For many, Bill Cosby’s hit ’80’s sitcom “The Cosby Show” was an institution broadcast into our homes every Thursday night. We laughed and talked about the Huxtables and each of the characters, including Vanessa, played by Tempestt Bledsoe. All of the actors went on to be successful in other areas including Bledsoe with talk shows, sitcoms, and diverse business ventures. But it’s “Vanessa” that Bledsoe still gets the most accolades. “A woman told me just the other day how much she loves watching reruns of the show with her grandchildren,” she says. “That feels really good.”
Cosby ended in 1992, but Bledsoe still keeps in touch with her castmates-including Bill Cosby, whom she credits with helping shield her from the pitfalls that doom many child actors. “Between him and my mom [Willa, a retired teacher], there were no better examples,” she says. “The focus was always on having a healthy childhood.”
After the show’s eight-season run, Bledsoe received a degree in finance from New York University. Post-Cosby, “I don’t feel it was hard for me to reinvent myself,” she says. She spent a year hosting her own daytime talk show and since then has kept busy with TV movies and guest-starring roles on shows like The Practice.