Keshia Knight Pulliam

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Keshia Knight Pulliam
Born(1979-04-09) April 9, 1979 (age 34)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1982–present
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Keshia Knight Pulliam
Born(1979-04-09) April 9, 1979 (age 34)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active1982–present

Keshia Knight Pulliam (born April 9, 1979) is an American actress. She is best known for her childhood role as Rudy Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show and as reformed con artist Miranda Lucas-Payne on the TBS comedy-drama Tyler Perry's House of Payne.

Personal life[edit]

Keshia Knight Pulliam was born in Newark, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Denise and James Pulliam, Sr., a manager.[1] She has three younger brothers.

Pulliam attended Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. After The Cosby Show ended her family moved to Virginia, where Pulliam attended the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia and Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She received a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from Spelman College in 2001.[citation needed] She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.[citation needed]


Pulliam became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy at age six for best supporting actress. Even before that – at age three – she played "Keshia" on Sesame Street. She also played in the movie "Polly" with Phylicia Rashad. Her character on The Cosby Show, "Rudy", was known for being the "baby" of the family. She is ranked at 19 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars". In a 2008 interview, she revealed that when she read for the role of Rudy, when she was only five, she kept looking away from the director (Jay Sandrich), who finally asked her what she was looking at. She said when pointing to a monitor, "How can you make me on the TV?"[2] Throughout the show's eight seasons, Pulliam had an on-and-off-screen chemistry with Bill Cosby, as the two shared their own friendship when not filming. For example, she related how "Mr. Cosby and I, we had a competition going on to see who would do a better job at lip-syncing. That was our little inside thing. I think I did a better job." She also appeared on a 1997 episode of Bill Cosby's follow-up sitcom Cosby, playing a guitar-player. She has remained friendly with Cosby.

Pulliam won a celebrity version of Fear Factor in September 2002. She also won a celebrity version of The Weakest Link, and participated in Celebrity Mole 2: Yucatan. In 2004, she performed in Chingy's music video for "One Call Away". In 2005, she played Darnelle in Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah.

Pulliam performed in Donald Gray's play The Man of Her Dreams in the fall of 2006 in St. Louis.[3] In 2008, she joined the cast of Tyler Perry's House of Payne as Miranda, the new wife of Calvin Payne. The role earned her the 2009 and 2010 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

In 2009, she portrayed "Candy" in the film Madea Goes To Jail.[4]

Pulliam appeared in Tank's 2010 music video for his cover of "I Can't Make You Love Me", playing his love interest.

In 2011, commenting on the fact that only white actors had won Golden Globe Awards that year, she said:

I think that there is definitely work to be done. It can always be more diverse. We live in a very multicultural and global society. More needs to be done to increase the representation of all people and really show the world for what it is. It’s not just one color.[5]

In 2013, she was a contestant on the ABC celebrity diving show Splash. She was first to be eliminated.



1985Last Dragon, TheThe Last DragonSophia
2005Beauty ShopDarnelle
2005Gospel, TheThe GospelMaya Walker
2008Cuttin Da MustardWendy
2008Death TollMirie
2009Madea Goes to JailCandace Washington


1984–92Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby ShowRudy HuxtableMain role (177 episodes)
1985Back to Next SaturdayRudy HuxtableMovie
1987Little Match Girl, TheThe Little Match GirlMollyMovie
1987–88Different World, AA Different WorldRudy Huxtable3 episodes
1989Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, AA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtKarenMovie
1990Polly: Comin' Home!PollyMovie
1997CosbyGuitaristEpisode: "The Return of Charlites"
2002What About Your Friends: Weekend GetawayTempleMovie
2004Christmas at Water's EdgeLeila TurnerMovie
2007–12Tyler Perry's House of PayneMiranda Lucas PayneMain role (56 episodes)
2010PsychStranjayEpisode: "The Polarizing Express"
2012Mr. Box OfficeVanessa OwensEpisode: "Pilot"
2013SplashHerselfReality series; eliminated in episode 1
2013Guys with KidsBridgetEpisode: "Divorce Party"
2013Love Letter, TheThe Love LetterParkerMovie

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Keshia Knight Pulliam Biography (1979-)". April 9, 1979. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Rudy from "The Cosby Show" is all grown up | People, Celebrities, Actresses & Profiles Of Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Women In Movies, TV Shows & Music". April 23, 2008. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Real Talk with Jeanne Roberts EP 107 Segment 1, Keshia Knight Pulliam". YouTube. Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Keshia Knight Pulliam: The Madea Goes to Jail Interview with Kam Williams Kam
  5. ^ A.R. Shaw (February 16, 2011). "The Evolution of Keshia Knight Pulliam". Retrieved February 24, 2011. 

External links[edit]