Bonet was born in San Francisco, California to an African American father, Allen Boney, and a Jewish American mother, Arlene. Her parents divorced when she was young. She lived most of her life in New York and Los Angeles, where she attended Reseda High School in Van Nuys, California, and Celluloid Actor's Studio in North Hollywood where she majored in acting. 
Bonet is known for playing the role of Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show alongside Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad, among others, but Bonet actually began acting when she was 11, attending many auditions and participating in several television commercials before she became well-known.
In 1987 she accepted the role of Epiphany Proudfoot in the movie Angel Heart opposite Mickey Rourke, directed by Alan Parker. Her appearance caused controversy and some scenes had to be cut to avoid an X rating.
Bonet began to accept jobs on straight-to-video releases and made-for-TV movies. She changed her name legally in 1995 to Lilakoi Moon, deciding to continue using her birth name on the productions she participated in. In 1998 she had a supporting role in Enemy of the State with Will Smith. In 2000 she appeared in the movie High Fidelity. Her most recent film appearance was in Biker Boyz which reunited her with former co-star Kadeem Hardison of A Different World.
In August 2006, Bonet appeared in a week-long A Different World reunion special that aired on Nick At Nite, along with fellow co-stars Hardison, Jasmine Guy, Cree Summer, Dawnn Lewis, Darryl M. Bell, and Sinbad. Bonet co-starred in the 2006 film Whitepaddy, alongside Sherilyn Fenn, Hill Harper, Debra Wilson, Karen Black and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bonet is also in negotiation for a role in the 2007 Coen brothers film Gambit, also starring Jennifer Aniston, Colin Firth, and Sir Ben Kingsley.