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Since both her parents were teachers, Tempestt Bledsoe said it was always a given that she would go to college one day. She figured that while the show was taping, she would have to go part-time. "We did a Monday to Thursday schedule, and I said, 'I'll take some classes on a Friday.' And once Mr. Cosby found out I was really serious and I was going to take these classes, he said, 'You take a full load, do whatever you need to do, and we'll schedule around you.'" So while still playing the role of Vanessa, Tempestt was able to get a degree in finance from NYU.

Tempestt says Bill taught the children on set by leading by example. "It wasn't like he was sitting us down and giving us a set of rules and [saying], 'You have to do this and you have to do that.' The strongest example you can give to any child is your behavior, what you do every day," she says.

Looking back, Tempestt says family and love are what stand out the most to her—especially the relationship between Cliff and Claire. "You know, the way he loved his wife," she says. "That's what struck me."

Tempestt has had a number of television roles since playing Vanessa. Currently, she's the voice of Riley on the Disney series The Replacements.
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FROM: David Cassidy and the Cosby Kids: All Grown Up
Published on February 12, 2008

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