Holly Robinson Peete

Holly Elizabeth Robinson Peete (born September 18, 1964)[1] is an American actress and singer. She is 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. She also served as one of the original co-hosts of the CBS Daytime talk show, The Talk.

Holly Robinson Peete
Peete in April 2007
Holly Elizabeth Robinson

(1964-09-18) September 18, 1964
Alma materSarah Lawrence College
OccupationActress, singer, author, television personality
Years active1969–present
Rodney Peete (m. 1995)

After graduating from high school, Peete entered Sarah Lawrence College in New York. She majored in Psychology and French. After she graduated in 1986, she considered attending graduate school and perhaps working in languages for the U.S. State Department. However, she decided to give an acting career a chance. Within a short time, Peete found roles on a television series and in two films.

Peete's children's book, My Brother Charlie, won her an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in March 2011.[2] In 2012 the book was awarded the Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award.

In March 2016, a reality series debuted titled For Peete's Sake, documenting the everyday life of her family.

She is currently partnered with GreatCall as a caregiver ambassador.[3]

Early life

Peete was born Holly Elizabeth Robinson in Mount Airy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of 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 Robinson III. She attended Greene Street Friends School in nearby Germantown.[4] In 1974, her family moved to California.[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 performance with jazz musician Lionel Hampton at the Hotel Meridian Jazz Club.[7][8][9]


In 1969, she made her first television 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, saying "Hi, Daddy", instead of "Hi, Gordon", his character's name. She ended up with just an appearance where she walked down the street with Big Bird.[10] 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 TV 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.[11] 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.[10] 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 the first season of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.

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.[12]

In 2010, she participated in The Celebrity Apprentice 3, playing for her own charity, the HollyRod Foundation,[10] which provides support for families with Parkinson's disease or autism.

Robinson began co-hosting The Talk, a CBS daytime talk show, on October 18, 2010.[13] In this forum, Robinson was known for expressing herself through her ethnicity and being especially vocal about African American issues and, since her son Rodney is affected by it, autism.[14] In April 2011, Robinson hosted a weekly series on The Talk promoting autism awareness.[15]

After serving on The Talk for its first season, Robinson along with Leah Remini were 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.[16][17]

Robinson hosted the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, alongside Wayne Brady, on March 4, 2011.[18]

The Peete family star in a reality TV series on OWN, entitled For Peete's Sake.[19] The series follows the lives of Peete and her husband Rodney as they juggle career choices with their family life.[20]

Personal life

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. They have four children: twins, daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete and son Rodney Peete, Jr. (born October 19, 1997), and sons born in August 2002 and February 2005.

One of their twins, Rodney Jr., was diagnosed with autism at age three.[21] Robinson plays baseball for Sierra Canyon, the same school where Bronny James and Zaire Wade play basketball. He also is preparing to release a hip hop album as "Lil' Robbie."

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, as well as for autism, and assist those living with the conditions.[10][22]

In September 2012, Nestle's Carnation Breakfast Essentials announced they had teamed up with Robinson, featuring her as the spokesperson for the brand.[23][24] On October 4, 2012, Robinson was inducted as an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.[25]


Note: She was credited as Holly Robinson until 1997.


Year Title Role Notes
1986Howard the DuckK.C., Cherry Bomb
2007Matters of Life and Dating
201221 Jump StreetJudy HoffsCameo
2014Instant MomMrs. Kimberley Phillips


Year Title Role Notes
1969Sesame StreetSallyWalk-on role (and deleted scene)
1979DummyGenettia LangMovie
1987–199121 Jump StreetOfficer Judy HoffsMain role (102 episodes)
1992The Jacksons: An American DreamDiana RossMiniseries
1992–1997Hangin' with Mr. CooperVanessa RussellMain role (101 episodes)
1997Pacific BlueGina GalindoEpisode: "Soft Targets"
1998Killers in the HouseJennie SawyerMovie
1998–2002For Your LoveMalena EllisMain role (84 episodes)
1999After AllMichelle TroussaintMovie
2001-2002One on OneStaceyRecurring role (6 episodes)
2002My Wonderful LifeSamika
2003–2004Like FamilyTanya Jones23 episodes
2005–2006Love, Inc.Clea22 episodes
2009The Bridget ShowMacyMovie
2010The Celebrity ApprenticeHerself12 episodes; runner-up
2010–2011The TalkCo-host59 episodes
2011The Young and the RestlessHerselfJuly 28, 2011 episode
2011–2012Mike & MollyChristina12 episodes
2015Angel of ChristmasYvette CollinsMovie
2016Chicago PDTamara Jones2 episodes
2016–2017For Peete's SakeHerselfReality television series
2018Morning Show Mystery: Mortal MishapsBillie BlessingsMovie
2018Morning Show Mystery: Murder on the MenuBillie BlessingsMovie
2018Meet the PeetesHerselfReality series
2019Morning Show Mystery: Murder in MindBillie BlessingsMovie
2019Morning Show Mystery: Countdown to MurderBillie BlessingsMovie
2019Morning Show Mystery: Death by DesignBillie BlessingsMovie
2019Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of JoyMichelleHallmark Movie


  1. "Holly Robinson Peete Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015.
  2. "Holly Robinson Peete's Winning Image". Celebrity Baby Scoop. 2011-03-05. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  3. "#PeaceByPiece: Introducing Caregiving Ambassador Holly Robinson Peete". GreatCall Currents. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  4. "Hangin' with Mrs. Robinson Peete". philly-archives.
  5. "The Holly Robinson Peete Picture Pages". Superiorpics.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  6. "SLC Buzz: 2010–2011". Slc.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-08-13. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  7. "Holly Robinson & Rodney Peete". Womensconference.org. 2010-03-16. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16. 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. 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.
  11. Whip Appeal#Video
  12. "The 2nd Annual Quill Awards". Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  13. Domanick, Andrea (August 11, 2010). "CBS' 'The Talk' to Premiere Oct. 18". Broadcasting and Cable. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  14. "Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete on their son RJ's autism". People. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  15. Peden, Mike. "Holly Robinson Peete's Autism "Talk"". The Autistic Journalist. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  16. Nede, Jethro (2011-09-07). "'The Talk' Without Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete: What THR Readers Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter.
  17. "Holly Robinson Peete Opens Up About Being Fired From The Talk!".
  18. Seidman, Robert (2011-03-04). "Wayne Brady and Holly Robinson Peete to Host '42nd NAACP Image Awards' Friday, March 4 on Fox". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
  19. "OWN Orders Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete Docuseries". The Hollywood Reporter. 2015-05-06.
  20. "Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete Star in New OWN Docuseries". Oprah.com.
  21. Kaplan, Erin Aubry (February 2007). "Holly's Heart". Essence. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  22. "Ability Magazine: Holly Robinson Peete Interview with Chet Cooper" (2007)". Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  23. "Breakfast Nutrition - Carnation Breakfast Essentials®". Archived from the original on 2013-05-22.
  24. Nestle Health Science (20 September 2012). "Holly Robinson Peete and Carnation® Breakfast Essentials™ Offer Moms Solutions to... -- Florham Park, N.J., Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/".
  25. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2012-11-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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