Daughter of Matt Robinson, the original Gordon (1969-1971) on the long-running PBS TV series "Sesame Street," Holly Robinson Peete first appeared on television at age 5 with a guest role in an episode of NET/PBS children’s series “Sesame Street.” She then came to national prominence as Officer Judy Hoffs (1987-1991), one of the young undercover cops on FOX/Syndicated long-running cop drama series "21 Jump Street," alongside Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise, Dustin Nguyen and Steven Williams. Since then, she continued to received prominent regular roles, as Vanessa Russell (1994-1997), the love interest and eventually fiancée of the titular character (played by Mark Curry) on the ABC sitcom "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper," and as Malena Ellis (1998-2002), the newlywed and wife of James Lesure's character on the NBC/WB sitcom "For Your Love." Most recently, she starred as Clea (2005-2006), the owner and founder of “Love, Inc.” on UPN sitcom with the same name which was canceled due to the WB/UPN merger.
The 5' 4" tall actress who sports 35-23-33 measurement is currently married to Rodney Peete, a former National Football League quarterback with Washington Redskins (later for the Carolina Panthers). They have four children together.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of Matt Robinson, the original Gordon (1969-1971) on the long-running PBS TV series "Sesame Street" (later worked on “The Cosby Show” as a producer for seven years) and actress/producer/ personal manager Dolores Robinson, Holly Robinson Peete was born on September 18, 1964 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents divorced in 1975 and his father later died on August 5, 2002 of Parkinson's disease. Her great-great-uncle is Matthew Henson, first member of Admiral Peary's expedition to actually set foot on the North Pole.
When Holly was 10 years old, her parents moved her to Los Angeles, where she attended Malibu Park Junior High School and was named "Most Likely to Succeed" along with classmate Rob Lowe. Holly then entered the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, majoring in psychology and French. She also studied abroad at France's renowned Sorbonne University.
On June 10, 1995, Holly married Rodney Peete, a former National Football League quarterback with Washington Redskins (later for the Carolina Panthers). They have four children together: twins Rodney James Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete (born October 19, 1997), son Robinson James Peete (born August 11, 2002) and son Roman Peete (born February 25, 2005). Holly and Rodney founded LA-based HollyRod Foundation to help people afflicted with Parkinson's disease.
21 Jump Street
Born into a show business family, Holly Robinson Peete made acting debut at age 5 years old with a guest spot as Sally in a November 1969 episode of NET/PBS children’s series “Sesame Street.” Six years later, she appeared on the syndicated anthology series "This Is the Life." In 1979, she had her first role in primetime, as the sister of LeVar Burton's character in the CBS drama movie Dummy, also starring Paul Sorvino.
Peete made her feature debut with a bit part as a school child in Lorea and the Outlaws (1985), followed by a role as a singing member of a rock band called the Cherry Bomb in Willard Huyck's disastrous film adaptation of Steve Gerber's cult comic books, Howard the Duck (1986; starring Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins and Ed Gale). The next year, she landed the star-making role of Officer Judy Hoffs (1987-1991), one of the young undercover cops on FOX/Syndicated long-running cop drama series "21 Jump Street," alongside Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise, Dustin Nguyen and Steven Williams.
“Of course, what we do on this show doesn't exactly require the skills of a Meryl Streep or a Robert Redford.” Holly Robinson Peete (on “21 Jump Street”).
While working on the popular series, Peete also tried her luck in singing. She began singing professionally in nightclubs in New York, in Paris (with Lionel Hampton) and at various Club Meds. Her singing talent later landed her an acting and singing job in the ABC two-part biographical/musical miniseries based on the history of the popular soul and pop act The Jackson 5 and the history of the The Jackson Family, "The Jacksons: An American Dream," in which she portrayed singing legend Diana Ross.
From 1994 to 1997, Peete played Vanessa Russell, the love interest and eventually fiancée of the titular character (played by popular comedian Mark Curry) on the ABC sitcom "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper." During that time, she was spotted as a guest in an episode of USA Network's cop drama "Pacific Blue" and CBS' drama/fantasy series "Touched by an Angel."
Afterward, Peete co-starred in the ensemble of the NBC/WB sitcom "For Your Love," playing Malena Ellis (1998-2002), the newlywed and wife of James Lesure's character. Her performance later received four nominations at the NAACP Image Awards in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, all for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. During that time, she also appeared in the TV movies Killers in the House (1998), After All (1999) and My Wonderful Life (2002), as well as guest starring in an episode of Lifetime's medical drama "Strong Medicine." She also had a recurring role as Stacy (2001-2002) on UPN's sitcom "One on One."
Peete then landed another regular starring role, this time as Tanya Ward (2003-2004) on the WB's family/drama comedy series "Like Family," and followed it up with a regular role as Clea (2005-2006), the owner and founder of “Love, Inc.” on UPN sitcom with the same name. The show, based on Elana Berkowitz's best-selling article in the New York Times, was later cancelled only after its first season due to the WB and UPN becoming the CW network. However, it earned Peete another NAACP Image award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series in 2006.