Maya Rudolph

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Maya Rudolph

Rudolph at the Up All Night Cast at Paley Center 2012
BornMaya Khabira Rudolph
(1972-07-27) July 27, 1972 (age 40)
Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
Alma materPorter College, (UC Santa Cruz)
B.A., 1993
OccupationActress, comedienne, singer
Years active1996–present
Partner(s)Paul Thomas Anderson
ParentsMinnie Riperton
Richard Rudolph
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Maya Rudolph

Rudolph at the Up All Night Cast at Paley Center 2012
BornMaya Khabira Rudolph
(1972-07-27) July 27, 1972 (age 40)
Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
Alma materPorter College, (UC Santa Cruz)
B.A., 1993
OccupationActress, comedienne, singer
Years active1996–present
Partner(s)Paul Thomas Anderson
ParentsMinnie Riperton
Richard Rudolph

Maya Khabira Rudolph (born July 27, 1972) is an American actress, comedienne, and singer who rose to prominence as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2000 to 2007.

Since SNL she has appeared in several films. Rudolph received an Emmy Award nomination for returning to host a 2012 episode of SNL, and is currently co-starring alongside Christina Applegate and Will Arnett in the second season of the NBC sitcom Up All Night.

She is the daughter of R&B and soul singer Minnie Riperton and music producer/composer Richard Rudolph.


Early life

Rudolph was born in Gainesville, Florida. She is the daughter of soul singer Minnie Riperton and composer/songwriter/producer Richard Rudolph. Her father is white Ashkenazi Jewish, and her mother was African-American.[3][4] Her paternal grandfather was Sidney Rudolph, a philanthropist who once owned all of the Wendy's and Rudy's restaurants in Dade County, FL.[5] Her parents moved to Los Angeles when she and her brother Marc were very young, and they grew up primarily in the Westwood section.[2]

Rudolph was in the studio with her mother on the day Riperton recorded "Lovin' You",[citation needed] Near the end of the track, Riperton can be heard singing "Maya, Maya, Maya" to Rudolph. Riperton incorporated this into her performance of the song on The Midnight Special.[6] Riperton died on July 12, 1979, at age 31, from breast cancer, just shy of Rudolph's seventh birthday.[2] Rudolph's godmother was R&B singer Teena Marie.[7]


Rudolph graduated from Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California in 1990, where she became friendly with fellow student Gwyneth Paltrow, and continued her education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she graduated in 1995 with a B.A. in photography from Porter College.[8]


Saturday Night Live

In May 2000, Rudolph joined the cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player for the final three episodes of the 1999–2000 season, after a stint as a member of The Groundlings improv troupe, where she met future Saturday Night Live cast member Will Forte.[2]

Rudolph's characters on the show have included "Attorney Glenda Goodwin" and "Megan" from the "Wake Up, Wakefield!" sketches. Rudolph has done a number of celebrity impressions on Saturday Night Live during her tenure, they include Amanda Byram, Ananda Lewis, Barbra Streisand, Bern Nadette Stanis (as Thelma Evans on Good Times), Beyoncé, Charo, Christina Aguilera, Condoleezza Rice, Darcel Wynne, Diana Ross, Donatella Versace, Donna Fargo, Emily Robison, Fredricka Whitfield, Free, Gayle King, Halle Berry, Ivanka Trump, Ja'net Du Bois (as Willona Woods on Good Times), Jennifer Lopez, Joyce "Fenderella" Irby, Justin Guarini, Kara Saun, LaToya Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Lisa Ling, Lucy Liu, Lynda Lopez, Macy Gray, Mario Vasquez, Mary Roach, Maya Angelou, Melinda Doolittle, Melissa Stark, Michelle Obama, Mýa, Nelly Furtado, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton, Patti LaBelle, Phylicia Rashad (as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show), Rocsi, Scott Joplin, Teresa Heinz, Terra Patrick, Tina Turner, Tyra Banks, Valerie Simpson, Vanessa Hudgens (as Gabriella Montez from High School Musical 3), Wanda Sykes and Whitney Houston.

Rudolph's musical talents were frequently employed on Saturday Night Live. She sang as Beyoncé Knowles in the Prince Show sketches, as the "Space Creature" in the Gays in Space sketches (except for the one on the Season 31 episode hosted by Peter Sarsgaard, because it aired around the time Rudolph was on maternity leave. (Friend Will Forte substituted for her during that episode.) Her ability to change her looks and her command of many accents also led to her playing an unusually wide range of ethnicities on the show, often with only a change of wigs. She has been white (Paris Hilton, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Lisa Kudrow), Asian (Lucy Liu, Lisa Ling), black (Diana Ross, Tina Turner), and Latina (Charo). As "Nooni Schoener," Rudolph, along with Fred Armisen, created a couple from an unspecified Scandinavian country, who have unplaceable accents and bewilderingly foreign manners. Rudolph was also able to play male characters such as Scott Joplin, Justin Guarini, and Mario Vazquez.

Her final show was on November 3, 2007, with host Brian Williams and musical guest Feist, the last episode before the writers' strike. She returned on October 25, 2008, in a featured guest appearance as Michelle Obama and sang a duet with Kenan Thompson about Amy Poehler's newborn. She then also appeared in the 2008 Christmas episode, where she reprised her role in the sketch Bronx Beat, with Amy Poehler. She also appeared in two sketches in the 2008–2009 season finale with Will Ferrell. She appeared in a Weekend Update Thursday sketch during the fall 2009–10 season as Oprah Winfrey speaking on behalf of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics. She also appeared on the show in May 2010 to perform in skits including "The Manuel Ortiz Show" with Betty White.

She returned to Saturday Night Live for the Season 36 premiere, hosted by Amy Poehler, performing the "Bronx Beat" sketch and that same season for episode 700, hosted by Tina Fey.[9]

On February 18, 2012 she returned to Saturday Night Live as a host for the first time and reprised her roles in sketches such as "Bronx Beat".

Television and film

In addition to her work on Saturday Night Live, Rudolph has appeared on other television shows, including the CBS medical drama series City of Angels and Chicago Hope.

She had small parts in Chuck & Buck, Gattaca, As Good as It Gets, Duplex and Duets; she was also a music supervisor for Duets. Her first prominent film role came in 2006 with A Prairie Home Companion. Earlier, she had co-starred with Luke Wilson in the 2005 Mike Judge sci-fi comedy Idiocracy, although that film was shelved until September 2006 and then only given a limited release. She also guest starred as Rapunzel in the DreamWorks animated film Shrek the Third. She guest starred as Julia in the The Simpsons episode "The Homer of Seville". Rudolph guest starred as character Athena Scooberman in NBC's Kath & Kim, and starred in the film Away We Go with The Office star John Krasinski. In 2010, she appeared in Grown Ups starring Adam Sandler, where she played the wife of Chris Rock's character. In 2011 she appeared in Bridesmaids, together with Saturday Night Live colleague Kristen Wiig. Since 2011, she has co-starred in NBC's latest sitcom, Up All Night, with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett.


Prior to joining Saturday Night Live, Rudolph was backing singer (1995-1999)[1] and briefly a keyboardist in the band The Rentals, with whom she toured for a short time.[2] She also appears in the music videos of the songs "Waiting" and "Please Let That Be You" by the band. She sang backing vocals for "Barcelona" and "My Head Is in the Sun," both from the album Seven More Minutes. In 2004, she recorded a track with the Rentals frontman Matt Sharp, including a cover of Tegan and Sara's "Not Tonight." Rudolph also performed "Together In Pooping" and "Little Roundworm" with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (Robert Smigel) on his album Come Poop With Me.

Personal life

Rudolph lives with director Paul Thomas Anderson and their three children — two daughters Pearl Minnie (born October 15, 2005) and Lucille (born November 6, 2009),[10] and son Jack (born July 3, 2011).[11]

Recurring characters on Saturday Night Live



1997GattacaDelivery Nurse
As Good As It GetsPolicewoman
2000Chuck & BuckJamilla
DuetsKaraoke Hostess
2004Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost MovieKanshasha X
50 First DatesStacy
2006A Prairie Home CompanionMolly
2007Shrek the ThirdRapunzel
2009Away We GoVeronica De Tessant
2010MacGruberCasey Fitzpatrick
Grown UpsDeanne McKenzie
2011BridesmaidsLillian Donovan
Friends with KidsLeslie
2013The Way, Way BackCaitlynpost-production
Grown Ups 2Deanne McKenziepost-production


1996-1997Chicago HopeNurse Leah Martine5 episodes
1997The Devil's ChildHollyTV movie
2000ActionPhina1 episode
City of AngelsNurse Grace Patterson15 episodes
Series regular
2000-2012Saturday Night LiveVarious characters149 episodes
Series regular
2006Campus LadiesProfessor Theresa Winslow Fabre1 episode
2007The SimpsonsJulia1 episode
2008-2009Kath & KimAthena Scooberman5 episodes
2011–presentUp All NightAva Alexander30+ episodes
Series regular

Awards and nominations

Film awards

2006Gotham AwardBest Ensemble CastA Prairie Home CompanionNominated
2007Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Acting EnsembleNominated
2009Chicago Film Critics Association AwardBest ActressAway We GoNominated
Comedy Film AwardBest ActressNominated
St Louis Gateway Film Critics Association AwardBest ActressNominated
Utah Film Critics Association AwardBest ActressNominated
Washington DC Film Critics Association AwardBest ActressNominated
2010Black Reel AwardBest ActressNominated
2011Phoenix Film Critics Society AwardBest Ensemble CastingBridesmaidsNominated
Teen Choice AwardChoice Movie Actress: ComedyNominated
2012Black Reel AwardBest Supporting ActressNominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Acting EnsembleNominated
Central Ohio Film Critics AssociationBest EnsembleNominated
NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion PictureNominated
MTV Movie AwardBest CastNominated
Best Gut-Wrenching PerformanceWon
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Ensemble in a Motion PictureNominated

Television awards

2005Satellite AwardBest Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or MusicalSaturday Night LiveNominated
2007NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
2011Satellite AwardBest Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini Series or TV MovieUp All NightNominated
2012Emmy AwardOutstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy SeriesSaturday Night LiveNominated
NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesUp All NightNominated
NAMIC Vision AwardBest Performance - ComedyNominated


  1. ^ a b "Maya Rudolph" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). The Complete Marquis Who's Who. Marquis Who's Who. 2010. Gale Document Number: GALE|K2014901123. Retrieved 24 Sep. 2011. Gale Biography In Context.
  2. ^ a b c d e Itzkoff, Dave (9 September 2011). "Juggling a Comedy Series About Juggling Life’s Tasks". Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Maya Rudolph Biography (1972–)". Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  4. ^ "The Essence of Lucinda", Ocala Star-Banner, 6 June 2001
  6. ^ Minnie Riperton (1975). Minnie Riperton - Lovin' You (Live 1975). The Midnight Special (TV series). Event occurs at 03:07. Retrieved 2011-09-25. "Maya, Maya, Maya"
  7. ^ "Top 10 little known facts about Teena Marie". CNN Entertainment. December 28, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  8. ^ "Maya Rudolph Biography". Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  9. ^ McGlynn, Katla (May 8, 2011). "'SNL': Pregnant Tina Fey & Maya Rudolph Sing Duet About Doin' It". Retrieved 2011-05-09.
  10. ^ "Maya Rudolph Welcomes a Girl". People Magazine. December 4, 2009.,,20317392,00.html?. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  11. ^ "Maya Rudolph Welcomes Son Jack". Time Inc.. July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19.

External links