What The Cosby Show Kids Look Like Today

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

Geoffrey Owens (Elvin Tibideaux)

Geoffrey Owens played Elvin Tibideaux, the dutiful boyfriend of Sondra Huxtable. Despite his occasionally misguided behavior, the Huxtables accepted Elvin into the family, and he eventually tied the knot with Sondra. After his successful run on "The Cosby Show," Owens continued working. He nabbed guest roles on numerous television series, including "Boston Legal" and "The Blacklist" — however, minor roles didn't cut it financially for the actor. In 2018, Owens was spotted working at a Trader Joe's in Clifton, New Jersey. "I'd been teaching, acting, directing for 30+ years, but it got to a point where it just didn't add up enough," Owens told Good Morning America.

Despite being bullied by some media outlets, the actor maintained that he wasn't ashamed of working at the grocery store chain. "That's going to pass," Owens stated. "But I hope what doesn't pass is this idea ... this rethinking about what it means to work, the honor of the working person and the dignity of work." Owens was deeply moved by the support he received from fans and fellow actors.

These days, Owens shares the spotlight with his son, Jordyn Owens. In 2022, the proud dad strolled the red carpet for the premiere of Netflix's "Uncoupled," which was Jordyn's breakout acting role. "I'm beyond words proud," Geoffrey told Page Six. "I'm speechless." We hope to see more of this father-son duo in the future!

Raven-Symoné (Olivia Kendall)

Raven-Symoné made her "Cosby Show" debut at just 3 years old. The spirited tot played the role of Olivia Kendall, stepdaughter to Denise Huxtable. "The Cosby Show" launched her to stardom, and she quickly turned her fame into an all-out enterprise. At age 7, Raven-Symoné dropped her first record, "Here's to New Dreams." By 2008, the actor-turned-musician had four studio albums under her belt. 

Despite her success, Raven-Symoné struggled to cope with the impossible expectations of child stardom — including the constant scrutinization of her weight. In a 2015 episode of "The View," the actor revealed that she was body-shamed behind the scenes of "The Cosby Show." She recalled: "And I remember people would be like, 'You can't eat that. You're getting fat!' I'm like, 'I'm 7! I'm hungry!'" (via Redbook). On her podcast, Raven-Symoné admitted that the pressure drove her to get two cosmetic surgeries as a teenager. 

These days, Raven-Symoné seems to be living her best life. After "The Cosby Show," her stellar comedy chops found a new home on the Disney Channel. She played the titular character in "That's So Raven" from 2003-2007 and "Raven's Home," which premiered in 2017. In 2020, the television star married her sweetheart, Miranda Maday. "I got married to a woman who understands me from trigger to joy, from breakfast to midnight snack, from stage to home," she gushed about her wife in an Instagram post (via Today). The spouses host a podcast together called "The Best Podcast Ever."

Carl Anthony Payne II (Walter Bradley)

Carl Anthony Payne II portrayed Walter Bradley, better known as "Cockroach," and appeared in 12 episodes of "The Cosby Show." Cockroach was Theo Huxtable's trusty best friend — however, Payne's real-life relationship with Malcolm-Jamal Warner was anything but cordial. "We just really never got along back then," Warner revealed to BestLife in 2023. According to the actor, their rivalry started when Warner was cast as Theo Huxtable. "The original callbacks for 'Cosby,' they flew in an actor from Chicago and flew in an actor from New York," Warner dished. "Carl was the actor they flew in from New York. So, had I not auditioned for the show, Carl would have played Theo."

Payne's big moment came in 1992 when he starred in the hit series "Martin." Later, the actor played leading roles in "Rock Me, Baby" and Tyler Perry's "Young Dylan." In 2022, Payne joined his former co-stars for a "Martin" reunion, which aired on BET. "It was definitely a reunion; it was a family reunion of sorts," the star told Chicago Today. "The first time we were all in the same space in 30 years, so it was very surreal."

As for his feud with Warner? It's water under the bridge, according to his fellow "Cosby" cast mate. "We're cooler as adults than we were during the time," Warner told BestLife. "As adults, we've been able to sit down and have conversations and we're in a very cool, grown-man place now."

Deon Richmond (Kenny/Bud)

Deon Richmond had barely graduated preschool when he snagged the role of Kenny, also known as "Bud." Little Bud was the childhood pal of Rudy Huxtable. Fans adored the character for his mischievous ways and delightfully innocent moments. Despite playing a minor character on "The Cosby Show," Richmond's acting prowess was anything but small-scale. He clearly showed signs of star power, so it's no surprise that his post-Cosby career involved several more iconic roles. 

In 1997, Richmond joined the cast of "Sister, Sister." He also pivoted to film, appearing in early aughts classics like "Scream 3," "Not Another Teen Movie," and "National Lampoon's Van Wilder." Although he's no longer making teen movies, Richmond's onscreen career is still thriving. In 2022, Richmond appeared in Lifetime's "Cloudy With a Chance of Christmas." He also starred in the 2023 horror flick, "Bad Connection." These days, Richmond shares personal and professional life updates via his Instagram account.

In 2014, Richmond got an unexpected boost from the hit TV series, "Psych." On the show, Gus (played by Dulé Hill) was said to look like a grown-up version of Bud. "There's been a runner throughout 'Psych' that maybe Gus played Bud on 'The Cosby Show' as a child, and Deon Richmond is the real Bud," "Psych" star James Roday Rodriguez shared with Entertainment Weekly. As an ode to the cross-series plot detail, producers brought Richmond on as a guest star in the series finale of "Psych."