Actress and Autism Advocate
Holly Robinson Peete is an actress, singer and philanthropist. She is known for her roles as Judy Hoffs on the Fox TV police drama 21 Jump Street, Vanessa Russell on the ABC sitcom Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and Dr. Malena Ellis on the NBC/WB sitcom For Your Love. She also served as one of the original co-hosts of the CBS Daytime talk show, The Talk. Peete’s children’s book, My Brother Charlie, won her an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in March 2011. In 2012 the book was awarded the Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award. In March 2016, a reality series debuted titled For Peete’s Sake, documenting the everyday life of her family. Holly and her husband Rodney founded the HollyRod Foundation which was originally created to provide resources to families affected by Parkinson’s disease. After Holly and Rodney’s eldest son, RJ, was diagnosed with autism, HollyRod’s mission expanded to also provide resources to families affected by an autism diagnosis.
Holly hosts the DesignCare annual fundraising event that raises money for the HollyRod Foundation. Its guests and honorees range from people in the entertainment, medical, and business industry to individuals and families affected by autism and Parkinson’s disease. Each year DesignCare honors people with special awards like the ‘Matthew T. Robinson Award of Courage’, ‘HollyRod Media Hero Award’, ‘HollyRod4kids Champion Award’, ‘HollyRod Media Award’, ‘HollyRod Founders Award’, and ‘Humanitarian Award’. The ‘HollyRod4kids Champion Award’ is presented to “people who have been an inspiration to teens with autism.