Having starred in several of Hallmark Channel's must-watch Christmas movies, actress Holly Robinson Peete is one of the network's most recognizable TV movie stars. She began starring in Hallmark Channel Christmas movies in 2015 and she can be found in holiday-themed movies on the network as recently as this year. However, Hallmark movies aren't the only place fans may have seen Robinson Peete. Here's a look at her life and extensive acting history throughout the years.
Robinson Peete, whose full name at birth was Holly Elizabeth Robinson, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mother Dolores was a teacher as well as an entertainment manager, and her father Matt Robinson was a writer and producer (and the original Gordon on Sesame Street). During her teen years, her family moved to Santa Monica, California, where she graduated from high school and met other future stars like Rob Lowe. She then attended Sarah Lawrence College, majoring in Psychology and French. She also studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris and is fluent in the French language.
Her Acting Career
Due to her father's connection to the TV world, acting is something that was always in Robinson Peete's life. She had her first role at age 5 playing a little girl named Sally alongside her father on Sesame Street. Also in her youth, Robinson Peete starred on a show called Kidsworld. However, it was during the 1980s that Robinson Peete's acting career really got started. During that time, she played Officer Judy Hoffs in the TV series 21 Jump Street.
Other shows which starred Robinson Peete include Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, For Your Love, Like Family and many more. She also served as a host on The Talk from 2010 to 2011, but she was released after her first season on the talk show.
Robinson Peete's movie career also heated up during this time, as she starred in the motion picture Howard The Duck, as well as TV movies including Killers In The House, Matters of Life and Dating, Football Wives and more. She also reprised her role as Officer Hoffs in the 2012 comedy film, 21 Jump Street, which was adapted from the original TV series and starred Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
Robinson Peete began her Hallmark Christmas movie career in 2015 by starring in Angel of Christmas in the role of Yvette Collins. This was followed by 2017's Christmas In Evergreen and two more from the series in 2018 and 2019, in which she played character Michelle Lansing. She then played the character of Amanda in A Family Christmas Gift (2019) and Dr. Zoey in The Christmas Doctor (2020). Also in 2020, she starred in a fourth Christmas In Evergreen installment called Christmas In Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing. Her latest movies include 2021's The Christmas Bond and Our Christmas Journey.
The Christmas Bond is about a single mom (Peete) and her teenaged son with autism (Nik Sanchez). The mother "must learn to let go so he can flourish and finds her own heart healing in unexpected ways," reads a plot description from Hallmark.
Peete said she made the film for her son RJ, who is on the autism spectrum.
"I am making this movie for my son RJ, others with autism and their families," Robinson Peete said in a statement. "I am grateful to Hallmark for bringing this story to screen with authenticity, respect and hope."
Her Family Life
Throughout her career, the actress has been very open about her family. Holly Robinson Peete's husband is former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, whom she married in 1995. The couple have four children: twins Ryan Elizabeth Peete and Rodney Peete, Jr., along with sons Robinson Peete and Roman Peete. After their eldest son Rodney was diagnosed with autism at age three, the Robinson Peetes used their HollyRod Foundation, which was originally formed to support those with Parkinson's Disease, to help families with children affected by autism. The couple have also given fans an inside look into their family with two reality shows: For Peete's Sake, which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and Meet The Peetes, which aired on Hallmark Channel.