- Search The Registry
- Teacher’s Forum
- Youth Programs
- About Us
- Creating Support
- My Account
*Maya Rudolph was born on this date in 1972. She is a Black actress, comedian, and singer.
Maya Khabira Rudolph was born in Gainesville, Florida, to singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton and composer Richard Rudolph. Her mother was Black and her father is white-Ashkenazi Jewish. Her paternal grandfather was Sidney Rudolph, a philanthropist who once owned all of the Wendy's and Rudy's restaurants in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Her great-grandfather was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, changed his surname from "Rudashevsky" to "Rudolph", and was one of the founding members of Congregation Beth Shalom, a Conservative Jewish synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rudolph's godmother was R&B singer Teena Marie.
Rudolph's parents moved to Los Angeles, California, when she and her brother Marc were very young, and they grew up primarily in the Westwood neighborhood. Near the end of the song "Lovin' You", Riperton can be heard singing "Maya" over and over again. Riperton incorporated this into her performance of the song on The Midnight Special. Riperton died of breast cancer on July 12, 1979, at age 31, when Maya was just two weeks shy of her seventh birthday.
In 1990, Rudolph graduated from Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California, and continued her education at the University of California, Santa Cruz graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography. She first gained entertainment distinction in the 1990s as a member of the alternative rock band The Rentals before joining The Groundlings improv troupe later in the decade. In 2000, Rudolph became a cast member on the comedy series Saturday Night Live and subsequently appeared in films such as 50 First Dates (2004), A Prairie Home Companion (2006), and Idiocracy (2006).
After leaving Saturday Night Live in 2007, Rudolph appeared in various films, including Grown Ups (2010) and its 2013 sequel, Bridesmaids (2011), Inherent Vice (2014), Sisters (2015), CHiPs (2017), Life of the Party (2018), and Wine Country (2019). She also lent her voice to the animated films Shrek the Third (2007), Big Hero 6 (2014), The Angry Birds Movie (2016) and its 2019 sequel, The Emoji Movie (2017), and The Willoughbys (2020). In addition to her film appearances, Rudolph starred as Ava Alexander in the sitcom Up All Night (2011–2012), and co-hosted her own variety series Maya & Marty (2016) with Martin Short. She has voiced various characters in the animated sitcom Big Mouth (2017–present), which won her a Prime-time Emmy Award, and the Fox animated sitcom Bless the Harts (2019–present).
Rudolph appeared in the NBC fantasy comedy series The Good Place (2018–2020), for which she received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. For her portrayal of Senator and Presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Saturday Night Live, Rudolph won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. She continued to reprise the role throughout 2020 as Harris was named candidate for and later elected as Vice President. Rudolph has been in a relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson since 2001. They live in the San Fernando Valley with their four children—daughters Pearl Minnie (born October 2005), Lucille (born November 6, 2009), son Jack (born July 3, 2011) and daughter Minnie Ida (born August 2013).