See Denise From "The Cosby Show" Now at 54
Lisa Bonet also played the character in the college-set spinoff, A Different World.
At age 16, Lisa Bonet became Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show, then later headed to college in the hit family sitcom's young-adult-focused spinoff, A Different World. She was famously fired from both shows—the latter when she became pregnant in real life, and the former after butting heads with star and co-creator, Bill Cosby.
Bonet's time in the public eye didn't end after that, however. Already married to a famous rock star, Lenny Kravitz, she continued acting and would go on to see her divorce and remarriage make headlines, as well as one of her children become a star in her own right. Keep reading to see where Bonet is now, at age 54.
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She was cut from A Different World after she got pregnant.
Bonet left The Cosby Show midway through its run to star in the spinoff A Different World, about Denise's experience attending a historically Black college. But after she announced she was expecting a baby (daughter Zoë Kravitz was born in 1988) in the summer between the first and second seasons, she was cut from the show because producers decided they didn't want the plot to focus on a pregnant college student.
Bonet returned to the cast of The Cosby Show but was let go in 1991 for what was said, at the time, to be "creative differences." However, in his 2020 memoir Let Love Rule, as reported by The List, her former husband Lenny Kravitz placed the blame instead on the actor's "tense" and "untenable" relationship with Cosby.
She changed her name to Lilakoi Moon and moved to the mountains.
In 1993, Bonet legally changed her name to Lilakoi Moon to protect her privacy, per the Orlando Sentinel, although years later she described it as a decision "to honor [her] personal life" outside of acting. She also moved to a ranch in the mountains of southern California, where she has lived a largely private life for decades with her family and a host of animals, including wolf-dog hybrids and a donkey.
"I'm a shy person. I don't know if it's in my DNA to share with the world," she told People in 2008.
But she also continued acting.
After leaving The Cosby Show for good, Bonet continued acting, but struggled to find strong roles for a time, appearing in a handful of made-for-TV movies in the mid-'90s. In 1998, she appeared in a supporting role as Will Smith's girlfriend in the conspiracy thriller Enemy of the State, but it was her turn as one of John Cusack's character's ex-girlfriends in the 2000 cult romantic comedy High Fidelity that would become one of her most iconic roles—and result in an odd bit of Hollywood kismet when her daughter Zoë was cast as the lead in the TV series remake of the film two decades later.
In more recent years, Bonet has appeared in the TV series Life on Mars and The Red Road (starring future husband Jason Momoa) and guest-starred on episodes of Drunk History, New Girl, Girls, and Ray Donovan.
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She's been married to a rock star and a superhero.
In 1987, at the age of 20, Bonet met a then-unknown Lenny Kravitz, and the two married later that year. They split in 1991 but have maintained a friendship in the decades since their divorce.
In 2005, Bonet met Momoa at a jazz club. Eleven years her junior, the Aquaman actor has said that he had a crush on Bonet since childhood. Almost instantly inseparable, the couple welcomed a daughter, Lola, in 2007, followed by a son Nakoa-Wolf, in 2008. In late 2017, the couple confirmed reports that they had secretly married after twelve years together.
The extended family, including Lenny, are known to get along swimmingly.
"People can't believe how tight Jason and I are, or how tight I still am with Zoë's mom, how we all relate," Kravitz told Men's Health in 2020. "We just do it because that's what you do."
Unfortunately, Bonet and Momoa announced their separation less than five years after marrying, in early January 2022, citing a need to move into a new phase of their relationship in the wake of the pandemic. However, they reportedly remain friends and committed co-parents, with Momoa appearing at the premiere of 2022's The Batman in support of Zoë, who plays Catwoman in the film.
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Her daughter followed in her footsteps.
Bonet's first child, Zoë, followed in her mother's footsteps to become an actor, and is best known for appearing in the films X-Men: First Class, After Earth (playing the daughter of Bonet's former co-star Will Smith), The Divergent series, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Batman, as well as for her star turn in the short-lived but beloved High Fidelity TV series.
"I was very resistant," Bonet told People of her daughter's decision to act. "It was probably one of our most challenging times. We locked horns. I was able to slow it down a little but not completely."
She's spoken out about her tense relationship with Cosby.
In the wake of many sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, Bonet told Net-A-Porter that she had never seen or experienced anything during her time working with him to indicate the serious charges that would eventually land her former TV father in prison. (Cosby was convicted of aggravated sexual assault in 2018 and served over three years in prison before that conviction was overturned last year on a technicality.)
However, she did claim that she had always sensed the legendary comedian had a dark side. "There was just energy. And that type of sinister, shadow energy cannot be concealed," the actor said.