Actress, author, talk show host, activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete has been touched by the entertainment industry almost of her life Her career as an actress dates back more than four decades and has led her to becoming a voice for her father, her son and her community.
Robinson Peete had her first experience in front of the camera at the age of four when she appeared on television opposite her father, Matthew Robinson who served as a producer and portrayed the original beloved character of “Gordon” on the iconic children’s program Sesame Street. While she knew even at that young age her calling was to be in entertainment, Robinson Peete opted to lead a more typical childhood rather than searching to be the next child star.
However, upon finishing her BA at Sarah Lawrence College, majoring in French, Robinson Peete’s heart led her back to show business. In 1986, she landed a starring role on the FOX television drama 21 Jump Street opposite unknown cast members including Johnny Depp. She went on to star in many other successful television series including Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, For Your Love, and One on One. Robinson Peete’s successful television career places her as one of only a handful of actresses to star in four shows in syndication. In addition, she also starred in the original Lifetime movie Matters of Life & Dating for which she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
Robinson Peete can be seen early 2016 alongside her family in the highly anticipated new docu- series “For Peete’s Sake” on the OWN network. She also has a recurring role on hit comedy series Mike & Molly which came shortly after successfully launching the show The Talk as one of the original co-hosts. The Talk came on the heels of the enormous success Robinson Peete had on the third season of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. Making it all the way to the finals, Robinson Peete set a fundraising record for her charity, HollyRod Foundation highlighting her philanthropic prowess and shedding a national spotlight on two causes very personal to the Peete Family: autism and Parkinson's disease.
In 1997, Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation, inspired by her father’s courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, with the mission to help improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s. Then in 2005, inspired by their eldest son’s autism diagnosis, HollyRod Foundation’s mission expanded to provide support and resources to those affected by an autism diagnosis. Through the HollyRod Foundation and her family’s personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support for both Parkinson’s and autism.
Robinson Peete is also an accomplished author. For her first book Get Your Own Damn Beer, I’m Watching the Game: A Women’s Guide to Loving Pro Football (2005, Rodale), Robinson Peete won the 2006 Quill Literacy Award and a follow up to that book “A #CrazyFootballMomma’s Pocket Armchair Guide” is in the works.
In 2010, Robinson Peete released her second book, an NAACP Image Award winning children’s book entitled My Brother Charlie (Scholastic) about autism from the sibling’s perspective, coauthored by her daughter, then 12-year old Ryan Elizabeth Peete. The follow up to My Brother Charlie is entitled “Same But Different; Teen Life on The Autism Express” (Scholastic) and will be released in Spring 2016.
Her longevity and visibility in the entertainment community has led Robinson Peete to a successful career as a trusted spokesperson for some of the country’s biggest brands. Robinson Peete’s consumer and mom friendly personal brand has partnered with Target, Toys”R”Us, Colgate , Skechers, Epipen and Carnation among many others.
Robinson Peete’s singing talents have been displayed on theme songs for both 21 Jump Street and Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, and she also did her own signing as Diana Ross in the miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream. Robinson Peete says fondly that singing is her “first love and passion but acting paid the rent quicker!”
In addition to her philanthropic work through the HollyRod Foundation, Robinson Peete has become involved in other organizations as well. She proudly currently serves as a member of the board of directors of her alma mater Sarah Lawrence College and the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Robinson Peete’s philanthropic efforts have earned her numerous awards and honors including: Ford’s Freedom Sisters, American Mentor Award, The Southern California Broadcasters’ Assoc Community Service Award, Gerald R. Ford People Helping People Award, The March of Dimes Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures Award, USC Woman of Distinction Award, Anheuser Busch John E. Jacob Community Service Award, The Genii Award, The Girls Inc. Mentor Award, A Place Called Home Humanitarian Award, McDonald’s 365 Black Award, Los Angeles Magazine’s Most Inspirational Women Award, and many more.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Los Angeles from the age of 10, Robinson Peete was voted “most talented” in high school alongside fellow classmate and future actor Rob Lowe. She did her undergraduate studies at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College where she majored in Psychology and French. She spent her junior year studying abroad at Sorbonne University in France and became fluent in the language.
Robinson Peete and husband of 20 years Rodney Peete are the proud parents of four children ages 10-17. They currently reside in Los Angeles.