What Are The Cosby Show Kids Up To Now? Exploring the Paths of the Beloved Cast Members.hanh

What Are The Cosby Show Kids Up To Now? Exploring the Paths of the Beloved Cast Members.hanh

Whatever Happened To The Cosby Show Kids?
Upon making its debut on NBC in 1984, “The Cosby Show” immediately rocketed to the top of the ratings, becoming arguably the biggest primetime sitcom hit of the decade. The series blazed new territory as both an unapologetic, entertaining portrait of an upper-class Black family and righteous representation to audiences around the nation.

Of course, decades later, the legacy of this consistently wholesome show was forever tarnished by the troubling controversies that emerged surrounding its titular star, once considered one of America’s father figures. Because of Bill Cosby and his criminal convictions, some will never give the series a chance while others who once loved it may shudder at the thought of revisiting it. Then there are those who, despite all that baggage, appreciate the good message and whip-smart writing it once delivered to eager viewers.

No matter how one feels, everyone can agree that the child actors on the show — who grew up before the eyes of America — had nothing to do with Cosby’s crimes. With that in mind, it’s worth celebrating and remembering their work while catching up. From various follow-up successes to sadder second acts, here’s what happened to those young Huxtables.

Sabrina Le Beauf (Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux)

Although the character’s existence wasn’t acknowledged until midway through Season 1 (Clair even said in the pilot they had four children), and the role was almost given to Whitney Houston, Sabrina Le Beauf was able to snag a chance at stardom as Sondra, eldest child of Clair and Cliff Huxtable. Sondra’s arc on the show began with her as a young college student, then evolved into having a family of her own, as well as an impressive law career.

Le Beauf was an academic both on and off screen, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from UCLA and an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama. Although “The Cosby Show” was intended to kickstart her career, her primary passion was the theatre. Le Beauf expressed that she actually felt stifled by the television industry, and disillusioned with the fact that the role for which she was best known was not one where she felt her talents truly shined.

Following the series, Le Beauf did continue to do some work in television, appearing in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reuniting with the Cosby clan as a voice actor on Bill Cosby’s 2004 – 2005 animated series “Fatherhood.” Ultimately, she would launch a career in interior design in the late 1990s, and embrace her true passion for performing primarily in stage productions. On X (the site formerly known as Twitter), she recently contemplated turning 65, describing herself as an “Actor, Interior Decorator, Innkeeper, Former Cosby Kid and student of life.”

Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Theodore Aloysius Theo Huxtable)

Malcolm-Jamal Warner provided plenty of comedic relief on “The Cosby Show” as Theo Huxtable, embodying the overly confident foolhardiness of youth as the charismatic only son of Clair and Cliff Huxtable. His chemistry with Bill Cosby was lightning in a bottle, and the series provided a start for him not only as an actor but later as a director: at the age of 18, he stepped behind the camera to lead the show both on and off-screen. This was quite a notable accomplishment, earning him the distinction at the time of being the youngest member of the Director’s Guild of America.

Although the Jersey-born actor, named after Malcolm X, would never again front a massive hit like “Cosby,” he has worked steadily in the decades since on both sides of the camera. Warner earned directing credits on series like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Kenan and Kel,” and most recently 2022’s “The Resident”; could be seen in shows like “Dexter, “Community” and “Sons of Anarchy”; and headlined the 1996 – 2000 series “Malcolm and Eddie” for just under 100 episodes. Warner has also worked as a musician and poet, releasing four albums. His most recent one, 2022’s “Hiding in Plain View,” further tapped into the “Cosby Show”-esque theme of raising Black children to excel.

Warner recently looked back on his career for “People” magazine’s Black History Month special, recalling his “Cosby” years with fondness and expressing that the bonds he made with the cast and crew still hold strong today.

Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa Huxtable)

Remembered by “Cosby Show” fans as the level-headed yet lively Vanessa Huxtable, Tempestt Bledsoe had — like her character — other aspirations even though the series proved to be a huge career break for her. She wanted to ensure she could cultivate other skills and alternate career paths, so while acting on “The Cosby Show,” she earned a finance degree from NYU.

It turns out that she didn’t necessarily need the backup option, as she did continue to find success in the industry after the series. Since “Cosby” went off the air in 1992, there have been very few years where she hasn’t added at least one new credit to her resume. From “The Practice” to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to “The Replacements,” she has kept busy, perhaps never more than when she hosted “The Tempestt Bledsoe Show” in 1995 and 1996. Bledsoe later took over for Niecy Nash as the host of the unscripted interior design show “Clean House,” and also appeared in the reality TV series “Househusbands of Hollywood,” offering viewers an inside look at her personal life and romantic relationships.

In addition to talk shows and reality television, Bledsoe voiced a character in the stop-motion animation film “ParaNorman.” More recently on “Guys With Kids,” she helped mirror her time on “The Cosby Show” by offering audiences an endearingly relatable depiction of life in a Black family.

Lisa Bonet (Denise Huxtable)

Lisa Bonet’s first major role in Hollywood was the rebellious teen daughter and stylish it-girl Denise Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.” The former child commercial actor courted much controversy during the early “Cosby” seasons, pushing back against the show’s wholesome image by appearing in racy films like 1987’s “Angel Heart” and eloping with rock star Lenny Kravitz in 1987 on her 20th birthday. The two would have a daughter together, Zoë Kravitz, who would go on to become a star herself of TV (“Big Little Lies”) and film (“The Batman”).

It was around this time that “The Cosby Show” spun off Bonet’s character with “A Different World,” a second hit for the Cosby empire. Oddly, the series about Denise’s collegiate years would lose Bonet after only one season — in real life, she had become pregnant with Zoë; nevertheless, “Different World” had strong enough secondary characters to survive and last six seasons.

In the ensuing decades, Bonet was a welcome if sporadic presence in pop culture. High points included the films “High Fidelity” and “Biker Boyz,” as well as the American version of the television series “Life on Mars.” Following her 1993 divorce from Kravitz, Bonet became perhaps most notable for being the paramour of up-and-coming Hollywood star Jason Momoa. They began a relationship in 2005, married in 2017, and had two children together. They also starred opposite each other in the 2014 film “Road to Paloma” (written and directed by Momoa), but announced their separation in 2022.

Raven-Symoné (Olivia Kendall)

Arguably the most high-profile “Cosby” kid since the series concluded, Raven-Symoné began modeling as an infant and auditioned for Bill Cosby’s “Ghost Dad” at age three, impressing the comedian. Shortly thereafter, she joined the cast of “The Cosby Show” as Denise’s stepdaughter Olivia, stealing scenes and delighting audiences throughout the show’s final three seasons. When “The Cosby Show” wrapped up in 1992, it took barely a year for Raven-Symoné to land the well-remembered sitcom “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” where she stayed for four seasons and 79 episodes. Around the same time, she also appeared in family film updates “The Little Rascals” and “Doctor Dolittle.”

Raven-Symoné put out her first record at the age of seven, eventually building a discography that would encompass four studio albums. Her greatest success, however, may be as the star of the 2003 – 2007 Disney Channel series “That’s So Raven,” which would help earn her a spot on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Child Stars of All Time.” She was also a high-profile co-host of “The View” from 2015 – 2016.

Symoné has been very public about struggling in her early years with body shaming and physical insecurity, as well as remaining closeted for a long time because she was worried her queer identity would negatively impact her brand. Today she’s out and proud, has a podcast with her wife Miranda Maday, and has revisited the role of Raven Baxter several times, including “Raven’s Home,” the 2017 – 2023 series that earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination.

Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable)

It’s hard to have any discussion of the cutest ’80s sitcom kids without including the wise-beyond-her-years Rudy, played to Emmy-nominated perfection by this eventual Spelman College grad. Keshia Knight Pulliam — one of the youngest Emmy nominees ever at age six — appealed to the softer side of “The Cosby Show” audiences with her endearing role as the youngest child of the Huxtable clan.

While the role made her a household name, she felt she needed to take a break from acting following the series. Pulliam stepped away from Hollywood in an effort to have a normal childhood, going through middle and high school without any further on-screen appearances. After earning her college degree, Pulliam made a return to the industry in the 2000s with roles in a number of Lifetime movies, as well as appearances in television series like “Guys With Kids,” “The Waiting Room,” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” which would earn her a 2009 NAACP Image Award.

Today, Pulliam has her own podcast, “Kandidly Keshia,” where she discusses the intimacies of life, love and happiness, and even reunited with “Cosby” costar Deon Richmond for an episode. In addition to actress and podcaster, Pulliam can proudly count herself the winner of the celebrity editions of the TV game shows “Weakest Link” and “Fear Factor.”

Deon Richmond (Bud)

Lower your voice and say “Bud” that certain way to any “Cosby Show” fan, and they’ll immediately be flooded with the image of young Deon Richmond, who joined the cast straight out of pre-school to play Rudy’s childhood friend. Bud would grow up alongside the Huxtable kids across some 32 episodes and six seasons of the series.

Richmond found life beyond Bud with roles in Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” and series like “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” and “Sister, Sister.” On the big screen, he could be seen in turn-of-the-century hits big and small, including “Scream 3,” “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder” and Adam Green’s “Hatchet.”

Not only did “The Cosby Show” give Richmond his start, but it continued to work wonders for him decades later. In 2014, he was asked to guest star in the series finale of the mystery series “Psych,” the payoff for a running joke that series star Dulé Hill looked like a grown-up version of Bud. More recently, Richmond could be spotted in the 2022 Lifetime film “Cloudy With a Chance of Christmas” and the 2023 horror flick “Bad Connection.” In addition to acting, Richmond is also an entrepreneur, owning his own home solar energy company.

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