Keshia Knight Pulliam

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Keshia Knight Pulliam
Born (1979-04-09) April 9, 1979 (age 36)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Residence Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Education Spelman College
Occupation Actress
Years active 1982–present
Known for Rudy HuxtableThe Cosby Show
Spouse(s) Ed Hartwell (m. 2016)[1]

Keshia Knight Pulliam (born April 9, 1979)[2] is an American actress. She is known for her childhood role as Rudy Huxtable, the youngest child of Cliff and Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–92) and as Miranda Lucas-Payne on the TBS comedy-drama Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2007–12).


In 1986, Pulliam became the youngest actress to be nominated for an Emmy Award,[3] receiving a nomination at age six for supporting actress. She made her professional debut at nine months old, in a national print advertisement for Johnson & Johnson baby products.[4] She continued working, appearing in television commercials and TV shows, and making her feature-film debut[3] in The Last Dragon (1985).[4] At age three, she played Keshia on Sesame Street.[3] She also appeared in the movie "Polly" with Phylicia Rashad. She is ranked at No. 19 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars".[citation needed]

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 appeared 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.[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 in the film Madea Goes to Jail.[6] 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. Pulliam was also a contestant in The Celebrity Apprentice Season 7 and was the first contestant eliminated after being the losing project manager for her team.

Personal life[edit]

Keshia Knight Pulliam was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Denise and James Pulliam, Sr., a manager.[2] She has two brothers, James Pulliam II and Mshon Pulliam.[3] She received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Spelman College in 2001.[4] She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.[4]

On New Year's Eve 2015, Keshia became engaged to Edgerton Hartwell.[8][9] They were married in Keshia's Atlanta home on New Year's Day, 2016.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Last Dragon, TheThe Last Dragon Sophia / Natasha Green
2004 Motives Letrice Video
2005 Beauty Shop Darnelle
2005 Gospel, TheThe Gospel Maya Walker
2008 Cuttin Da Mustard Wendy
2008 Death Toll Mirie
2009 Madea Goes to Jail Candace Washington


Year Title Role Notes
1984–92 Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show Rudy Huxtable Main role (177 episodes)
1985 Back to Next Saturday Rudy Huxtable Movie
1987 Little Match Girl, TheThe Little Match Girl Molly Movie
1987–88 Different World, AA Different World Rudy Huxtable 3 episodes
1989 Polly Polly Movie
1989 Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, AA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Karen Movie
1990 Polly: Comin' Home! Polly Movie
1990 The Earth Day Special Rudy Huxtable
1997 Cosby Guitarist Episode: "The Return of Charlites"
2002 Fear Factor Herself Reality series; one episode
2002 What About Your Friends: Weekend Getaway Temple Movie
2004 Celebrity Mole: Yucatán Herself Reality series
2004 Christmas at Water's Edge Leila Turner Movie
2007–12 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Miranda Lucas Payne Main role (56 episodes)
2010 Psych Stranjay Episode: "The Polarizing Express"
2012 Mr. Box Office Vanessa Owens Episode: "Pilot"
2013 Splash Herself Reality series; eliminated in episode 1
2013 Guys with Kids Bridget Episode: "Divorce Party"
2013 Love Letter, TheThe Love Letter Parker Movie
2015 The Celebrity Apprentice Season 7 Herself Reality series; eliminated in episode 1
2015 Will to Love Rachel Paris Movie

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1984: Emmy Awards Best Supporting Young Actress in the Comedy Series (nominated) The Cosby Show
  • 2009: NAACP Image Awards Best Supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (won) Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • 2010: NAACP Image Awards Best Supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (won) Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • 2011: NAACP Image Awards Best Supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (nominated) Tyler Perry's House of Payne
  • 2012: NAACP Image Awards Best Supporting Actress in the Comedy Series (won) Tyler Perry's House of Payne


  1. ^ a b Joi-Marie McKenzie (January 22, 2016). "Keisha Knight Pulliam Reveals She Wed Ed Hartwell on New Years". ABC News. Retrieved January 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Keshia Knight Pulliam Biography (1979-)". Retrieved March 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Keshia Knight Pulliam". Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d "About Keshia". Keshia Knight Pulliam (official site). Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Real Talk with Jeanne Roberts EP 107 Segment 1, Keshia Knight Pulliam". YouTube. 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". Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Lesley Messer (January 1, 2016). "Keshia Knight Pulliam Is Engaged". ABC News. Retrieved January 23, 2016. 

External links[edit]