Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph


7/27/1972, Gainesville, Florida

Birth Name

Maya Khabira Rudolph


out of 10
User Rating
49 votes



American actress, comedienne and musician Maya Rudolph, the daughter of composer/music producer Richard "Dick" Rudolph and the late Black American 70s soul icon Minnie Riperton, found her niche on the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live, becoming one of its most recognizable stars during her six-season run (2000-2006),…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • While promoting this summer's Grown Ups 2 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Air date: April 27, 2013) with other cast members from the film, including Adam Sandler and Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph confirmed that she and long-time boyfriend Paul Thomas Anderson are expecting fourth child this summer.

    • Maya Rudolph frequently collaborates with Saturday Night Live writer Emily Spivey, who she first met at The Groundlings improv group in Los Angeles, as well as former cast members Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the movie Bridesmaids (2011), a movie that has been called a "woman's comedy" by many people, which Rudolph says surprises her.

    • Maya Rudolph says her weirdest moment was when she was in a store and a very odd woman, who was trying on tops, boob-flashed her when the salesgirl looked away.

    • Maya Rudolph became a third-time mom when she and long-time boyfriend, writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson, welcomed son Jack on July 3, 2011. He joined sisters Lucille (age 1) and Pearl (age 5).

    • Maya Rudolph plays the ukulele. She finds strumming the four-string instrument relaxing --and less intimidating than playing the guitar. "If you play the ukulele, nobody can attack you," says Miss Rudolph.

    • Maya Rudolph announced on the May 12, 2009 episode of NBC's daytime TV talk show The View that she was pregnant with her second child.

    • Maya Rudolph's favorite celebrities to impersonate are Liza Minnelli and Whitney Houston, "because you can do anything you want."

    • Maya Rudolph, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, returned to the program on October 25, 2008 as a last-minute guest performer, due to the absence of SNL regular Amy Poehler, who had given birth to her first baby earlier in the day. Rudolph was featured as Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, and also helped close the Poehler-less newscast parody "Update," that of which Ms. Poehler usually cohosts with fellow Saturday Night Live performer, Seth Meyers. Maya and SNL cast member Kenan Thompson sang a variation on Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" in tribute to Amy Poehler and her newborn son.

    • Maya Rudolph spent the summer of 2007 negotiating with NBC on whether she would return to the late-night comedy series Saturday Night Live for its 33rd season. While it wasn't unusual for contract negotiation to get down to the wire before the show's season premiere, Rudolph's flip-flopping her decision several times was a surprise. She had been mulling over the possibility of leaving for sometime to pursue a movie career and ultimately decided to do just that.

    • Maya Rudolph, in the company of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Steve Buscemi, Jack Black, Lionel Richie, Matt Dillon, Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Weird Al Yankovic, Dan Rather, Placido Domingo, Kurt Loder, Beverly D'Angelo, and Topher Grace, was a voice guest for the nineteenth season of FOX's animated sitcom, The Simpsons.

    • At just six-years-old, Maya Rudolph was already obsessed with the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live and it's cast member, Gilda Radner. Ms. Radner kindled her dream to one day join the show.

    • Maya Rudolph remembers her five-year-old self crawling into bed with her parents to watch the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live's character, Land Shark.

    • Maya Rudolph had performed as 14 different characters and impersonated 47 different celebrities by her seventh season on the NBC comedy series, Saturday Night Live.

    • Maya Rudolph joined the cast of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live during its 25th season (2000), performing in the last three episodes.

    • Maya Rudolph was invited by Saturday Night Live (NBC comedy series) producer Steve Higgins to audition for the show after watching only one of her performances with The Groundlings, an improvisational comedy troupe based in Los Angeles, California.

    • Maya Rudolph reunited with childhood friend and actress Gwyneth Paltrow in Bruce Paltrow's 2000 karaoke comedy Duets, playing a supporting role as a hostess. The film also gave Miss Rudolph the opportunity to work behind the scenes as a music supervisor, along with her father, Richard Rudolph.

    • Maya Rudolph forwent her first audition with the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live because she had another job offer, later regretting her decision. One month after, she was invited back and accepted.

    • Maya Rudolph is a self-described worrier and a nail biter.

    • Maya Rudolph played keyboard and performed backup vocals for The Rentals, a pop-synth rock band known for its quirky, Moog-driven (synthesized) melodies and mix of male and female vocals. During the mid-1990's, she toured with the band in the United States and Europe, opening for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Garbage, and Alanis Morissette.

    • Maya Rudolph played keyboard in Super Sauce, a nine-piece funk band she and some friends and fellow classmates formed in the early 1990's during her college years at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

    • Maya Rudolph's first brush with fame came by way of her 1970s soul singer-mother Minnie Riperton's famous hit single, "Lovin' You," in which Ms. Riperton is heard singing "Maya, Maya, Maya" at the end of the song. The musical piece was actually a lullaby written out of necessity by Rudolph's parents, to be sung when their rambunctious baby daughter needed to go to sleep.

    • Maya Rudolph was voted No.2 on Entertainment Weekly's list of Funniest People in America in April 2004.

    • Maya Rudolph has a Japanese stepmother.

    • Maya Rudolph was only four years old when she began to do impersonations of Roseanne Roseannadanna, a character performed by Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner, while she and her family watched the NBC comedy series, SNL.

    • Maya Rudolph's nickname is Rudy.

    • Maya Rudolph's older brother and only sibling, Marc, is a music engineer.

    • Maya Rudolph attended the Crossroads School for Arts and Science, a progressive K-12 school in Santa Monica, California known for its artistic curricula such as music and film.

    • Maya Rudolph is 5' 7" (1.70 m).

    • Maya Rudolph is a vegetarian.

    • Maya Rudolph attended St. Augustine By-the-Sea Episcopal Day School in Santa Monica, California, along with actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

    • Maya Rudolph graduated in 1994 from the University of California at Santa Cruz, earning a BA in Photography.

    • Maya Rudolph was a member of The Groundlings, the famed improvisational comedy troupe based in Los Angeles, California responsible for jump-starting the careers of such Saturday Night Live (NBC comedy series) notables as Will Ferrell, Will Forte, Ana Gasteyer, Phil Hartman, Chris Kattan, Jon Lovitz, Laraine Newman, Conan O'Brien, Chris Parnell, and Julia Sweeney.

    • Maya Rudolph had a sizeable role in the 2006 Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion as Molly, the pregnant radio stagehand. Originally, the part did not call for the character to be pregnant, but Altman, insistent on having Ms. Rudolph play the role, had it rewritten rather than hide the pregnancy or hire another actress.

    • Maya Rudolph was childhood friends with actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and remains friends with her to this day. Their fathers, Richard Rudolph and the late Bruce Paltrow, respectively, attended the same college and were also friends.

    • Maya Rudolph gave birth to a daughter, Pearl Bailey Anderson, with long-time boyfriend, film and music video director Paul Thomas Anderson (October 15, 2005).

  • Quotes

    • Maya Rudolph: (when asked to name the funniest person ever) That's like saying "Which one of your kids do you like the best?" It started with my brother, then it was Gene Wilder, Bill Murray, Madeline Kahn, Mel Brooks, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray again. And then Bill Murray again.

    • Maya Rudolph: I don't think of myself as a lady humorist. I just have boobs and parts that allow me to give birth to children, but I like to be funny with the boys and the girls.

    • Maya Rudolph: [Gilda Radner] got me thinking that Saturday Night Live was where all the fun was, hanging out with all these cool, funny people and having a ball all the time. I wanted to be her. And then I wanted to be her friend so I could hang out with her. I rolled her into a ball with Madeline Kahn, Bernadette Peters, Lily Tomlin, Cloris Leachman, Gene Wilder, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Mae West, and my mother.

    • Maya Rudolph: (after changing her mind several times about returning as a cast member for the 2007-2008 season of the NBC comedy series, 'Saturday Night Live') It was an agonizing decision, but ultimately, I feel I made the best choice both as a mother and as an actress. I couldn't be happier to be returning to SNL.

    • Maya Rudolph: The comedy was always there. There's this moment I remember from when I was seven or eight: I was with a friend and she started to cry, and I just started talking in a funny voice. I thought, 'This is much better than feeling bad; I want to make her feel good.' And, she started to laugh.

    • Maya Rudolph: If my mother didn't have a natural gift to be a singer, I think she would have been a comedian. That's nice to know.

    • Maya Rudolph: When I was a little girl, I would stand on the side of the stage and watch my mom singing out there in beautiful gowns. She was such a diva in the most esquisite sense. I always had the idea of wanting to be on stage, in those beautiful gowns, with a microphone in my hand, and that comes from my mom.

    • Maya Rudolph: (about Gilda Radner's NBC comedy series 'Saturday Night Live' character) I thought Roseanne Roseannadanna and I had the same haircut– kind of pyramid-shaped. There was just something about her, and she had my hair! I thought, 'I want to be that when I grow up.'

    • Maya Rudolph: (about the comedy series 'Saturday Night Live' cast member, Gilda Radner) I thought she was the funniest woman, and I believed being a comedian was the most exciting thing you could be.

    • Maya Rudolph: When I got the job on Saturday Night Live, they never said, 'You have to be a known impressionist.' It's one of those things that comes with the job, and you're lucky if you can do it. I've been doing it my whole life, I just didn't notice I was doing it.

    • Maya Rudolph: For me, I feel beautiful when I'm just resting. I think that's when you really get a chance to sink into your own skin.

    • Maya Rudolph: (about the freedom that comes with performing on the NBC comedy series, 'Saturday Night Live') You can do anything you want. Donatella can get electrocuted in the bathtub and keep on talking.

    • Maya Rudolph: (about relocating to New York after being hire as a cast member on the NBC comedy series, 'Saturday Night Live) When they told me I got the show, I had two weeks to move to the East Coast. It was all so last-minute. But, it was the best way to go, because I didn't have time to think about it. And, I'm glad it happened that way, because I can't imagine a better fit.

    • Maya Rudolph: I like being a funny lady.

    • Maya Rudolph: I feel I've definitely become more of a woman because of my job-- that, and turning thirty.

    • Maya Rudolph: (about starting on 'Saturday Night Live' at the end of a season) It was like going to school and everybody already knew where to sit in the cafeteria.

    • Maya Rudolph: I'm such a people-pleaser that I'm sure I wouldn't let anybody see the things that are going on in my head.

    • Maya Rudolph: (about 'Saturday Night Live' alumnus, Gilda Radner) I thought I looked like her because we had the same hair when I was that age.

    • Maya Rudolph: I don't get nervous because it's Saturday Night Live, I get excited because it's Saturday Night Live.

    • Maya Rudolph: (about her hair) I'm incredibly sensitive about it. Any person in my life can tell you, we don't broach the subject.

    • Maya Rudfolph: (about being cast on 'Saturday Night Live'): It's a really natural evolution of this thing I was creating in my head as a kid, growing up feeling like such a freak and that I didn't belong anywhere. It came at the right time and it feels just right.

    • Maya Rudolph: I think there's nothing sexier than a funny lady.

    • Maya Rudolph: I come from a very creative family that isn't afraid to express their real self and they're able to wear who they are on their sleeve.

    • Maya Rudolph: There's the power that comedy gives you, and the enjoyment. It's like 'Yes, you're deferring pain, but isn't it more fun to laugh while you're doing it?'

    • Maya Rudolph: (referring to her hair) I've never, in my entire life, ever not cried when I left the beauty parlor.

    • Maya Rudolph: My mom was black and my dad is Jewish, and I lost my mom when I was seven. That made me feel really different from other kids.

    • Maya Rudolph: I don't look my best when I wake up. But, I do feel beautiful when I'm tired and happy and I've had a good laugh and a glass of champagne.

  • Golden Talent...

    I just began to watch SNL and would have love to see way way more of Maya Rudolph. I didn't know who she is but, now i do. Was loving her acting. Love, Love, Love Up all night. Maya Rudolph is a talented actress! I just learned she is the daughter of Minnie Ripperton. Some kind person left me the C.D Unsong on my door .... It is a beautiful auto biography of Minnie Ripperton and her soul mate husband who i see, where very blessed! . ( i seen it four times son far) Loving you is easy cause your beautiful!! Now i know who Maya Rudolph is. Shes comes from awesome talent, not to mention a beautiful spirit of a mother and a father. Im now a big fan of Maya Rudolph! Thanks for sharing the life of the first of the biggest stars. Minnie was and will always be the biggest diamond of soul music. Loving you, takes me back to the good old days of high school. Its one of my all time favorite songs! Now im a proud owner of Minnie Rippertons Unsong. Im gonna love sharring it to others. Now i know the Rudolphs-Rippertons. Love Rudy Mora...Los Angeles.....moreless
  • Two seasons too late...

    Maya Rudolph. The actress of SNL. The latest one to depart from the show.

    Speculation, speculation, speculation. Was she a good actress on the show? Was she plain obnoxious?

    This doesn't count as a part of my SNL review summer tour. The Brady/Beck review will go on as planned.

    Maya Rudolph joined SNL in late 2000, during the twilight of the 25th season of SNL. She was found in the Groundlings. Many have questioned her ethnicity, if she's white, controversially playing African Americans, or if she is an African American. Others (*Cough* Paris Hilton *cough*) have thought she was Italian. But, yes, she is African American. Now, please don't send hate mail to me for touching this subject. Maya's cultural background enabled her to play anywhere from White, to African American, to Latina, to Asian.

    But, on to her acting. I've only seen her last few years during her stint on SNL. Many dislike her with passion, because of her obnoxious characters/singing sketches. I never thought Maya was obnoxious, but I do have to say her singing sketches were very annoying at times. But, I do have to put the National Anthem singing sketch (10/28/06 episode) aside from the rest. That was hilarious.

    Many thought Maya was a horrible, obnoxious actress, while I thought she was just doing her job. Acting. Did she overstay her welcome?

    Yes, and no. Rudolph did not get annoying and stale, like past actors on the show, such as Horatio Sanz. But, I felt that her need to fit into the 2006-2007 season and 2007-2008 wasn't all right.

    One thing I have to remember is that you can't judge a person on how they act. They are probably a nice person. Rudolph was a good actress, and a nice person.

    Now, let's get to Maya's wierd end to SNL. We all expected her to "GET OUT" after the 32nd season finale. But, nope, she played a little game on the week before the 33rd season premiere. "I'm Staying. I'm Leaving. I'm staying. I'm crazy."

    I will admit, when she first said she was leaving, I had a huge swing of reaction. At first, I was very sad. I thought "I want the cast to stay the same." but then I realized "new cast member...?" But, then she said she's staying. Eventually, we all found out she was staying.

    But, the wierdest ending was when she didn't come back after the WGA 2007 strike. Honestly, when I found out she left, I wasn't saddended at all. I was looking forward to Casey wilson, the new actress.

    But, now that I watch syndication episodes, I realize "I miss Maya." I'm not like on the verge of crying to get her back. I like the current cast as it is, and I'm not going to dwell in the past.

    Maya, I hope to see you cameo/host soon, but no too soon.moreless