The Cosby Show Wiki
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Keisha Knight Pulliam appeared on the series as Rudy Huxtable, youngest child of Cliff and Clair Huxtable.
Vital Information
Born: (1979-04-09) April 9, 1979 (age 42)
Place of birth: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Family/Career Information
Years active: 1982–present
Character/series information
Appeared on
/involved with:
The Cosby Show
Character played Rudy Huxtable

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

Keshia as Rudy

Personal life[]

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.

Keisha 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. Pulliam is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, initiated through the Eta Kappa chapter. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.


Keisha became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy Award 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 Pollyanna with Phylicia Rashād. 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 CBS-TV's Cosby, playing a guitar-player. She has remained friendly with Cosby.

Pulliam won a celebrity version of NBC-TV's 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]


  • Madea Goes to Jail (2009) – Candace "Candy" Washington
  • Cuttin' Da Mustard (2008) – Wendy
  • Death Toll (2008) – Mirie
  • The Gospel (2005) – Maya Walker
  • Beauty Shop (2005) – Darnelle
  • Motives (film)|Motives (2004) – Letrice
  • the Little Match Girl (1987) – Molly
  • The Last Dragon (1985) – Sophie Green


  • The Cosby Show (1984–1992) as Rudy Huxtable
  • Back to Next Saturday (1985) as Rudy Huxtable
  • A Different World (1987–1988) as Rudy Huxtable
  • The Little Match Girl (1987) as Molly
  • Polly (1989) as Polly
  • A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (1989) as Karen
  • Polly: Comin' Home (1991) as Polly
  • Cosby (1997) as Guitarist
  • What About Your Friends: Weekend Getaway (2002) as Temple
  • The Mole (U.S., season 4) (2004)
  • Christmas at Water's Edge (2004) as Leila Turner
  • Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2007–2012) as Miranda Lucas-Payne
  • Harlem Heights (2009)
  • Psych (2010) as Stranjay
  • Mr. Box Office (2012; pilot) as Vanessa Owens

Awards and nominations[]

  • NAACP Image Awards 2011: Best Supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (nominated) Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • NAACP Image Awards 2010: Best Supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (won) Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • NAACP Image Awards 2009: Best Supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (won) Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • NAACP Image Awards 2008: Best supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (won) Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • Emmy Awards 1984: Best Supporting Young Actress in the Comedy Series (nominated) The Cosby Show


  1. Keshia Knight Pulliam Biography (1979-). (April 9, 1979). Retrieved on 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). Retrieved on March 20, 2011.
  3. Real Talk with Jeanne Roberts EP 107 Segment 1, Keshia Knight Pulliam. YouTube. Retrieved on 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 on February 24, 2011.

External links[]