Holly Robinson Peete is the host of the Covid Know More conversation: The Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health.
Actress, author, talk show host, activist, and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete has been touched by the entertainment industry almost all of her life. Her career as an actress dates back more than four decades and has led her to become 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. She soon landed the part that made her recognizable to viewers throughout the world on the groundbreaking series "21 Jump Street" opposite Johnny Depp and went on to star in many other successful television series including "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper" and "For Your Love." She additionally was also seen on iconic hit drama series "Chicago Fire" and "Law and Order: SVU" as well as the smash comedy series "Mike & Molly" and "American Housewife".
Robinson Peete's successful television career places her as one of only a handful of actresses to star in four shows in syndication. Robinson Peete has starred in 13 movies for Hallmark Channel (The Christmas Doctor" & "Christmas In Evergreen" to name a few) and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries where she stars in her own murder mystery wheel "Morning Show Mysteries" as Billie Blessings-a chef, author, and talk show host with a penchant for crime-solving. Her latest Hallmark movie was the groundbreaking Christmas film Our Christmas Journey in December 2021. This film was near and dear to Robinson Peete because of its autism theme.
In 1999, 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 2000, 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. Most recently the foundation opened RJ's Place Vocational and Family Support Services Center in Los Angeles. RJ's Place is a 2,500 square foot facility created with the objective of providing training and job opportunities for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The facility features a computer lab, family support center, a think tank and features a 10' x 5' freshwater aquarium. In addition to job training, the HollyRod Foundation will provide support services to parents and siblings with all services free of fees. Through the HollyRod Foundation and her family's personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become one of the most trusted advocates for consistent and reliable education, outreach, and support for both Parkinson's and autism.
Her autism advocacy also extends to her book co-written with daughter, Ryan Elizabeth Peete, entitled "My Brother Charlie" (Scholastic): a bestselling, NAACP Image Award-winning children's book about autism from the sibling's perspective. 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. The follow-up to the children's book entitled "Same But Different: Teen Life On The Autism Express" – which was co-authored by her twins Ryan Elizabeth & RJ – was released in spring 2016. Robinson Peete's 4th book- "Charlie Makes A Splash" will be out in summer 2022! Her longevity and visibility in the entertainment community have led Robinson Peete to a successful career as a trusted brand ambassador/spokesperson for some of the country's biggest corporate brands. Robinson Peete's consumer and mom-friendly personal brand has partnered with Target, Toys 'R' Us, Colgate, Skechers, Epipen, Cigna, Carnation, and AARP, among others.
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, Habitat For Humanity Dream Builder's Award, The YMCA MLK Jr. Brotherhood 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 star 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 her husband of 26 years Rodney Peete are the proud parents of four children. Holly's mantra is "I wouldn't change my child for the world- but I would change the world for my child."