Keshia Knight Pulliam was born in Newark, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Denise and James Pulliam, Sr., a manager. She has three younger brothers.
Pulliam attended Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. After The Cosby Show ended her family moved to Virginia, where Pulliam attended the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia and Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She received a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from Spelman College in 2001. Pulliam is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, initiated through the Eta Kappa chapter
Pulliam became the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy at age six for best supporting actress. Even before that – at age three – she played “Keshia” on Sesame Street. She also played in the movie Pollyanna with Phylicia Rashad. Her character on The Cosby Show, “Rudy”, was known for being the “baby” of the family. She is ranked at 19 in VH1‘s list of the “100 Greatest Kid Stars”. In a 2008 interview, she revealed that when she read for the role of Rudy, when she was only five, she kept looking away from the director (Jay Sandrich), who finally asked her what she was looking at. She said when pointing to a monitor, “How can you make me on the TV?” Throughout the show’s eight seasons, Pulliam had an on-and-off-screen chemistry with Bill Cosby, as the two shared their own friendship when not filming. For example, she related how “Mr. Cosby and I, we had a competition going on to see who would do a better job at lip-syncing. That was our little inside thing. I think I did a better job.” She also appeared on a 1997 episode of Bill Cosby’s follow-up sitcom Cosby, playing a guitar-player. She has remained friendly with Cosby.
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 performed 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. 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 portrayed “Candy” in the film Madea Goes To Jail.
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.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia.com