Raven-Symone is a beloved American entertainer. She has been in the business for almost four decades and is attached to a handful of iconic properties. Of course, many were introduced to her on The Cosby Show. Despite old clips from the show being just about everywhere, many of which have become popular memes, for Raven is a distant memory. Much of it she actually does not remember. She discovered through therapy why, recently revealing her surprising diagnosis in a TV One Uncensored special.
Raven’s career kicked off incredibly early when she scored a role on the Cosby Show at three years old. She played Cosby’s step-granddaughter Olivia from the start of the show’s sixth season through their series finale in 1992. Raven admits that any stories that she’s told about her time on the Cosby Show over the years are just myths and media training answers she was coached on as a kid. Truthfully, she says she cannot remember much of it at all. What she does recall clearly was the hard work her parents put in to get her into Hollywood. They alternated working overnight to help get Raven to auditions during the day. They instilled in her values of professionalism that she recited in the interview as if she’d heard them a million times. “Don’t do this, don’t do that. There was a lot of rules in place.” However when it comes to actually memories from the set, “honest, I don’t remember,” she says. “I don’t remember a scene. I don’t remember anything with a rehearsal or a camera. I do not remember as soon as the camera starts.”
Following the Cosby Show, Raven continued to grind. She recorded an album at five years old. In the interview, she recalled the long hours and her parents reminding her that this was for the next stage in her career. She would go on to do a series of memorable roles in the ’90s in projects like Hanging With Mr. Cooper to Dr. Doolittle, The Little Rascals, and Zenon. It was that last role that would forge her relationship with Disney Channel, leading to her starring role in That’s So Raven and The Cheetah Girls franchise. Fellow Disney Channel alumni Christy Carlson Romano recalls watching Raven grow up in the ’90s and how excited she was when she found out Raven would be joining the Disney Channel family. In a recent vlog, she recalls hearing about how adamant Raven’s parents were that her name be in the title of the show. “They were so conscious about her legacy,” recalls Romano. The grind inevitably paid off, as Raven is now one of the most beloved child stars of all time. So much so she has been able to revisit the character of Raven Baxter for several seasons in the sequel series “Raven’s Home.”
Unfortunately for Raven, it has not always been fun. At 18, she began to realize something was going on with her memory and turned to therapy when she was diagnosed with Dissociation disorder. “When I turned 18, I knew something was going on so I started going to therapy. And it dissociation. I just black out. I turn into who I’m supposed to be when the cameras on. And then, I come back too when normal life resumes. It’s bottled up.” The actress went on to discuss maintaining a relationship with Malcolm Jamal Warner, but claims she really doesn’t know why. “I just know that i adore him. I can’t tell you the genesis of it. But I’m sure he helped me when I needed it.” According to NAMI, dissociative disorders are “characterized by an involuntary escape from reality characterized by a disconnection between thoughts, identity, consciousness and memory.”