The ‘Cosby Show’ alum and host of ‘Married at First Sight After Party’ says she couldn’t be happier living off the grid with husband Brad James, their kids and many animals
If you ask Keshia Knight Pulliam, home is where her hens are.
The actress, 44, who first rose to fame in the '80s as young Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show, is currently featured in the Breast Cancer Research Fund’s new PSA, having had two family members affected by the disease. She opens up to PEOPLE about that important work and how she’s currently living her dream farm life in Atlanta.
“I have been in the business my entire life, spanning over 40 years,” she says, “but I’ve also had my own private life away from it, and I appreciate that.”
It’s a life she now shares with actor Brad James, 42, her husband of two years, who she fell for while they were both working on a Lifetime movie together. “We were actually playing brother and sister,” Knight Pulliam says of filming Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta in 2019. “Our paths had crossed many times before but this was the first time we saw each other.”
When they were still just friends, Knight Pulliam invited James to Thanksgiving dinner with her family. “He came to my brother’s house with all my people and met everybody and we were literally just cast mates at the time. Five or so years later and he’s my husband and we’ve made a whole other human being.”
“Ella is the best big sister ever,” she says. “So much so that sometimes I have to remind her that I am both of their mama and that she’s not the mama! But they love each other so much, it’s just a joy. The way his face lights up when he sees her, it’s amazing.”
With the current SAG-AFTRA strike in Hollywood, Knight Pulliam has had even more time to spend at home on the farm where she’s raising her kids.
“I never imagined taking time off to have my son and then when it was time to come back, the whole industry would be shut down,” says the star, whose continued working on her non-scripted projects. “Luckily those things were outside of the scope of the strike, but it’s definitely been nice to have more family time.”
She and James, whose work has also been impacted, are hoping the strike ends with “a fair deal" soon, but they’re also savoring the time they’ve been given. “We live on a farm so my husband built me a greenhouse and we’re in the process of planting, taking care of chickens and goats and really just enjoying time as a family.”
And it’s her love of family that inspired Knight Pulliam to partner with the Breast Cancer Research Fund during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I have one grandmother who is a breast cancer survivor and a great grandmother who lost her battle with breast cancer. I’ve had girlfriends who are breast cancer survivors,” she says. “It’s just really important to me to get the message out that you need to start doing your screenings and doing them earlier.”
Adds Knight Pulliam, “I want to encourage women to get your yearly physical, do your self breast exams and get your mammograms. It’s worth it to do the things we know we can to have the information early.”
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