Keshia Knight Pulliam

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Keshia Knight Pulliam
Knight Pulliam at the Wizard World Comic Con in 2015
Born (1979-04-09) April 9, 1979 (age 44)
EducationSpelman College
Years active1982–present
Known forRudy Huxtable in The Cosby Show
(m. 2016; div. 2018)
(m. 2021)

Keshia Knight Pulliam (born April 9, 1979)[1] is an American actress. She began her career as a child actor, and landed her breakthrough role as Rudy Huxtable, on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–1992), which earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series at the 38th Primetime Emmy Awards. She later starred as Miranda Lucas-Payne on the TBS comedy drama Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2007–present).


In 1986, Knight Pulliam became one of the youngest actresses to be nominated for an Emmy Award,[2] receiving a nomination at age 6 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series. She made her professional debut at 9 months old, in a national print advertisement for Johnson & Johnson baby products.[3] At age 3, she was on Sesame Street.[2] She continued working, appearing in television commercials and TV shows, and making her feature film debut[2] in The Last Dragon (1985).[3] She also appeared in the movies Polly and its sequel Polly: Comin' Home! with her Cosby Show co-star Phylicia Rashad. She is ranked at No. 27 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars".[4]

Knight 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: Yucatan. In 2004, she appeared in Chingy's music video for "One Call Away". In 2005, she played Darnelle in Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah. Knight Pulliam performed in Donald Gray's play The Man of Her Dreams in the fall of 2006 in St. Louis.[5] 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 played Candace "Candy" Washington-Collins in the film Madea Goes to Jail.[6] Knight 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."[7]

In 2013, she was a contestant on the ABC celebrity diving show Splash. She was first to be eliminated. In 2015, Knight Pulliam was a contestant on the NBC show The Celebrity Apprentice Season 7 and was the first contestant eliminated after being the losing project manager for her team. In 2018, Knight Pulliam was a HouseGuest on the first season of the CBS series Celebrity Big Brother, where she was the second person evicted out of the house, on Day 13.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Keshia Knight Pulliam was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Denise and James Knight Pulliam Sr., a manager.[1] She has three brothers, James Knight Pulliam II, Mshon Knight Pulliam, and Juwan Pulliam.[2] Knight Pulliam attended Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey.

When The Cosby Show ended its run in 1992, her family moved to Virginia, where Knight Pulliam attended the Potomac School in McLean and Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, from which she graduated in 1997.[citation needed] She received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Spelman College in 2001.[3] She is a member of the Eta Kappa chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.[3]

On New Year's Eve 2015, Knight Pulliam became engaged to retired National Football League player Edgerton Hartwell.[9][10] They were married the next day, January 1, 2016, in Knight Pulliam's Atlanta home.[11] On July 25, 2016, Hartwell filed for divorce.[12] On January 23, 2017, Knight Pulliam gave birth to a daughter named Ella Grace Hartwell.[13][14] The divorce was finalized in April 2018, with Knight Pulliam receiving primary custody of Ella while Hartwell was ordered to pay child support of about $3,000 a month.[15]

In December 2020, she became engaged to actor Brad James. The pair began dating in 2019 after they met on the set of the TV movie Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta.[16] They were married in an intimate ceremony in September 2021.[17] In December 2022, it was announced the couple were expecting their first child together.[18] They welcomed a son in April 2023.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Last Dragon Sophia/Natasha Green
Back to Next Saturday Rudy Huxtable TV movie
1987 The Little Match Girl Molly TV movie
1989 Polly Polly TV movie
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Karen TV movie
1990 Polly: Comin' Home! Polly TV movie
2002 What About Your Friends: Weekend Getaway Temple TV movie
2004 Motives Letrice Video
Christmas at Water's Edge Leila Turner TV movie
2005 Beauty Shop Darnelle
The Gospel Maya Walker
2008 Cuttin Da Mustard Wendy
Death Toll Mirie
2009 Madea Goes to Jail Candace Washington
2013 The Love Letter Parker TV movie
2015 Will to Love Rachel Paris TV movie
2018 Jingle Belle Tori TV movie
2019 Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta Caroline TV movie
Radio Christmas Kara Porter TV movie
2020 My Brother's Keeper Tiffany
The Set Up Angela Brooks TV movie
The Christmas Aunt Rebecca TV movie
2021 Redeemed Angela Sylvester
2022 A New Orleans Noel Grace Hill TV movie
2023 The Hillsdale Adoption Scam Bethany TV movie


Year Title Role Notes
1983–88 Sesame Street Herself Recurring Guest
1984–92 The Cosby Show Rudy Huxtable Main Cast
1987–88 A Different World Rudy Huxtable Recurring Cast: Season 1
1990 Reading Rainbow Herself (voice) Episode: "The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth"
1993 It's Showtime at the Apollo Herself/Guest Host Episode: "Episode #6.17"
1997 Cosby Guitarist Episode: "The Return of Charlites"
2001 The Weakest Link Herself Episode: "TV Child Stars Edition"
2002 Fear Factor Herself Episode: "Celebrity Fear Factor 3"
2004 The Mole Herself/Contestant Contestant: Season 4
2005 The Greatest Herself Episode: "100 Greatest Kid Stars"
2007–09 Whatever Happened To? Herself Episode: "Little Sisters" & "Middle Sibbles"
2007–12 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Miranda Lucas Payne Main Cast
2009 Played by Fame Herself Episode: "Eco Friend Date"
2010 Psych Stranjay Episode: "The Polarizing Express"
2011 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself Episode: "Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ming-Na, Chi McBride, Mia Tyler"
Hollywood Icons and Innovators Herself Episode: "Episode #1.3"
2012 The Real Housewives of Atlanta Herself Episode: "All Pomp But No Circumstance"
Mr. Box Office Vanessa Owens Episode: "Pilot"
2013 Splash Herself/Contestant Main Cast
Guys with Kids Bridget Episode: "Divorce Party"
2015 The Apprentice Herself/Contestant Contestant: Season 14
2018 Celebrity Big Brother Herself/Contestant Contestant: Season 1
2019 BET Her Presents: The Waiting Room Dr. Bennett Episode: "The Waiting Room"
Tyler Perry's House of Payne Miranda Lucas Payne Main Cast
2021 Down to Business Herself Episode: "Various Artists"
2022 Uncensored Herself Episode: "Keshia Knight Pulliam"
Married at First Sight Herself/Host Main Host: Season 15

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Keshia Knight Pulliam Biography (1979-)". Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Keshia Knight Pulliam". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "About Keshia". Keshia Knight Pulliam (official site). Archived from the original on May 8, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  4. ^ Vh1 2/13/2014. "VH1's 100 Greatest Kid Stars Of All Time". VH1 News. Archived from the original on June 25, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Real Talk with Jeanne Roberts EP 107 Segment 1, Keshia Knight Pulliam". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  6. ^ Keshia Knight Pulliam: The Madea Goes to Jail Interview with Kam Williams Kam
  7. ^ Shaw, A.R. (February 16, 2011). "The Evolution of Keshia Knight Pulliam". Archived from the original on February 21, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  8. ^ Maher, Natalie (February 13, 2018). "Get to Know the 'Celebrity Big Brother' Cast: Mark McGrath, Omarosa & More". Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Puente, Maria (January 1, 2016). "Ex-'Cosby' kid Keshia Knight Pulliam is engaged". USA Today. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  10. ^ Lesley Messer (January 1, 2016). "Keshia Knight Pulliam Is Engaged". ABC News. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  11. ^ Joi-Marie McKenzie (January 22, 2016). "Keisha Knight Pulliam Reveals She Wed Ed Hartwell on New Years". ABC News. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  12. ^ Martin, Annie. "Keshia Knight Pulliam headed for divorce after pregnancy news: The actress and Ed Hartwell married in January after four months of dating". United Press International. July 26, 2016.
  13. ^ "Keshia Knight Pulliam Gives Birth, Welcomes Baby Girl". US Weekly. January 23, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Keshia Knight Pulliam Welcomes Daughter Ella Grace". People. January 23, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  15. ^ Ho, Rodney (April 24, 2018). "Keshia Knight Pulliam Finalizes Divorce with Ed Hartwell, Gets Primary Custody". WSB Radio. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  16. ^ Strohm, Emily. "The Cosby Show's Keshia Knight Pulliam Engaged to Actor Brad James". People. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  17. ^ Rice, Nicholas (October 4, 2021). "The Cosby Show's Keshia Knight Pulliam Marries 'Best Friend' Brad James: 'It Was Magical'". Meredith Corporation. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  18. ^ Andaloro, Angela (December 1, 2022). "Keshia Knight Pulliam and Husband Brad James Expecting First Baby Together — See Her Bump!". Meredith Corporation. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  19. ^ Mannion, Katie (April 10, 2023). "All About Keshia Knight Pulliam's Two Children". Meredith Corporation. Retrieved April 18, 2023.

External links[edit]