Lisa Michelle Bonet (born November 16, 1967) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Denise Huxtable–Kendall on the NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show (1984–92) and originally starring in its spinoff comedy, A Different World for its first season (1987–88).
Bonet was born in San Francisco, California. Her African-American father, Allen Bonet, was an opera singer and was born in Texas; her Jewish mother, Arlene (née Litman), was a teacher. She has several younger half-siblings. Bonet attended Reseda High School in Reseda, California, and Celluloid Actor’s Studio in North Hollywood where she majored in acting.
After being in beauty pageants and appearing in guest spots on television series as a child, Bonet landed the role of Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show alongside Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad. In 1987, she briefly left The Cosby Show to star in the spin-off series A Different World, which focused on Denise Huxtable’s life at college. That year, Bonet, then 19, accepted the role of 17-year-old Epiphany Proudfoot in the movie Angel Heart opposite Mickey Rourke, directed by Alan Parker. In the film, several seconds of an explicit scene she shared with Rourke’s much older character were edited to ensure an R-rating. It was followed by a topless centerspread in Interview magazine. After announcing her pregnancy during the run of A Different World, Bonet left the series. The following year, she returned to The Cosby Show, but was fired in 1991 because of “creative differences”.
After The Cosby Show, Bonet began to accept jobs on straight-to-video releases and made-for-TV movies. In 1998 she had a supporting role in Enemy of the State with Will Smith. In 2000, she appeared in the movie High Fidelity. In 2003, she played the role of Queenie in Biker Boyz, which reunited her with former co-star Kadeem Hardison of A Different World.
Bonet also co-starred in the 2006 film Whitepaddy alongside Sherilyn Fenn, Hill Harper, Debra Wilson, Karen Black, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Two years later she appeared in the US adaptation of the British television series, Life on Mars.
On November 16, 1987, her 20th birthday, she eloped with singer Lenny Kravitz in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bonet recalled of their relationship:
|“||It was interesting when we were first finding out about each other, that our backgrounds were so similar. When I first told him my mom was Jewish, and he said ‘So’s my dad,’ I thought that was both unusual and enchanting. I felt like, ‘Okay, here’s someone who really knows how it is.’ And I think I trusted him a little more with my feelings and let him inside a little more than I ordinarily would have.||”|
She gave birth to daughter Zoë Isabella on December 1, 1988. She and Kravitz separated in 1993. In 1995, Bonet legally changed her name to Lilakoi Moon, although she still uses the name Lisa Bonet professionally. In 2005, she began a relationship with actor Jason Momoa, and they married in 2007. On July 23, 2007, Bonet gave birth to her second child, Lola Iolani Momoa, her first with Momoa. On December 15, 2008, they had a son named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.
|1987||Angel Heart||Epiphany Proudfoot|
|1994||Final Combination||Catherine Briggs|
|1998||Enemy of the State||Rachel Banks|
|2000||High Fidelity||Marie De Salle|
|2013||Road to Paloma||Magdalena|
|1983||St. Elsewhere||Carla||Episode: “Entrapment”|
|1984–1991||The Cosby Show||Denise Huxtable||103 episodes|
|1985||Tales from the Darkside||Justine||Episode: “The Satanic Piano”|
|ABC Afterschool Special||Carrie||1 episode|
|1987–1988||A Different World||Denise Huxtable||22 episodes|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Denise Huxtable|
|1994||New Eden||Lily||Television movie|
|2002||Lathe of Heaven||Heather Lelache||Television movie|
|2008–2009||Life on Mars||Maya Daniels||5 episodes|
|2013–2014||Drunk History||Mary Ellen Pleasant and Rosa Parks||2 episodes|
|2014–present||The Red Road||Sky Van Der Veen||3 episodes|
|2014||New Girl||Brenda Brown|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award||Result||Category||Film or series|
|1985||Young Artist Award||Nominated||Best Young Supporting Actress in a Television Comedy Series||The Cosby Show|
|1986||Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series||The Cosby Show|
|1988||Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Comedy Series||The Cosby Show|
|Won||Best Young Female Superstar in Motion Pictures||Angel Heart|
|1989||Nominated||Best Young Actor/Actress Ensemble in a Television Comedy, Drama Series or Special||The Cosby Show (shared with Tempestt Bledsoe, Sabrina Le Beauf, Geoffrey Owens, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Deon Richmond, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner)|
|1988||Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||The Cosby Show|
|1988||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actress||Angel Heart|
|2001||Black Reel Awards||Theatrical – Best Supporting Actress||High Fidelity|
|2006||TV Land Awards||Favorite Singing Siblings||The Cosby Show (shared with Tempestt Bledsoe, Sabrina Le Beauf, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner)|