When producers of ‘A Different World’ found out that Bonet was pregnant, they wrote her character out. She gave birth to her daughter later that year and took some time off to just be a new mother.
The actress did wind up coming back to ‘The Cosby Show’ the following year, in 1988. But in the early 1990s, she left the show to pursue acting in film, appearing with Will Smith in the 1998 film, ‘Enemy of the State’.
Lisa Bonet was trained as an actress at the Celluloid Actor’s Studio in Hollywood, although she started acting in commercials when she was just 11 years old. 1984, however, was when her world changed forever. That was the year she was cast in her breakthrough role as Denise Huxtable – and life would never be the same.
In all, she starred in more than 100 episodes of the hit show. She was such a popular character that she wound up with a show of her own.
A Show of Her Own
In 1987, four years into her run on 'The Cosby Show,' her spinoff, 'A Different World', came out. The series, which was about Denise being off at college, was short-lived after some unexpected news came out.
Bonet would find herself being written off of a show that was based on her character after filming just over 20 episodes for the series. But what could possibly have made that happen?
Breaking into Film
A couple of years after making her film debut, Bonet appeared with John Cusack in the 2000 rom-com/drama, 'High Fidelity'. In 2002, she played Heather Lelache in the made-for-TV film, 'Lathe of Heaven', and the next year she was back on the big screen as Queenie, in 'Biker Boyz'. But after she got her taste of the differences between television and film, she made the choice to go back to where it all began: the TV screen in living rooms all across America.
But that doesn’t mean she was entirely finished in film. “I have a desire to create more film, more beauty, more art, more love,” said the actress, “but I don’t feel desperate. It’s not about creating or building a career.”
Made for TV
By 2008, Bonet had returned to her love of acting for television and taken on the role of Detective Maya Daniels in 'Life on Mars'. She would then go on to play a few parts for the historical reenactments on 'Drunk History'. In more recent years, she’s starred as Marisol Campos on Showtime’s crime drama, 'Ray Donovan'.
In 2017, she guest-starred in a short film called 'Jellywolf', which was based around Chanel’s No. 5 perfume. The film was directed by Alma Har’el, and has been described as an “ethereal, feminine coming of age story.” Bonet starred beside Kiersey Clemmons in the spiritual and empowering tale.