Who Are Maya Rudolph’s Parents? Inside Her Family Life
Maya Rudolph is no longer on Saturday Night Live as a regular cast member, but from 2000 to 2007, she was a mainstay on the popular sketch program.
She was famous for her incredible impressions of Oprah, Beyoncé, and Donatella Versace.
From SNL, she went on to the big screen and started with small roles in Rush Hour and 50 First Dates. In 2011, she hit the global big time as the bride in the comedy, Bridesmaids.
She starred as the bride, Lillian, famously known as “the lady who took a dump in the street.”
Rudolph is undoubtedly a talented actress, probably thanks to her parents, who were both involved in arts.
Maya Rudolph’s Parents Were Both Musicians
The actress was born to parents Minnie Riperton and Richard Rudolph.
Her mother, Minnie, was a singer-songwriter best known for her 1974’s top hit ‘Lovin’ You’ and her five-octave vocal coloratura soprano range.
She started her singing career in her teenage as the lead vocalist of a local group called The Gems.
Eventually, she had the chance to sing backing vocals for various established artists, including Muddy Waters, the Dells, and Etta James.
In 1970, she released her debut solo album Come to My Garden, produced by Charles Stepney. Her other album, Perfect Angel, sold millions of copies and went to the top of the charts in the U.S. and many other countries.
She also worked with the likes of Hank Crawford, Stevie Wonder, and Quincy Jones.
Maya Rudolph at the Oscars 2020. (Source: Instagram)
Meanwhile, Rudolph’s father, Richard, is a music writer and producer.
He started his music career as a songwriter at Chess Records in 1969 but eventually worked his way up to become a record producer.
As a record producer, he helped produce his late wife’s album, Perfect Angel, which included ‘Lovin’ You.’
Since then, he has composed various music, from reggae to movie soundtracks such as the 2004 soundtrack for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. He has also worked with big names like Snoop Dogg and Tupac.
Maya Rudolph on Losing Her Mother
Rudolph’s parents were married in August 1970. They welcomed her and her brother Marc Rudolph.
In January 1976, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and given a terminal diagnosis. And three years later, she passed away at the age of 31.
The SNL alum and her brother were 6 and 11, respectively. After her mother’s death, her father became a single parent to the children.
In the documentary, Unsung: The Minnie Riperton Story, Richard described his situation, saying:
On one hand, it is something that you just have to do, but on the other hand, they [Rudolph and her brother] gave everything to me needed at that point. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
Meanwhile, the Bridesmaid star opined her father’s love prevented the family from collapsing after the tragic passing.
She iterated that she and her brother were lucky to have received love from their parents and a dad who single-handedly raised them. Her father later married jazz singer Kimiko Kasai.