For many, Bill Cosby’s hit ’80’s sitcom “The Cosby Show” was an institution broadcast into our homes every Thursday night. We laughed and talked about the Huxtables and each of the characters, including Vanessa, played by Tempestt Bledsoe. All of the actors went on to be successful in other areas including Bledsoe with talk shows, sitcoms, and diverse business ventures. But it’s “Vanessa” that Bledsoe still gets the most accolades. “A woman told me just the other day how much she loves watching reruns of the show with her grandchildren,” she says. “That feels really good.”
Cosby ended in 1992, but Bledsoe still keeps in touch with her castmates-including Bill Cosby, whom she credits with helping shield her from the pitfalls that doom many child actors. “Between him and my mom [Willa, a retired teacher], there were no better examples,” she says. “The focus was always on having a healthy childhood.”
After the show’s eight-season run, Bledsoe received a degree in finance from New York University. Post-Cosby, “I don’t feel it was hard for me to reinvent myself,” she says. She spent a year hosting her own daytime talk show and since then has kept busy with TV movies and guest-starring roles on shows like The Practice.
But while she had kept her career in shape, Bledsoe realized she wasn’t faring as well with her own body. In 2009 she went on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club and shed 19 lbs. “For me, what works best is to try to eat healthy and not worry about the scale,” says Bledsoe, a vegetarian who has kept off the weight she lost.
One of the things that keeps fan raving about Tempestt is her beautiful natural hair she’s rocked throughout the ages.
She says, “I’ve worn my hair completely Natural for over 10 years..I think women of color need to learn how to handle their natural state because it’s not something we’ve been culturally encouraged to do for a long time.”
“I shampoo my hair using a strong cleansing shampoo and follow up with a Creme of Nature shampoo because it moisturizes my hair doesn’t strip its natural oils… I also use the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask because I love deep conditioning my hair.”