Keshia Knight Pulliam, the youngest actress to ever be nominated for an Emmy Award and child star the award-winning Cosby Show will be the featured speaker during Welcome Back Week at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). The free, public event will be held Thursday, August 27 at 7 pm in the J.M. Ross auditorium of the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts building. Doors will open at 6 pm.
Decades after making her debut in entertainment, Keshia Knight-Pulliam continues to be among the most loved and respected actresses in the business. At nine months old, she began her career in New York City, just across the bridge from her native New Jersey, where she appeared in a national print AD for Johnson & Johnson Baby products. She worked continuously on both the small and big screen having several commercials, television shows and even a feature film “The Last Dragon” on her resume before the age of five.
At 5 years old, Keshia was cast as the iconic Rudy Huxtable on the groundbreaking Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning television show “The Cosby Show.” Keshia received an Emmy nomination; won several NAACP Image awards & Young Artist Awards; a People’s Choice Award; and Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award for her work as Rudy. In addition to the 8 year run of “The Cosby Show,” Keshia starred in several TV movies including, “The Little Match Girl”; “A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court”; “Polly” & “Polly: Comin’ Home.” Once “The Cosby Show” ended and after more than a decade in front of the camera, Keshia decided to turn her focus toward education.
She graduated with honors from Spelman College in 2001 with a B.A. in Sociology and a concentration in Film. While at Spelman her entrepreneurial spirit grew as well as her love for political activism and philanthropy. As both a Bonner Scholar and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Keshia became and remains very active as an advocate for underserved communities.
Upon graduation from Spelman College, Keshia continued acting, starring in several TV movies including, “What About Your Friends: Weekend Getaway” and “Christmas At Water’s Edge”. In 2005, she returned to the big screen in “Beauty Shop,” alongside Queen Latifah, Djiomn Hounsou, Kevin Bacon, Alfre Woodard and Alicia Silverstone. In 2007, Keshia joined the cast of Tyler Perry’s award winning show “House of Payne,” as Miranda Payne, a role for which she won four NAACP Image Awards.
In 2009, Keshia starred alongside Tyler Perry, Derek Luke and Academy Award winner Viola Davis in “Madea Goes To Jail,” as Candace. “Madea Goes To Jail” is Tyler Perry’s highest grossing movie to date earning over $90 million.
Recognizing her tremendous blessings spanning decades in the entertainment business, Keshia started her non-profit the Kamp Kizzy Foundation in 2010. Using her background in sociology, Keshia has created a free mentorship camp for youth ages 11-16 in her current home of Atlanta, GA. Kamp Kizzy attracts kids from around the country. In 2015, to celebrate Kamp Kizzy’s 5th year, Keshia will be launching her newest initiative, Project James, a mentoring camp designed specifically for boys ages 11-16 in addition to Kamp Kizzy International Bahamas.
In 2014, Keshia was awarded the “Daily Point of Light Award” by Points of Light, a volunteer service organization for which President George H.W. Bush is the Honorary Chairman. In addition, she was also the recipient of the “Phoenix Award” and the “Community Service Award Key,” from the City of Atlanta for her work in the community.
For more information, please contact the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at (870) 575-7060.