Holly Robinson Peete

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"Holly Robinson" redirects here. For the DC Comics character, see Holly Robinson (comics).
Holly Robinson Peete
Holly Robinson Peete
Born Holly Elizabeth Robinson
(1964-09-18) September 18, 1964 (age 51)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater Sarah Lawrence College[1]
Occupation Actress, model, singer, presenter
Years active 1969–present
Known for Judy Hoffs in 21 Jump Street
Vanessa Russell in Hangin' with Mr. Cooper
Malena Ellis in For Your Love
Spouse(s) Rodney Peete (m. 1995)
Children 4
Family Matt Robinson (father)

Holly Elizabeth Robinson Peete (born September 18, 1964) is an American actress, model and singer. She is perhaps best known for her roles as Judy Hoffs on the Fox TV police drama 21 Jump Street, Vanessa Russell on the ABC sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, and Dr. Malena Ellis on the NBC/WB sitcom For Your Love. After graduating from high school, Peete entered Sarah Lawrence College in New York. She majored in Psychology and French and can speak four languages. During her time as an undergraduate, she spent a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. After she graduated in 1986, she considered attending graduate school and perhaps working in languages for the U.S. State Department. However, her love of acting contributed to her decision to give an acting career a chance for a few months first. Within a short time, Peete found roles on a television series and in two films, and thoughts of graduate school were left behind.

Peete served as one of the original five co-hosts of the CBS daytime talk show The Talk.

Peete's children's book, My Brother Charlie, won her an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Literary Work" in March 2011.[2]

It was announced in March 2015 that Robinson and her family will be starring in a new reality series, entitled For Peete's Sake. The series will document their everyday lives as a family.

Early life[edit]

Peete was born in Mount Airy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Dolores and Matt Robinson (the original Gordon on Sesame Street). Her mother was a school teacher, in public relations, and later a personal talent manager, and her father a producer/writer. She has an older brother named Matthew Thomas III. She attended Greene Street Friends School in nearby Germantown.[3] In 1974, her family moved to California.[4][5] Peete graduated from Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, California, where her classmates included Rob Lowe. Peete graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in psychology and French.[6] Peete studied abroad for a year at the Sorbonne, and is fluent in French.[6] While there she sang in Paris nightclubs, including a memorable performance with jazz legend Lionel Hampton at the Hotel Meridian Jazz Club.[7][8][9]


In 1969, she made her first TV appearance by playing a little girl named Sally on the very first episode of Sesame Street. She recalls that when she was six years old, she kept blowing her line, referring to her father instead of her father's character name, and ended up with just an appearance where she walked with Big Bird.[1] At the age of 11, Holly worked for the children's show Kidsworld as a celebrity correspondent; she interviewed many actors and actresses for the program. As an actress, she has appeared on the television series 21 Jump Street (1987—1991), Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (1992—1997), For Your Love (1998—2002), and Like Family (2003—2004). She was featured in the video for the 1990 hit single "Whip Appeal" by Babyface as the sultry radio host at the beginning of the video.[10] In 1992 she portrayed Diana Ross in The Jacksons: An American Dream. Robinson most recently starred on the UPN comedy Love, Inc.. The show lasted just one season, and was canceled after the WB/UPN merger.

Robinson has also had a limited career as a singer and recording artist, including the introductory song to 21 Jump Street.[1] She contributed a variety of songs to the soundtrack of the film Howard the Duck. (She appeared as a musician/singer in a minor role in the film.) She recorded the theme song "We Got Our Love" for the 1988 film Three for the Road. She and Dawnn Lewis, along with R&B quartet En Vogue, performed the theme song for Season 1 of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.

Robinson has been a spokesperson for Colgate Total toothpaste since 2008. Robinson and her husband currently co-host a talk show on Oprah & Friends Radio. In 2009, she co-starred in the ABC comedy pilot, The Bridget Show.

In 2006, she won, along with fellow writer Daniel Paisner, the Quills Award in Sports for the book Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game!: A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football. Peete and her daughter Ryan Elizabeth co-wrote a children's book My Brother Charlie, which was released in March 2010.

In 2010, she participated in the third season of Celebrity Apprentice, playing for her own charity, the HollyRod Foundation,[1] which provides support for families with autism. She set an "Apprentice" record for the most money made on a single task, and finished as the runner-up to winner Bret Michaels.

Robinson began co-hosting The Talk, a CBS daytime talk show, on October 18, 2010.[11] In this forum, Robinson was known for expressing herself through her ethnicity and being vocal on especially issues of the African American race and autism, which one of her children, Rodney, has.[12] In April 2011, Robinson hosted a weekly series on The Talk promoting autism awareness.[13]

After serving on The Talk for its first season, Robinson along with Leah Remini were unceremoniously released from the show. Failure to ever disclose why the two were let go brought on a great deal of audience criticism of the show, as well as protests from the stars' fans.[14][15]

Robinson hosted the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, alongside Wayne Brady, on March 4, 2011.[16]

Robinson and her family will be starring in a new reality TV series on OWN, entitled For Peete's Sake.[17] "For Peete's Sake" will be following the lives of husband and wife duo Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete as they juggle complicated career choices with their bustling family life. Fans know Holly Robinson Peete as the actress who launched her career starring on the TV series "21 Jump Street," and Rodney Peete as the popular NFL quarterback and former co-host of Fox Sports' "The Best Damn Sports Show Period." But their public careers reveal just a glimpse of what life is like today for this Hollywood power couple, whose family includes four kids and Holly's wild-and-crazy mom, Dolores, who at 80 years young is anything but a typical grandma. In a household where constant activity and change are the norm, the series celebrates the chaotic, yet loving dynamic of life in this magnetic American family.[18]

Personal life[edit]

On June 10, 1995, Robinson married Rodney Peete, a National Football League quarterback. He proposed by surprising Holly during an episode of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Together, they have four children: daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete and son Rodney Peete, Jr. (twins born in 1997), son Robinson James Peete (born in 2002), and son Roman Peete (born in 2005). Rodney Peete, Jr., was diagnosed with autism at age 3.[19] One of Holly's closest friends is Terry Ellis of the popular R&B group En Vogue.

After her father was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, Robinson and her husband co-founded the HollyRod Foundation, which is dedicated to help find a cure for the disease and assist those living with the condition.[1][20]

In September 2012, Nestle's Carnation Breakfast Essentials announced they had teamed up with Robinson, featuring her as the spokesperson for the brand.[21][22] On October 4, 2012, Robinson was inducted as an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.[23]


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Sesame Street Sally Premiere episode
1979 Dummy Genettia Lang
1986 Howard the Duck K.C., Cherry Bomb
1987–1991 21 Jump Street (TV Series) Officer Judy Hoffs 102 episodes
1992 The Jacksons: An American Dream Diana Ross
1992–1997 Hangin' with Mr. Cooper Vanessa Russell 101 Episodes
1998 Killers in the House Jennie Sawyer
1998–2002 For Your Love Malena Ellis
1999 After All Michelle Troussaint
2002 My Wonderful Life Samika
2003–04 Like Family Tanya Jones
2004 Earthquake Heaven
2005–06 Love, Inc. Clea
2007 Matters of Life and Dating
2009 The Bridget Show TV Movie
2010 Speed-Dating Gayle
2010 Celebrity Apprentice Herself
2010–11 The Talk Herself
2011 The Young and the Restless Herself July 28, 2011 episode
2011–12 Mike & Molly Christina 12 episodes
2012 21 Jump Street Judy Hoffs Cameo
2014 Instant Mom Mrs. Kimberley Phillips


  1. ^ a b c d e Byrne, Bridget (2003-12-09). "Actress is at home in TV role as busy mom". Boston.com (Globe Newspaper Company / The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Holly Robinson Peete's Winning Image". Celebrity Baby Scoop. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  3. ^ http://articles.philly.com/2013-05-12/news/39205713_1_eagles-quarterback-eagles-fans-hollyrod-foundation
  4. ^ "Holly Robinson Peete Biography – life, family, children, parents, name, story, wife, school, mother – Newsmakers Cumulation". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  5. ^ "The Holly Robinson Peete Picture Pages". Superiorpics.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  6. ^ a b "SLC Buzz: 2010–2011". Slc.edu. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  7. ^ "Holly Robinson & Rodney Peete". Womensconference.org. 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  8. ^ "Holly Robinson". Luxury Awaits. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  9. ^ "Holly Robinson Peete | Speaker Profile and Speaking Topics". Apbspeakers.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  10. ^ Whip Appeal#Video
  11. ^ Domanick, Andrea (August 11, 2010). "CBS‍ '​ ‍ '​The Talk‍ '​ to Premiere Oct. 18". Broadcasting and Cable. 
  12. ^ "Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete on their son RJ's autism – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies - People.com". Celebritybabies.people.com. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  13. ^ Peden, Mike. "Holly Robinson Peete's Autism "Talk"". The Autistic Journalist. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Nede, Jethro (2011-09-07). "'The Talk' Without Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete: What THR Readers Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  15. ^ http://perezhilton.com/2011-11-04-holly-robinson-peete-opens-up-about-being-fired-from-the-talk
  16. ^ Seidman, Robert. "Wayne Brady and Holly Robinson Peete to Host ’42nd NAACP Image Awards’ Friday, March 4 on Fox – Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  17. ^ "OWN Orders Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete Docuseries". The Hollywood Reporter. 2015-05-06. 
  18. ^ http://www.oprah.com/own/Holly-Robinson-Peete-and-Rodney-Peete-Star-in-New-OWN-Docuseries#ixzz3phV6Sz21
  19. ^ Kaplan, Erin Aubry – Holly's Heart. When her eldest son was diagnosed with autism, Holly Robinson Peete’s storybook life was nearly shattered. The HARDWORKING actress even considered walking away from her 12-year marriage. Writer Erin Aubry Kaplan uncovers the strength that made her stay. Essence, February 2007
  20. ^ "Ability Magazine: Holly Robinson Pete Interview with Chet Cooper" (2007)". Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  21. ^ http://www.carnationbreakfastessentials.com/previous-emails/default.aspx
  22. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/holly-robinson-peete-and-carnation-breakfast-essentials-offer-moms-solutions-to-help-their-kids-start-the-day-out-right-170494826.html
  23. ^ http://aka1908.com/pdf/HollyRobinsonPeete.pdf

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