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Maya Khabira Rudolph[1] (born July 27, 1972) is an American actress, voice artist, comedian, and singer. Rudolph first gained prominence in the mid-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 NBC late-night sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live and subsequently appeared in supporting roles in films such as 50 First Dates (2004), A Prairie Home Companion (2006), and Idiocracy (2006).

Maya Rudolph
Maya Rudolph.jpg
Rudolph at the 2012 Paley Center
Maya Khabira Rudolph

(1972-07-27) July 27, 1972 (age 47)
ResidenceSan Fernando Valley, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Cruz
OccupationActress, voice artist, comedian, singer
Years active1996–present
Partner(s)Paul Thomas Anderson
Parent(s)Richard Rudolph
Minnie Riperton

After leaving Saturday Night Live in 2007, Rudolph appeared in Grown Ups (2010), Bridesmaids (2011), Grown Ups 2 (2013), Inherent Vice (2014), Sisters (2015), CHiPs (2017), and Wine Country (2019). She also lent her voice to the animated films Shrek the Third (2007) and Big Hero 6 (2014). In addition to her film appearances, Rudolph starred as Ava Alexander on the NBC sitcom Up All Night from 2011 to 2012, and co-hosted her own variety series Maya & Marty in 2016. Since 2018, Rudolph has appeared on the NBC fantasy comedy series The Good Place, for which she has received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

Early lifeEdit

Rudolph was born in Gainesville, Florida, the daughter of singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton and composer Richard Rudolph.[2][3][4] Her mother was African-American and her father is 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] Riperton died on July 12, 1979, at age 31, from breast cancer.[7] Rudolph's godmother was R&B singer Teena Marie.[9] In 1990, Rudolph graduated from Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California, where she became friendly with fellow students Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black,[10] and continued her education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in photography from Porter College.[11]


Saturday Night LiveEdit

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.[7] 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. 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. As "Nuni Shoener", 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 episode as a cast member 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 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 2008–09 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.[12] 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". She once again returned to SNL for the Christmas episode hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on December 19, 2015, reprising her role in the "Bronx Beat" sketch.[13] She appeared on the 41st season finale (hosted by Fred Armisen) as Dilma Rousseff on Weekend Update. In the 45th season premiere, she appeared in a town hall sketch as Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA), to the Senator’s delight.[14]


Rudolph's characters on the show have included "Attorney Glenda Goodwin" and "Megan" from the "Wake Up, Wakefield!" sketches. Rudolph did a number of celebrity impressions on Saturday Night Live during her tenure, including 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, Dilma Rousseff, Donatella Versace, Donna Fargo, Emily Robison, Fredricka Whitfield, Free, Gayle King, Orda Khan, Griselda Blanco, Halle Berry, Ivanka Trump, Ja'net Dubois (as Willona Woods on Good Times), Jennifer Lopez, Joyce "Fenderella" Irby, Justin Guarini, Kara Saun, Kamala Harris, La Toya Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Lisa Ling, Liza Minnelli, Lucy Liu, Lynda Lopez, Macy Gray, Mario Vasquez, Mary Roach, Maya Angelou, Melinda Doolittle, Melissa Stark, Michelle Obama, Mýa, Nelly Furtado, Omarosa Manigault, Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton, Patti LaBelle, Phylicia Rashad (as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show), Rocsi, Scott Joplin, Teresa Heinz, Tera Patrick, Tina Turner, Tyra Banks, Valerie Simpson, Vanessa Hudgens (as Gabriella Montez from High School Musical 3), Wanda Sykes and Whitney Houston.

Recurring characters

  • Appreciante
  • Britanica of Gemini's Twin
  • Casey
  • Charli Coffee
  • Cocktail Waitress
  • Donatella Versace
  • Glenda Goodwin
  • Jackie
  • Jodi Deitz (one of the co-hosts of "Bronx Beat")
  • Leilani Burke
  • Megan (one of the co-hosts of "Wake Up, Wakefield!")
  • Mrs. Denmont
  • Nuni Schoener
  • Patti Sylviac
  • Rebecca
  • Space Creature

Television and filmEdit

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 costarred 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 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 with Saturday Night Live colleague Kristen Wiig, and in 2013 she played a supporting role in The Way, Way Back as the girlfriend of Sam Rockwell's character. She co-starred in the NBC sitcom Up All Night, with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett. Rudolph's self-titled variety show television pilot aired on May 19, 2014,[15] but the show did not go beyond that. It was later announced that she would star in an NBC variety series Maya & Marty with Martin Short,[16] which debuted on May 31, 2016. Her next series, Forever, premiered on September 14, 2018 on Amazon Video.[17]

Also in 2018, she has been seen on TV doing Ruby Tuesday and Seventh Generation commercials. In 2019 she played the mom of the kids in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.


Prior to joining Saturday Night Live, Rudolph was backing singer (1995–99)[1] and briefly a keyboardist in the band The Rentals, with whom she toured for a short time.[7] She also appears in the music videos of the songs "Waiting" and "Please Let That Be You". 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. She is in a Prince cover band called Princess with her friend Gretchen Lieberum.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Rudolph has been in a relationship with director Paul Thomas Anderson since 2001.[19] They live together with their four children. They have three daughters and one son: Pearl (born 2005), Lucille (born 2009), Jack (born 2011) and Minnie (born 2013).[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 As Good as It Gets Policewoman
Gattaca Delivery Nurse
2000 Chuck & Buck Jamilla
Duets Karaoke Hostess
2003 Duplex Tara
2004 Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie Kanshasha X
50 First Dates Stacy
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Molly
Idiocracy Rita
2007 Shrek the Third Rapunzel (voice)
2009 Away We Go Verona De Tessant
2010 MacGruber Casey Fitzpatrick
Grown Ups Deanne McKenzie
2011 Bridesmaids Lillian Donovan
Zookeeper Mollie (voice)
Friends with Kids Leslie
2013 The Way, Way Back Caitlyn
Grown Ups 2 Deanne McKenzie
Turbo Burn (voice)
2014 The Nut Job Precious (voice)
Inherent Vice Petunia Leeway
Big Hero 6 Aunt Cass (voice) [21][22]
2015 Strange Magic Griselda (voice)
Maggie's Plan Felicia
A Very Murray Christmas Lounge Singer
Sisters Brinda
2016 Mr. Pig Eunice
The Angry Birds Movie Matilda (voice)
Poppy (voice) Uncredited
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Deborah
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea Verti (voice)
2017 CHiPs Sergeant Gail Hernandez
We Don't Belong Here Joanne
The Emoji Movie Smiler (voice)
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Precious (voice)
2018 Life of the Party Christine Davenport
The Happytime Murders Bubbles
2019 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Mom
Booksmart Motivational Voice
Wine Country Naomi
The Angry Birds Movie 2 Matilda (voice)
2020 The Willoughbys Nanny (voice) Post-production
TBA Hubie Halloween Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1996–97 Chicago Hope Nurse Leah Martine 5 episodes
1997 The Devil's Child Holly Television film
2000 Action Phina Episode: "Dead Man Floating"
City of Angels Nurse Grace Patterson 15 episodes
2000–present Saturday Night Live Various roles (main: 2000–2008, guest: 2008–present) 153 episodes
2005 Mega Man Powered Up Elec Man RPG
2006 Campus Ladies Professor Theresa Winslow Fabre Episode: "All Nighter"
2007 The Simpsons Julia (voice) Episode: "Homer of Seville"
2008–09 Kath & Kim Athena Scooberman 5 episodes
2009 The Mighty B! Cherry (voice) Episode: "The Dragonflies"
2011–12 Up All Night Ava Alexander 35 episodes
2012 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Maya Rudolph/Sleigh Bells"
2014 Portlandia Anita Episode: "Bahama Knights"
The Maya Rudolph Show Herself Variety special; also producer
The Awesomes Mrs. Malocchio (voice) 5 episodes
Family Guy JoAnne Shalit (voice) Episode: "The Book of Joe"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Maya Rudolph Wears a Black Skirt and Strappy Sandals"
The Spoils Before Dying Fresno Foxglove 4 episodes
Drunk History Griselda Blanco Episode: "Miami"
2016–18 Mike Tyson Mysteries Dilma Rousseff (voice) 2 episodes
2016 Angie Tribeca Jackie Wilder Episode: "Organ Trail"
Maya & Marty Herself (co-host) 6 episodes; also writer and producer
Brooklyn Nine-Nine U.S. Marshal Karen Haas 2 episodes
Documentary Now! Anita Episode: "Final Transmission"
The Grinder Jillian 3 episodes
2017 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special Herself Variety special
Nobodies Herself Episode: "Mr. First Lady"
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Dionne Warwick Episode: "Kimmy Does a Puzzle!"
Tour de Pharmacy Lucy Flerng Television film
The Gong Show Herself (judge) Episode: "Megan Fox/Andy Samberg/Maya Rudolph"
2017–present Big Mouth Diane Birch / Connie the Hormone Monstress / Various Voices 20 episodes
Big Hero 6: The Series Aunt Cass (voice) Series regular
2017 A Christmas Story Live! Mother Parker Musical special
2018–present The Good Place Judge 7 episodes
2018 Forever June Hoffman 8 episodes
2019 The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience Val Gal Variety special
Bless the Harts Betty Hart (voice) Series regular

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Work Result
2004 Satellite Awards Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Saturday Night Live Nominated
2007 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2011 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini Series or TV Movie Up All Night Nominated
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Up All Night Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini Series or TV Movie Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Jaw Dropping Moment (shared with rest of cast) Bridesmaids Won
2014 Independent Spirit Awards Robert Altman Award (shared with rest of cast) Inherent Vice Won
2016 Writers Guild of America Award Comedy/Variety - Sketch Series Maya & Marty Nominated
2018 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series The Good Place Nominated[23]
2019 Nominated[24]


  1. ^ a b "Maya Rudolph". The Complete Marquis Who's Who (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Marquis Who's Who. 2010. Gale Document Number: GALE K2014901123. Retrieved September 24, 2011. Gale Biography In Context.
  2. ^ "Hollywood Now: Interfaith Celebs Maya Rudolph, Lea Michele & - InterfaithFamily".
  3. ^ "Maya Rudolph Biography (1972–)". Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  4. ^ "The Essence of Lucinda". Ocala Star-Banner. June 6, 2001. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "Sidney J. Rudolph, Philanthropist and Restaurant Owner". Miami Herald. December 23, 1992.
  6. ^ Stated by Henry Louis Gates on the Finding Your Roots episode "In Search of Freedom," January 19, 2016, PBS
  7. ^ a b c d Itzkoff, Dave (September 9, 2011). "Juggling a Comedy Series About Juggling Life's Tasks". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
  8. ^ Minnie Riperton (1975). Minnie Riperton - Lovin' You (Live 1975). The Midnight Special (TV series). Event occurs at 03:07. Retrieved September 25, 2011. Maya, Maya, Maya
  9. ^ "Top 10 little known facts about Teena Marie". CNN Entertainment. December 28, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  10. ^ Morris, Alex (May 8, 2014). "The New Carol Burnett: Maya Rudolph on Fulfilling Her Variety-Show Dream". Vulture. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Maya Rudolph Biography". Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  12. ^ McGlynn, Katla (May 8, 2011). "'SNL': Pregnant Tina Fey & Maya Rudolph Sing Duet About Doin' It". Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  13. ^ Adams, Char (December 20, 2015). "Amy Poehler Reunites with Maya Rudolph to Bring 'Bronx Beat' Back to SNL – and They Aren't Fans of Star Wars". People. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  14. ^ DeSantis, Rachel (September 30, 2019). "Kamala Harris Responds After Maya Rudolph Hilariously Spoofs Her on Saturday Night Live". People. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Collins, Scott (May 19, 2014). "Maya Rudolph looks to spice up NBC with a variety show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  16. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (February 12, 2016). "NBC Greenlights Maya Rudolph-Martin Short Variety Show, Targets May Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  17. ^ Pederson, Erik (August 2, 2018). "'Forever' Trailer: Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, A Ski Trip & A Changed Life In Amazon Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  18. ^ "Prince Dead: D'Angelo Performs with Maya Rudolph, Gretchen Lieberum". April 27, 2016.
  19. ^ Stanhope, Kate (July 19, 2011). "It's a Boy for Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson". TV Guide. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  20. ^ "Maya Rudolph Welcomes Fourth Child!". Us Weekly. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  21. ^ "Disney's 'Big Hero 6' Adds Maya Rudolph to Top-Secret Voice Cast (Exclusive)". April 28, 2014.
  22. ^ "Cast Announcement: Six Reasons We Can't Wait to See Big Hero 6". Oh My Disney. July 13, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  23. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2018. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  24. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.

External linksEdit