Kadeem Hardison first fell into our hearts when he walked into our living room every week on the hit ’90’s show A Different World which was a spin-off from the hugely popular, The Cosby Show. He was the quirky-but-lovable nerd who was in love with the privileged southern bell, Whitley Gilbert. The chemistry of all the cast worked great together and the show became a runaway hit. It broke barriers as well.
A Different World was the first American TV show to address AIDS. The AIDS episode is one of my favorites in the series. It featured Tisha Campbell as a student who has full-blown AIDS and also guest starred Whoopi Goldberg as a no-nonsense visiting professor who calls out students’ ignorance about the disease. This may seem like nothing now but in 1991, talking about AIDS on TV, especially on a sitcom, was taking a huge risk. They couldn’t even show a condom in a package, but they made it work–and it was powerful.
Hardison’s other credits include the TV movie “Life Is Not A Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story,” the films “White men Can’t Jump,” “The Sixth Man,” “Biker Boyz,” “Vampire In Brooklyn,” “Panther” and many others.
“I did the Cosby Show in it’s first season and they remembered me. They kept saying ‘we’re going to give you a job but you’re too old for Theo and too young for Denise.’ But then Dwayne came along and I got it.”
Now, at age 51, Hardison is a father, still acting and loving every minute of it.
On His Favorite Episode
“My favorite episode is easily ‘The Cat’s in the Cradle.’ We went to another school and we didn’t tell two sides of the story. It was a racially charged issue. They locked us up in jail with a white dude and we wanted to kill each other. That’s one of my favorites acting wise. It had comedy and drama. It gave me that feeling that I was doing more than doing sitcom stuff.”
“When people tell me they want to be an engineer because of my character, or someone tells me they went to college because of the show, it never gets old. I wish there was another show like it now. The kids who didn’t find the reruns could have something that was on right in front of them to take the same kind of inspiration.”
I can’t wait for her to be done with school. She is in her last year of high school. We will be able to hang out more and do fun stuff.
Now it is pretty easy. Having a job makes it more fun because you can buy more stuff and be like a big kid. Not having a job makes it a little tense. I would be like sorry baby we can’t do that right now until we get some more money.
“I am a big believer in not sweating the small stuff and not worrying about things that you can’t change. Worry about what you can effect. Everything happens for a reason. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.”