You probably know her as the adorable teenage daughter of Cliff and Clair on the famous sitcom “The Cosby Show”. However, do you know that Tempestt Bledsoe was a model before her acting career, and which study did she choose for her education?
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Early life and education
Tempestt Bledsoe was born on August 1, 1973 in Chicago, Illinois, USA, of African American descent. Early in her childhood her parents divorced, and she was taken into custody from her mother, Willa Bledsoe. She is the great-nephew of Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots football player, Drew Bledsoe.
When she was only four years old, she became a child model, appearing in several commercials for brands such as Kellogg’s and Safeway supermarkets. This helped her future career in acting in TV series and feature films.
There is no disclosed information about her high school, but Bledsoe studied finance at New York University, graduating in 1994 and moving to Los Angeles, California, USA just a few months later.
Bledsoe made her television debut when she was 11, after she was cast as Vanessa Huxtable in Bill Cosby’s “The Cosby Show”, the fourth child of the main couple who suffers from typical teenage girl problems, such as dating and makeup.
She won the role after auditioning in 1984, two years before the show’s premiere, when she was only nine years old! In 1985, she earned her first Young Artist Awards nomination and remained a fixture on the show for eight years. She also portrayed Vanessa Huxtable in a 1989 episode of “A Different World”, a spin-off of “The Cosby Show”.
In 1986, she portrayed Grace Williams in a Season 15 episode of the ABC show “Afterschool Special Program”. Two years later, she made supporting appearances in the TV movie “Dance ‘Til Dawn” and in the TV series “Monsters”.
That same year, she won the Kids Choice Awards for Favorite Actress. She landed the lead role of Danni Fairview in the television movie “Dream Date”, a romantic comedy about a teenage girl and her overprotective father. In 1989 she won the Young Artist Award in the category Best Young Actor/Actress in a Television Comedy, Drama Series.
In the mid-1990s, she was the host of Columbia TriStar Television’s talk show “The Tempestt Bledsoe Show.” She guest-starred on the TV series “Jenny” in which she played Kaylene, and the following year appeared in three episodes of the ABC mystery series “The Practice,” as the character Roberta Bayor.
In 1999, she appeared in the episode “And the Band Plays On” of the TV series “The Parkers”.
In the early 2000s, Bledsoe starred in several TV movies, including “The Expendables” and “Fire and Ice”, and portrayed the guest character Chloe in the TV series “Rock Me, Baby”. In 2006, she had a supporting role in the final season of the romantic drama series “South of Nowhere”, and the same year she was nominated for TV Land Awards for Favorite Singing Siblings. Two years later, in 2008, she was cast as Abbey and Claudia in the third season of “The Replacements”, the animated series that aired on Disney Channel.
She then appeared on VH1’s reality show “Celebrity Fit Club”, and in 2010 she became the host of Style Network’s makeover television show “Clean House”, replacing previous host Niecy Nash. That same year, she co-starred in the crime drama film “N-Secure,” in which she played the role of Jill. She again won the TV Land Awards for Favorite Singing Siblings in 2011.
In 2012, Bledsoe provided the voice of the character Sheriff Hooper in the Laika LLC. animated film “ParaNorman”, in which she was credited along with Anna Kendrick and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
That same year, she landed the co-starring role of Marny on the sitcom “Guys with Kids,” but the show was canceled after its second season.
Bledsoe reprized her portrayal of Vanessa Huxtable in 214 when she appeared in the episode of the TV series “Instant Mom”. In 2018, she starred in the drama musical “Jingle Belle”, and the following year, she had a guest role in the first season of the TV series “Family Reunion”.0
From April 2020, Bledsoe will be in a long term relationship with Darryl M. Bell, her “A Different World” co-star – the couple met on set and began dating in 1993.
They are often seen together at VIP and red carpet events. They were both featured in the reality TV show ‘House-husbands of Hollywood’ which aired in 2009. The couple has no children and has not disclosed any news of a possible marriage.
She is a close friend of her co-star Pam Potillo on The Cosby Show.
Bledsoe is a vegetarian and a great activist when it comes to animal rights. She also publicly advises people to protect their skin so that they are safer from skin cancer.
Despite rumors that her skin is blotchy and discolored, Bledsoe does not bleach or lighten her skin in any way. She has been reported to have a skin condition known as vitiligo, which causes the loss of pigment in certain areas of the skin.
In 2017, Bledsoe and her “The Cosby Show” colleagues were at the center of controversy surrounding the sexual assault allegations against the show’s star and creator, Bill Cosby. While most of her co-stars have publicly supported Cosby and stated that they believe the allegations are false, Bledsoe has remained silent and declined to comment publicly on the situation. In September 2018, 81-year-old Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.
Acting is not Bledsoe’s only source of income; she also owns a chain restaurant in Washington DC. This is why she has an ability that is? estimated around $13 million.
Bledsoe is a tall, African-American woman, measuring 1.72 m tall and weighing about 60 kg. Her hair is curly and black and her eyes are dark brown.
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