Published on June 19th, 2011 | by thevyne0
Woman to Watch: Maya Rudolph
Hometown: Born in Gainesville, FL raised in California
Education: BA in Photography from the University of California at Santa Cruz
Musical Roots: As the daughter of music producer Richard Rudolph and soul singer Minnie Riperton, it’s no wonder that Maya too was bit by the music bug. Perhaps it was the famous lullaby, “Lovin’ You”, that her mother sang for her when she was just a baby that stirred Maya’s musical interest. In fact, Maya was actually in the studio the day her mother recorded the song. You can even hear her mother sing “Maya, Maya, Maya…” at the end of the track. While attending college Maya formed the jazz-funk group “Supersauce” with a few fellow students. Upon graduation, she left “Supersauce” to join the band “The Rentals” which was fronted by Weezer bassist Matt Sharp. Maya sang back up vocals and played the keyboard. In 1994 the band opened for Alanis Morissette.
Bringing the Funny: After her band, “The Rentals”, broke up, Maya went on to pursue another passion of hers, comedy. She joined the famed comedy troupe “The Groundlings” and in 2000 became a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Since joining the cast she’s done a myriad of impressions including Oprah, Donatella Versace, Whitney Houston, Paris Hilton, Diana Ross and Lisa Kudrow to name a few.
Big Screen Success: Maya first brought her comedic talents to the big screen in 1997 with a role in “As Good As It Gets”. Subsequent to that she’s been the musical supervisor for Duets, which featured her childhood friend Gwyneth Paltrow, and has starred in such films as “50 First Dates”, “Away We Go” and “Grown Ups” to name a few. Her most recent film is the blockbuster comedy “Bridesmaids” where she stars opposite her former SNL castmate Kristen Wiig.
Fun Facts: Maya attended grade school with Gwyneth Paltrow, she’s a vegetarian, was voted #20 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of Funniest People in America 2004 and her god mother was the late R&B singer Teena Marie.
Family Ties: Maya lives with her long time partner, director Paul Thomas Anderson and their two daughters. Baby number three is on the way.