Jaleel White Was Almost Rudy Huxtable


This news comes from a Q&A with Vanity Fair's Mike Ryan:

Is it true that you were originally cast as Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show? Yep, that’s why the character was named Rudy—it was intended to be a boy. That’s my tragic auditioning story. We were all packed up and ready to go to New York and my agent had told my parents that they needed to start looking for places to live out there. Next thing you know, there was one more audition and that was supposed to be a formality at the network. And a little girl comes walking in, and I’m like—even at eight years old—“Who’s she?” And they’re like, “She’s auditioning for Rudy, too.” So I’m like, “Oh, it’s not as much of a formality as I thought.” That was my first time walking into a room of 30 people staring at you going, “O.K., make me laugh.” They were in such a hurry to get to New York and start filming that they came out and picked the kids one by one right in front of all of us. Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempest Bledsoe . . . The rest of us all went home crying. It was amazing. Obviously I’m grateful that things worked out the way they did; I think it put a little more money in my pocket.

White also discusses the creepy notes he got from ABC and the advice William Shatner gave him. Read the full interview here.

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