Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
The Cosby Show
Currently Known For:
August 1, 1973
The Cosby Show
Not everyone can say that they grew up on camera and turned out to have a fairly normal life, but Tempestt Bledsoe is one of the child actor success stories that you’ll find.
Bledsoe, who interestingly enough is related to former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe, found success on screen before anybody knew who her footballing cousin was. That’s because in 1984, Bledsoe was cast in the role of Vanessa Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”, a role which she would play throughout the entire series.
“The Cosby Show” would be highly successful during its run, lasting for eight seasons and just more than 200 episodes. Bledsoe received a lot of praise for her role, and spent all of her teenage years while still on the series. It was a lot of exposure for the young Bledsoe while growing up, as “The Cosby Show” was one of the 20 highest watched shows for all of the seasons that it was on the air.
Even while “The Cosby Show” was still on the air, Bledsoe was focusing on her education. Bledsoe would attend New York University while filming and would earn a degree in finance from the Stern School of Business from the university. “I never intended to stop (acting),” she said. “I really wanted to just experience something different that was going to eb of real use to me and take me into a whole other realm.”
Once “The Cosby Show” came to an end, Bledsoe would indeed take a few years away from acting, as she wouldn’t appear in any scripted television shows from the show’s finale in 1992 until making a guest appearance in 1997 on the show “Jenny”. Bledsoe had mainly been focused on becoming an aspiring journalist as she stared a daytime talk show in 1995 that lasted for a year. “The Tempestt Bledsoe Show” was set out to get a young audience watching daytime talk shows, though it wouldn’t land with audiences. Bledsoe would have a recurring character on “The Practice” in 1998, and continued to make guest appearances on TV shows and starring in TV movies for the next decade.
Bledsoe’s next recurring role would come in 2006 as Cecily on “South of Nowhere”. She would then follow that up with voice acting work, appearing in both the show “The Replacements” and then on the movie “ParaNorman”. In 2012, people got to see Bledsoe in a starring role on television for the first time in 20 years when she played Marny on the sitcom “Guys with Kids”. However, the series would last just one season and 17 total episodes on NBC before being cancelled. Also in recent years, Bledsoe has been making the rounds on reality television as she appeared in shows such as “Celebrity Fit Club” and “Clean House”.
While the man who played her father would end up making the news for his criminal acts that came to light, Bledsoe would still make appearances with him on television with the actor. Before the court case, Bledsoe said that “Dr. Cosby and I are still very close. (He taught me) the power of example rather than just the words you speak. A lot of people say a lot of things, but what they do is different.”
She added that “What he says has always coincided with what he does. He was always an incredible example of professionalism, and I will always adore him.” Since the case, Bledsoe hasn’t commented on Cosby, choosing to stay out of the limelight in regards to the situation.
Currently, Bledsoe is married to actor Darryl M. Bell who starred in the “Cosby Show” spin-off called “A Different World” that also starred Lisa Bonet. The two have been together since back in 1993, and have been featured on reality television when they were on “Househusbands of Hollywood” in 2009 that aired on Fox Reality Channel. However, the two are not yet married. “We’re not married and we don’t have kids, so we didn’t necessarily fit the mold of the show at all,” Bell said. “But I think what they wanted was to focus on the love and respect we have for each other as a couple.”
The 44 year old isn’t finished with acting, but it has been a few years since we’ve seen her on television. Bledsoe last appeared in the series “Instant Mom” for a cameo in 2014, though it would be the last time that she was on TV since “Guys with Kids” came to an end. For now, she’s been able to enjoy a successful career and can look back on what made her famous. “‘The Cosby Show’ changed America’s opinion on so many different topics and opened so many people’s eyes and, so, you really learned immediately the power of what you were doing,” she said.
“That there was a power in portraying a role and you were made aware of the effect that it could have on people so it does raise the bar.”