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Lisa Michelle Bonet (born November 16, 1967)[2] 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).[4]

Early life

Bonet was born in San Francisco, California.[1][5] Her African-American father, Allen Bonet (1945-2008), was an opera singer and was born in Texas; her Jewish mother, Arlene (née Litman) (1940-1998), was a teacher. She has several younger half-siblings. Bonet attended Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California.[6] She also attended the Celluloid Actor's Studio in North Hollywood where she majored in acting.[7]


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 were edited to ensure an R-rating.[8] It was followed by a topless centerspread in Interview magazine.[9] After announcing her pregnancy during the run of A Different World, Bonet left the series.[10] The following year, she returned to The Cosby Show, but was fired in 1991 because of "creative differences".[11]

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.[12]

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.

Personal life

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.[13]

She gave birth to their daughter Zoë Isabella on December 1, 1988.[14] 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.[2]

In 2005, she began a relationship with actor Jason Momoa, and they married in 2007.[3] On July 23, 2007, Bonet gave birth to her second child, Lola Iolani Momoa, her first with Momoa. On December 15, 2008, the couple had a son named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.[15]


Years Title Role
1987 Angel Heart Epiphany Proudfoot
1993 Bank Robber Priscilla
1994 Final Combination Catherine Briggs
1998 Enemy of the State Rachel Banks
2000 High Fidelity Marie De Salle
2003 Biker Boyz Queenie
2005 Whitepaddy Mae Evans
2013 Road to Paloma Magdalena
Year Title Role Notes
1983 St. Elsewhere Carla Episode: "Entrapment"
1984–91 The Cosby Show Denise Huxtable 103 episodes
1985 Tales from the Darkside Justine Episode: "The Satanic Piano"
ABC Afterschool Special Carrie 1 episode
1987–89 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
2008–09 Life on Mars Maya Daniels 5 episodes
2013–14 Drunk History Mary Ellen Pleasant and Rosa Parks 2 episodes
2014–15 The Red Road Sky Van Der Veen 7 episodes
2014 New Girl Brenda Brown Episode: "Teachers"
2016 Girls Tandice Moncrief Episodes: "Homeward Bound", "Love Stories"
2016 Ray Donovan Marisol Recurring - Season 4

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)


  1. ^ "Lisa Bonet". 
  2. ^ a b c Westbrook, Caroline (September 14, 2003). "Lisa Bonet". Retrieved October 17, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Jason Momoa of 'Conan the Barbarian' talks about his horse fears, August 20, 2011, Olivia Allin,
  4. ^ "Bonet's in `A Different World'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Lisa Bonet Biography (b. 1967)". Retrieved October 17, 2008. 
  6. ^ Valle, Victor (February 26, 1987). "Bonet's 'Angel' Heartache". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Lisa Bonet Biography". Archived from the original on January 13, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Appeals Board Upholds 'Angel Heart' X Rating". The New York Times. February 21, 1987. 
  9. ^ Norment, Lynn (December 1987). "Lisa Bonet: The Growing Pains of a Rising Star". Ebony. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  10. ^ Hunt, Darnell. "A Different World". Retrieved October 17, 2008. 
  11. ^ Allis, Tim (May 4, 1992). "Leaving the Nest". People. Retrieved October 17, 2008. 
  12. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (September 14, 2003). "Lisa Bonet". SomethingJewish. Retrieved December 13, 2006. 
  13. ^ Cooper, Carol (February 1990). "Let Love Rule". Essence. p. 104. Retrieved July 7, 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "Zoe Kravitz. Alternate Name: Zoe Isabella Kravitz" at All Movie Guide via The New York Times
  15. ^ "Lisa Bonet and Jason Momoa Welcome Son Nakoa-Wolf". January 7, 2009.