HOLLY ROBINSON PEETE BIOGRAPHY Actress, author, activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete has been touched by the entertainment industry all of her life. Her career as an actress dates back more than two decades and has led her to becoming a voice for her father, her son and her community. This year Robinson Peete recently was featured on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice where she earned more money for her charity than any other competitor in the show’s history. Through her appearance on the show, she sheds a national light on a cause very personal to the Peete Family: Autism. In 1996, Robinson Peete and her husband, 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 plagued with devastating life circumstances. Later, inspired by their son RJ’s autism diagnosis in 2000, hollyrod4kids was formed to focus on improving the lives of children and their families affected by autism. Through HollyRod Foundation and her family’s personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support of families affected by autism and Parkinson’s Disease. Robinson Peete’s mantra is “You cannot control what life brings you but you can control how you respond to it.” Her autism advocacy also extends to her book with daughter, Ryan Elizabeth Peete. In spring 2010, Robinson Peete released her second book, a children’s picture book about autism from the sibling’s perspective, co-authored by 12-year old Elizabeth Peete, entitled My Brother Charlie (Scholastic). With 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. 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. She is the spokesperson for Colgate toothpaste. Additionally, she and her children were featured as part of both Target’s Dream In Color campaign and Skecher’s Nothing Compares to Family campaign highlighting her HollyRod Foundation. This fall Holly is thrilled to be the face of the newest ToysRUs’ “Toys for Differently-Abled Kids” campaign. Philadelphia native Robinson Peete had her first experience in front of the camera, and one could argue her philanthropic start, at the age of four when she appeared on television opposite her father, Matthew Robinson who portrayed the original beloved character of “Gordon,” on the award-winning children’s program “Sesame Street.” While she knew even at that young age her calling was to be in show business, Robinson Peete opted to lead a typical childhood rather than searching to be the next child star. With education being a high priority, Robinson Peete attended prestigious Sarah Lawrence College. Her junior year was spent abroad at France’s renowned Sorbonne University where she became fluent in French and performed as a singer in Paris nightclubs. Later, she would go on to perform the theme songs for both “21 Jump Street” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” she also did her own singing as Diana Ross in the miniseries “The Jacksons: An American Dream.” Robinson Peete says fondly that singing is her “first love and pet-passion.” Upon finishing her college education, Robinson Peete’s heart led her back to entertainment. In 1986, she landed a starring role on FOX television’s very first drama “21 Jump Street” opposite then-unknown cast members including Johnny Depp. She has gone on to star in several additional 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 recently starred in the original Lifetime movie “Matters of Life & Dating”. She has been nominated for numerous NAACP Image Awards for her stellar and consistent television work. In late 2008, Robinson Peete wrapped a successful run as an on-air personality alongside her husband Rodney on their daily radio program, “Meet the Peetes.” Airing on the Oprah & Friends network on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, “Meet the Peetes” captured the reality of two working parents raising their four children, balancing their careers and being activists and advocates on issues which affect their lives. The Peetes were able to effectively balance issues, fun and family in a way only two people who have been married for 15 years can. In addition to her philanthropic work through the HollyRod Foundation, Robinson Peete currently serves as a member of the board of several highly reputable organizations including: Autism Speaks; the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California and the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA). Robinson Peete’s philanthropic efforts have earned her numerous awards and honors including: The 1999 Woman of Conscience Awards, American Mentor Award, The Buddy Award presented by NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund, The Southern California Broadcasters’ Assoc Community Service Award, 2004 Gerald R. Ford People Helping People Award, The 2004 March of Dimes Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures Award, 2004 USC Woman of Distinction Award, Anheuser Busch John E. Jacob Community Service Award, The Huntington Disease Society Distinguished Achievement Award, The 2004 and 2005 Girls Inc Mentor Award, The 2006 A Place Called Home Humanitarian Award, and Ford’ Freedom Sisters 2010. Robinson Peete and husband of 15 years, former NFL QB Rodney Peete are the proud parents of four children. They currently reside in Los Angeles.
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