Thursday, July 14, 2011

Throwback: Where are the Huxtables?

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

With ABCFamily's State of Georgia as the newest thing on Wednesday nights, and the fact that A Different World is airing on weekday afternoons over on BET, I've been thinking about the actors from The Cosby Show. Some of them have been on the news in the past year, but others I haven't heard about... well... since they were Huxtables! So, I thought I would do a throwback of sorts today by looking at the actors from The Cosby Show and filling you in on what they've been up to since the show ended in 1992.

Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby):  After The Cosby Show (which came after Fat Albert, by the way), he did The Cosby Mysteries and Cosby, plus a few TV movies. He hasn't been incredibly active on-screen over the past ten years, and he did turn 74 just a few days ago. However, he is now up to ten published books. In 2002 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 2003 he received the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award. Oh, and if you didn't know, his doctorate is real. He has a bunch of honorary degrees, but he did complete coursework and dissertation at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1976.

Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad):  She's done a bunch of TV movies, plus a few small roles on television series. She starred as Bill Cosby's wife for another 4 years, in Cosby. Most notable is her 2004 Tony win for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, as she was the first African-American to receive that honor. Four years later, she resumed that role in the film of A Raisin in the Sun. Her theatrical work also brought her to Broadway five other times since The Cosby Show, and she has even tried her hand at directing for the stage in 2007, with August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean for Seattle Rep.

Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux (Sabrina Le Beauf):
  Her best-known work post-Cosby Show is voicing Norma Bindlebeep on Fatherhood. Le Beauf has her own interior design business and frequently works with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. She's also done performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference.

Denise Huxtable Kendall (Lisa Bonet):  It's commonly known that Bonet did A Different World in the middle of her Cosby Show appearances. She's acted in a handful of movies, including Enemy of the State and High Fidelity, and played a detective on Life on Mars for six episodes just a couple years ago.

Theo Huxtable (Malcolm-Jamal Warner):  Immediately following his success with The Cosby Show, Warner played AJ in the show Here and Now. He voiced The Producer in 43 episodes of The Magic School Bus, starred as Malcolm in Malcolm & Eddie for four years, was Kurdy in Jeremiah, played Bernie in Listen Up, and has recently done a few episodes as Andre in Community. Warner has also done a bunch of movies, both for-tv and wide releases. He also has done some directing (starting with five episodes of The Cosby Show), and is a performance poet. Pretty impressive for a relatively unknown guy pre-Cosby

Vanessa Huxtable (Tempestt Bledsoe):  Bledsoe didn't appear in anything immediately after finishing The Cosby Show, and has done mainly one-time appearances on television episodes and several tv-movies. She did have her own talk show for the 1995-1996 season, but it didn't last due to lack of viewership. In 2008, she began doing voicework on The Replacements, which she continued for 21 episodes. 

Rudy Huxtable (Keisha Knight Pulliam):  Pulliam also didn't do on-screen work immediately following The Cosby Show, choosing to finish high school and go to Spelman College, where she graduated in 2001. She has since starred in several films, including Beauty Shop and Madea Goes to Jail. She's currently on House of Payne as Miranda, a character that she has been playing since 2007.

Grandpa Russell Huxtable (Earle Hyman):
  Now 84 years old, Hyman has had a few small roles on television series such as All My Children and Twice in a Lifetime, and has done a couple tv-movies, including Hijacked: Flight 285 and The Moving of Sophia Myles. Hyman also acted for the stage prior to and during his Cosby years, with his final Broadway production being The Master Builder in 1992.

Grandma Anna Huxtable (Clarice Taylor):  Taylor passed away in May, at the age of 93. When The Cosby Show ended, she was already in her mid-70s, so it's not too surprising that her work afterward is a short list. (Not everyone is Betty White!) Post-Cosby, she appeared in the films Sommersby and Smoke, and did an episode of Due South in 1995.

Elvin Tibideaux (Geoffrey Owens):  Owens has been around, playing Robert Watkins in Built to Last in the late 90s, and having small roles on series like Law & Order (both the original and Special Victims Unit), That's So Raven, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Boston Legal, Las Vegas, Medium, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, Without a Trace, FlashForward, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. He has also done several films.

Nelson Tibideaux (Gary LeRoi Gray as preschooler Nelson): Gray grew up to do a lot of acting. He did a few episodes of Living Single, played Little G on Family Matters, spent 7 episodes as Bobby on The Weird Al Show, and appeared on Party of Five, 7th Heaven, Even Stevens, and Rocket Power. He also played young Tiger Woods in a tv movie, voiced AJ in The Fairly OddParents, and has recently done small roles on House and CSI:Miami. He's also currently attending UCLA. Jessica Ann Vaughn, who played his twin sister, preschooler Winnie Tibideaux, did not go on to do any other on-screen work. 

Martin Kendall (Joseph C. Phillips): 
Another busy actor, Phillips did small roles on Martin, Living Single, General Hospital, Any Day Now, City of Angels, Popular, The Parkers, The King of Queens, and Judging Amy before landing more regular roles on The District, Vanished, and Without a Trace. He's also been in several tv movies and a couple wide-release films, and most recently did two episodes of The Event in 2010. Off-screen he has written an autobiography and writes a weekly syndicated column promoting conservative viewpoints. 

Olivia Kendall (Raven-Symone):  I might argue that, along with Malcolm-Jamal Warner, she has had the steadiest work after The Cosby Show. She immediately transitioned to playing Nicole on Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, doing Little Rascals during the run of that show. Then, she did Doctor Doolittle (and the sequel), two of the Zenon tv movies, The Cheetah Girls, and some voicework. She appeared on many other Disney Channel shows and movies as well, including Kim Possible, Disney 411, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, That's So Raven, and Sonny with a Chance. She's also released four record albums and a fifth is in the works. She's continued with her voicework as well, and is currently providing the voice of Iridessa in the Tinker Bell films. Her newest venture is State of Georgia, which began airing only a few weeks ago. [post about Raven-Symone's thoughts on the show]

Kenny/Bud (Deon Richmond):
  Shortly after the end of The Cosby Show, Richmond played Darren Dixon on Getting By before several years of small roles here and there. He was a regular on Sister, Sister, playing Jordan for 20 episodes in the late 90s. After that, he did a few movies, including Scream 3, Not Another Teen Movie, and Van Wilder. In 2006 he played Calvin on Teachers, and has mostly done largely unknown works since then.

Pam Tucker (Erika Alexander):
She played Cheryl on Going to the Extremes just after The Cosby Show, then Maxine on Living Single. She's also done a recurring role on Judging Amy, a regular role on Street Time, and several episodes of In Plain Sight. She has a long list of one-time appearances as well, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 7th Heaven, ER, CSI, Numb3rs, CSI:Miami, Criminal Minds, and House.
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