Lisa Bonet

Active - 1984 - 2014  |   Born - Nov 16, 1967 in San Fernando, California, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Despite her spotty film work, Lisa Bonet remains one of the more intriguing young character actresses in Hollywood, enjoying a longevity that few former child stars can claim. Born in San Francisco in 1967, Bonet's parents divorced when she was young, and her formative years were spent mostly in New York City and L.A. At age 11, she started auditioning for commercials, and after several years of ads and walk-on TV parts, she landed a plum role in NBC's The Cosby Show. The show was an immediate hit, and Bonet quickly asserted herself as one of the most memorable kids in the Huxtable clan, the outspoken teenager Denise.

It became clear that Bonet shared her character's defiant persona when she left Cosby in 1987 for a racy part opposite Mickey Rourke in director Alan Parker's gothic thriller Angel Heart. The role required the 19-year-old Bonet to appear in several graphic sex scenes, some of which had to be cut for mainstream American release. The actress seemed unfazed at the controversy surrounding her appearance in Angel Heart; nonetheless, the part did little to further her big-screen career, and by the end of the year she would return to the safety of episodic TV in the series A Different World. Also in 1987, Bonet married rocker Lenny Kravitz, whose impetuous free spirit and bi-racial upbringing uncannily paralleled her own background.

The Bill Cosby-produced World was a bonafide hit, but Bonet quickly lost interest in the show, often showing up late to the set or not at all. Within two years she was gone, opting instead to spend more time with her newborn daughter Zoe. Bonet spent the remainder of the 1980s making infrequent appearances on The Cosby Show, and she made a conscious decision not to act in the early 1990s. In 1993, her marriage to Kravitz fell apart, and to make ends meet in the mid-'90s, she accepted roles in made-for-TV and straight-to-video productions. Around this time, Bonet legally changed her name to Liliquois Moon, though she claimed she would continue to use her birth name for her acting career. She had another child with boyfriend and former yoga instructor Brian Kest before returning to the big screen with a memorable supporting role in 1998's Enemy of the State. Though it appeared that her Hollywood career was once again on-track when director Stephen Frears cast her as a sultry one-night-stand in High Fidelity (2000), Bonet didn't show much interest for getting back in the acting game, and only appeared in a handful of films before returning to television for the short-lived ABC time-traveling cop drama Life on Mars in 2008. In November of 2007 Bonet married her second husband, Conan the Barbarian star Jason Momoa.

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Factsheet

  • Mother is Jewish; father is African-American.
  • Started taking acting lessons when she was 13 years old and had a guest-starring role in the series St. Elsewhere, which led to a recurring role on the CBS sitcom The Two of Us.
  • Landed star-making role of Denise Huxtable on the popular family sitcom The Cosby Show in 1984 when she was 16 years old; starred in the spin-off series A Different World three years later. 
  • Met first husband Lenny Kravitz, a then-unknown, struggling musician who went by the name of Romeo Blue, at a New Edition concert in 1985; they eloped in Las Vegas in 1987, on her 20th birthday.
  • Legally changed her name to Lilakoi Moon in 1995, even though she continues to use her birth name for entertainment purposes.
  • Devotes her time to several charitable causes, including Venice H.E.A.R.T. (Hearing Each Other and Responding Together), a mentoring organization she and several of her artist/activist friends created to help students at a Venice Beach, CA, high school.