Sep. 20, 1984
30 min.
NBC TV Network

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The Cosby Show

Doctor Heathcliff and Clair Huxtable, a happily married couple, are raising their children (Sondra, Denise, Theodore, Vanessa, and Rudy). The two oldest daughters eventually live adult lives and get married. As the children get older, the family gets larger and, to the chagrin of Cliff, keep on coming back home when he wants them to move out and live on their own for good.

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Denise Huxtable Kendall The Cosby Show
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Denise Huxtable Kendall

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  Played by:
Lisa BonetLisa Bonet
Lisa Bonet was born in San Francisco but has lived most of her life in New York and Los Angeles, where ...

Character Bio

Denise Huxtable Kendall photo
Denise Kendall (née Huxtable) is the second daughter of Cliff and Clair Huxtable. At the beginning of the series, she is sixteen years old, putting her year of birth in 1968. She loves fashion and music, but did not want to attend school to pursue either interest. She is noted as being an individual who usually wishes to march to the beat of her own drum, and often learns lessons up front for herself rather than based off the experiences of others. A two-year stint at Hillman College ends with Denise wishing to see what she can accomplish on her own, which leads her to Africa as a photographer's assistant. While there, she meets and marries Navy Lt. Martin Kendall, and also becomes stepmother to Martin's three-year-old daughter Olivia, his child from a previous marriage. Denise eventually decides to become a special education teacher and makes arrangements to attend Medgar Evers College to this effect, but that idea does not work out as Denise eventually leaves New York again when Martin is posted to Singapore on a long-term assignment. It is revealed in the series finale that she is pregnant.

During the first two seasons, Denise was portrayed as a very popular high-schooler, with many friends, who seemingly had a different boyfriend every episode. Along with her constantly fluctuating love life, were her various hairstyles and choices of clothing, which were occasionally made fun of by Cliff. In later seasons, however, she exhibited a more flighty nature, often expressing ideas that left Cliff and Clair greatly puzzled.

In season three, Denise left home to attend Hillman College, a fictional, historically African-American college, of which her mother, father and grandfather were all alumni. The Cosby Show's producers created a spin-off series, entitled A Different World, which initially dealt with the life of Denise at college. Denise was written out of the series following its inaugural season (which aired concurrently with season four of The Cosby Show), after actress Lisa Bonet became pregnant. Shortly after the start of season five, Denise traveled to Africa for a year, and there she fell in love with and married Martin. In the season six premiere, she returned home, shocking her parents with the news of her surprise marriage to a divorced single father. However, Cliff and Clair accepted the couple when they met Olivia, who immediately won their hearts and was welcomed into the family. She appears regularly during the first three seasons, and is in only four episodes each of seasons four and five (a picture of her can be seen in the opening credits of season four), she appears regularly in season six, but only appears in a handful of episodes during season seven.

The character is loosely based upon Cosby's daughter, Erinn, who was approximately the same age as Denise. Additionally, Denise attended Hillman College, whereas Erinn attended Spelman College, the university that Hillman is believed to be modeled after.

Episode Screenshots

07x21 - Home Remedies
Season 7, Episode 21
03x11 - War Stories
Season 3, Episode 11
08x11 - Two Is a Crowd
Season 8, Episode 11
05x07 - The Birth (2)
Season 5, Episode 07
[More Episodes]

Denise Huxtable Kendall Photos

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