See the Cast of ‘The Cosby Show’ Then and Now
To say ‘The Cosby Show’ was a hit would be an understatement. It dominated ratings during its run between 1984 and 1992 and laid the groundwork for other sitcoms based on the acts of comedians, such as ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Home Improvement’ and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’
While the cast of ‘The Cosby Show’ never quite duplicated the success they had in the Huxtable house, they’ve all gone on to have successful careers. Check out what the Huxtable clan is up to these days.
Bill Cosby, Dr. Heathcliff ‘Cliff’ Huxtable
Then: Bill Cosby became America’s dad as sweater-wearing obstetrician Cliff Huxtable. Originally an educator and comedian, Cosby had already tasted TV success on ‘I Spy’ and ‘The Bill Cosby Show’ and as the brains (and many of the voices) behind the educational Saturday morning cartoon ‘Fat Albert.’ During his ‘Cosby Show’ run he also starred in the movies ‘Ghost Dad’ and ‘Leonard Part 6,’ proving his magic touch did not extend to the big screen.
Now: In 2012, Cosby brought back ‘Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids’ for seven new episodes. The long-time pudding spokesman also recently hosted the kid’s oriented web interview series OBKB, which was sponsored by Jell-O.
Phylicia Rashad, Clair Huxtable
Then: Phylicia Rashad was Bill’s comedic foil as Clair Huxtable, lawyer and Huxtable family mom. Rashad came from a theatrical background and her biggest TV role prior to ’The Cosby Show’ was on the soap ’One Life To Live.’
Now: Rashad currently plays Dr. Vanessa Young on the medical drama ‘Do No Harm’ and has returned to the theater on numerous occasions. During the 2011 NAACP Image Awards, Rashad was named “Mother” of the African American community, largely for her role on ‘The Cosby Show.’
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Theodore ‘Theo’ Huxtable
Then: Who could forget Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Huxtable son Theo, who always had a big heart but didn’t always do the right thing? Warner followed up ‘The Cosby Show’ with a nice run as one of the title characters in the sitcom ‘Malcolm & Eddie.’
Now: Warner was last seen on ‘Community’ as recurring character Andre Bennett and on the BET series ‘Reed Between the Lines.’ The 42-year-old is dating fellow ’80s tv star Regina King (‘227′).
Keshia Knight Pulliam, Rudy Huxtable
Then: Knight Pulliam was the youngest Huxtable daughter, Rudy, on ‘The Cosby Show.’ Five-years-old when the show began, Pulliam scored her first screen credit at age three on ‘Sesame Street.’
Now: Knight Pulliam played Miranda between 2007 and 2012 on the Tyler Perry sitcom ‘House of Payne.’ She was also one of the stars of the Perry movie ‘Madea Goes To Jail.’ She’s also not afraid of showing off a little skin these days. Oh, Rudy!!
Tempestt Bledsoe, Vanessa Huxtable
Then: The role of studious fourth Huxtable child Vanessa went to Tempestt Bledsoe. Following ‘The Cosby Show,’ Bledsoe tried to go the Oprah route with the daytime gabfest ‘The Tempesstt Bledsoe Show.’ However it only lasted one season and her career slowed in its wake.
Now: Bledsoe recently snagged her biggest role since ‘The Cosby Show’ as series regular Marny on ‘Guys With Kids.’ Prior to that she had been mostly known for her appearances on the reality shows like ‘Househusbands of Hollywood’ and ‘Celebrity Fit Club.’
Lisa Bonet, Denise Huxtable
Then: Lisa Bonet played free-spirited second daughter Denise on ’The Cosby Show.’ When her character wen off to the fictional Hillman college, the spinoff ‘A Different World’ was born. In 1987, Bonet starred in the sexually explicit movie ‘Angel Heart,’ which is said to have angered Bill Cosby and may have played a role in her getting fired from ‘The Cosby Show’ in 1991.
Now: Bonet’s last TV role was as Detective Maya Daniels on ‘Life On Mar.’ (You may also remember her turn as a singer John Cusack crushes on in ‘High Fidelity.’) Later this year she will make her return to the big screen after a seven year absences in ‘Road To Paloma,’ which was written and directed by her husband, actor Jason Momoa. Bonet’s daughter from her first marriage to singer Lenny Kravitz is the actress Zoe Kravitz (‘X-Men: First Class’).
Raven-Symoné, Olivia Kendall
Then: When the Huxtable kids started noticeably growing up, the show began to face a cuteness deficit. So in its six season, Raven-Symone was introduced as Denise’s three-year-old stepdaughter, who had plenty of cute to spare. When ‘The Cosby Show’ ended, Raven-Symone jumped right to ‘Hanging With Mr. Cooper’ and eventually got the first name treatment on the Nickelodeon show ‘That’s So Raven.’
Now: Raven-Symone spent most of 2012 starring in the Broadway musical ‘Sister Act.’ She was also the voice of Iridessa in the 2012 Disney video ‘Secret of The Wings.’
Sabrina Le Beauf, Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux
Then: Sabrina Le Beauf’s Sondra was the eldest Huxtable child, although she wasn’t introduced until midway through the first season. There was initial reluctance to give Le Beauf the role because she was only 10 years younger than Phylicia Rashad, who would be playing her mother.
Now: The bulk of Le Beauf’s post-’Cosby’s screen career was a starring role on the Bill Cosby animated series ‘Fatherhood,’ which lasted from 2004-2005. These days she is theatrical actress who often stars in productions at the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington DC.
Geoffrey Owens, Elvin Tibideaux
Then: Geoffrey Owens played Elvin Tibideaux, Sondra’s boyfriend-turned-hubby who often butted heads with Claire. It was his screen debut. In 1994 he played a supporting role in the Ron Howard movie ‘The Paper.’
Now: These days Owens is an acting teacher who will occasionally pop up on shows like ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and ‘The Secret Life of An American Teenager.’ He is the son of former United States Congressman Major Owens.