “The Cosby Show” premiered in 1984, it brought the format roaring back.

“The Cosby Show” focused on the Huxtables, a delightfully wholesome family of seven. For five consecutive years, it was the number one series on television. In addition to being a commercial success, “The Cosby Show” offered valuable representation for Black families. The show achieved a lot — however, many would argue that its biggest champions were the Huxtable kids and their friends, through which the show’s massages of positive morals and family values were conveyed. It was a pleasure watching them grow up throughout eight seasons of “The Cosby Show” — but where did those child actors end up?

Some former “Cosby Show” kids are still enjoying the limelight — you may have even spotted them in some of your favorite movies and television series — while others kept a low profile and focused on other endeavors. Scroll through to see how they’ve changed over the decades.

Sabrina Le Beauf (Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux)

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Sabrina Le Beauf played Sondra Huxtable, the eldest Huxtable sibling. Sondra was a college sophomore when she first appeared on “The Cosby Show,” but by the final season, she married Elvin Tibideaux, gave birth to twins, and became a successful lawyer. Like her “Cosby Show” character, Le Beauf is ambitious and academically gifted. After studying at UCLA and Yale, she became a Shakespearean actor. Le Beauf continued performing onstage during and after her tenure on “The Cosby Show.” Despite finding fame on the iconic sitcom, Le Beauf felt artistically stifled as a television actor. “Having been on the show for five years I have not been able to do what I am capable of doing,” she told the The Washington Post in 1989. “I feel cheated that 55 million people a week watch something that is not my best work.”

After the series wrapped, Le Beauf embraced her stage career, starring in productions of “King Lear,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” and many others. But in the mid-nineties, she charted an entirely different career path by becoming an interior designer. These days, Le Beauf seems to have stepped away from acting altogether. However, she’s ultimately grateful for her “Cosby Show” experience. In 1999, the actor told People: “Even though we were a black family, everyone, despite their race, could relate to us. People needed it, they wanted it, they were ready for it. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to be on that show.”

Lisa Bonet (Denise Huxtable)

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Lisa Bonet played Denise Huxtable, the second-eldest Huxtable child. Throughout the series, we watched Denise move abroad, marry Lieutenant Martin Kendall, and become a stepmother to the adorably spunky Olivia. “The Cosby Show” was Bonet’s first major television role. She became an instant fan favorite thanks to her stunning beauty and bohemian fashion sense. When the series ended in 1992, it had little effect on Bonet’s “it” girl status. Post-“Cosby Show,” the actor and style icon continued slaying the show business game. She went on to appear in numerous films and television series, including “Enemy of the State,” “High Fidelity,” and “The Red Road.”

In addition to her notable acting credits, Bonet has had some seriously high-profile romances. In 1987, the actor eloped with rock legend Lenny Kravitz. A year later, she gave birth to their daughter, Zoë Kravitz. The pair called it quits in 1993, but they remain close friends. “We experienced a very deep love that still carries on to this day, just in a different way,” Kravitz told Entertainment Tonight in 2020. Bonet later married fellow actor Jason Momoa and welcomed two more children. Although their marriage ended in 2022, they maintain a strong friendship.

Bonet’s daughter, Zoë Kravitz, also made it big as an actor. Unsurprisingly, Bonet is a major inspiration in her daughter’s entertainment and fashion career. “Both my parents are people who have always marched to the beat of their drum and embraced their individuality,” Zoë gushed to Byrdie.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Theo Huxtable)

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Malcolm-Jamal Warner gave us countless laughs (and an equal amount of facepalm moments) as Theo Huxtable, the starry-eyed son of Clair and Cliff Huxtable. Theo’s storyline deals with his transformation from a rascally teen into a college graduate with a bright future. Like his character, Warner’s career was just getting started by the end of the series. “The Cosby Show” opened numerous doors for the young entertainer — including the opportunity to try out his directing chops. “I started out directing, early on, on ‘Cosby,'” Warner told radio show host Rich Eisen. “I was 18. … At the time, I was the youngest director in the DGA [Director’s Guild of America].”

Today, Warner has racked up more than a dozen director credits, and his acting career is even more extensive. He’s starred in several more television series, including “Here and Now,” “Malcolm & Eddie,” and “Reed Between the Lines.” The veteran actor has also appeared in “Community,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “The Wonder Years.” Even though his “Cosby Show” days have long passed, Warner still feels a sense of camaraderie with his co-stars. “I know I can speak for all the cast when I say ‘The Cosby Show’ is something that we are all still very proud of,” he told People in 2023. “We share a unique experience that keeps us lovingly bonded no matter how much time goes between seeing or hearing from each other.”

Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa Huxtable)

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Tempestt Bledsoe got her big break when she played Vanessa Huxtable, the second-youngest of the Huxtable brood. Vanessa was the mischievous, fashion-obsessed sibling who resonated with teenage girls everywhere. While working on “The Cosby Show,” Bledsoe attended NYU and earned a finance degree. “I never intended to stop [acting],” she revealed to Access Hollywood. “I really wanted to just experience something different that was going to be of real use to me and take me into a whole other realm.” Clearly, Bledsoe was focused on the future and wanted to keep her options open.

After “The Cosby Show” ended, the sitcom star had an eclectic entertainment career — first with her talk show, “The Tempestt Bledsoe Show,” and later with a foray into reality television. She briefly appeared in a reality series called “Househusbands of Hollywood,” which gave viewers a closer look at her relationship dynamic with her partner, Darryl M. Bell.

Bledsoe also starred in “Guys With Kids,” a sitcom that depicted the ups and downs of raising children. For Bledsoe and her co-star, Anthony Anderson, the series felt like a nod to “The Cosby Show” and its portrayal of a multi-dimensional Black family. “We just don’t have that right now, not on network television,” Anderson told EUR Web (via Essence). “Like ‘The Cosby Show,’ this will be an opportunity to see the love, support, humor, and beauty of a black family on TV.”

Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable)

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Keshia Knight Pulliam portrayed Rudy Huxtable, the youngest Huxtable sibling. Her adorable antics won the hearts of “Cosby Show” viewers, but it wasn’t just fans that noticed Pulliam’s star power — at just 6 years old, the pint-size actor received an Emmy award nomination for her work on the series. Pulliam graced our television screens for eight seasons, but she stepped away from the spotlight after “The Cosby Show” ended. Pulliam later explained that she felt it was time to give up acting in exchange for a more typical childhood experience. “I’ve had a great transition and a great life,” she told Refinery 29. “I took time off from this. I’ve been in the business since I was 9 months old. I decided to go to college and high school uninterrupted, and I’m glad I made that decision.”

Pulliam made a comeback in the early 2000s. Since then, she’s found a home on the Lifetime network, where she’s starred in numerous movies. The actor has also made one-off appearances in “Guys With Kids” and “The Waiting Room.” Additionally, Pulliam starred in several seasons of “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”

Life seems exceptionally good for this former child actor. In 2021, she married fellow entertainer Brad James. The pair welcomed a son, Knight James, in April of 2023. Pulliam also shares a daughter, Ella, with her ex-husband, Ed Hartwell. The star uses her Instagram page to share life updates with fans.

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