What Happened To Vanessa Huxtable From The Cosby Show?

Everyone who watched The Cosby Show in its original run from 1984-1992 (via IMDb), and in syndication in the years after, had their favorite member of the Huxtable clan. Each had their own appeal, but a lot of kids related to the second youngest Huxtable, Vanessa. Tempestt Bledsoe was just 11 years old when she scored the role she'd become best known for. She had no idea then how big the show would become.

"The thing about the industry I'm in is that it makes you grow up really fast," she told the Chicago Tribune in 1989. "You are confronted with a lot of adult issues very quickly. It's just a different kind of society that you circulate in."

Indeed, Bledsoe grew up before viewers' eyes. She played an important role on a show that meant so much to so many people, and it's without a doubt part of her legacy today. In an interview with The Root, Shonda Rhimes talked about how she felt about Vanessa's character and Bledsoe's portrayal. "Vanessa Huxtable was not always perfectly pressed," she noted. "It was not always well-done; sometimes it's sticking out a little bit, [and] it felt real. And then you had the sisters who had much more perfect [hair] — Rudy had her little braids. But Vanessa felt like me. That was exciting to see — watching television, that image was good — to see somebody who you related to, who looked like you."

Tempestt found love during her time on 'The Cosby Show'

In 1993, the year after The Cosby Show wrapped up, Bledsoe began seeing fellow actor Darryl M. Bell. Bell is best known for his role as Ron Johnson on the Cosby Show spin-off, A Different World (per IMDb). The two met when Bledsoe made a guest appearance on the series five years prior. They've been together ever since, although they chose to never marry.

"I think we are very compatible. I think that is really the heart of it. People ask us what it is. I think a lot of couples find themselves together and find out that they are not really a good match. And laughter is also very important," she said (per BDO). The couple gave reality TV a go in 2009 when they appeared on House Husbands of Hollywood. They filmed nine episodes of the show and were one of the only unmarried couples to appear.

That wasn't Bledsoe's only reality TV gig that year, either. She appeared on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. She told People she lost 19 lbs. on the show and kept it off by maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle. "For me, what works best is to try to eat healthy and not worry about the scale," she remarked.

Tempestt has even reunited with one of her 'Cosby' siblings on-screen

In 2013, Cosby fans were in for a treat with news that Bledsoe would reunite with her on-screen sister, Keisha Knight Pulliam. Pulliam played the youngest Cosby sibling, Rudy, on the beloved sitcom. The two portrayed sisters again in a single episode of Guys With Kids (per IMDb). Bledsoe played Marny on the series. Pulliam guest-starred as Marny's spoiled sister, Bridget. It was a thrill for Bledsoe.

"I grew up with Keshia. She's like my sister, so we immediately clicked again," Bledsoe told TV Guide. "When producers decided to cast the role they asked me how I'd feel about having Keshia and I said, 'Absolutely!' I think they're fantasizing about having all of The Cosby Show cast pop up."

The two were reunited again in 2018 in the Lifetime holiday movie Jingle Belle, and they again played sisters, just not each other's sister. Pulliam played the main character Ali's sister, Tori, while Bledsoe filled the role of Jackie, sister of Michael, Ali's love interest.

Tempestt continues to enjoy a low-key life and great successes

Tempestt Bledsoe has always stayed busy in her career. She has enjoyed success in voice acting, lending her talents to 2012's ParaNorman and the animated series The Replacements (according to Behind The Voice Actors). Most recently, Bledsoe appeared in the Netflix series Family Reunion in 2019, as per TV Guide.

Bledsoe has never tried to run from her association with The Cosby Show. She embraced what the role did for her life and her career, despite the fact some other actors have distanced themselves from the series because of Bill Cosby's arrest and the accusations against him. She has never spoken out for or against Cosby.

It may be easier for her to embrace her role on the show than most. She didn't suffer the type-casting other actors on the show did. Furthermore, she continues to enjoy the financial success of the show today, with an estimated net worth of $13 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.