Maya Rudolph (born July 27, 1972 in Gainesville, Florida) is an American actress and currently a cast member of NBC's Saturday Night Live and the daughter of the late soul singer Minnie Riperton.
Rudolph's characters on the show have included attorney Glenda Goodwin and Megan from the "Wake Up, Wakefield!" sketches, and she has performed impressions of Oprah Winfrey, Christina Aguilera, Condoleezza Rice, Charo, Paris Hilton, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Tyra Banks, and most famously, designer Donatella Versace.
In addition to her work on SNL, Maya has appeared in movies as well as on a few television shows, including City of Angels and Chicago Hope. She had small parts in the 2000 films Chuck & Buck and Duets, and, for the latter, she was also the music supervisor.
Rudolph was born in Gainesville, Florida, the daughter of Minnie Riperton and Jewish American songwriter/producer Richard Rudolph. She was in the studio with her mother on the day Riperton recorded "Lovin' You"; one can hear her mother sing "Maya, Maya, Maya" to her near the end of the track. Growing up biracial and losing her mother at a young age had an effect, according to a July 2001 Rosie magazine article: "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."
She attended high school in Santa Monica, California and continued her education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she graduated in 1995 with a BA in photography. She joined SNL after a stint as a member of The Groundlings improv troupe.
Prior to joining SNL, she was briefly a keyboardist and backing singer for the band The Rentals. She has recently recorded some tracks with The Rentals frontman Matt Sharp (most notably a cover of Tegan and Sara's "Not Tonight") and is reportedly part of The Rentals 2006 reunion.
Rudolph and filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson are in a relationship and had a daughter, Pearl Bailey Anderson, on October 15, 2005. She appeared in the first SNL episode of the 2005-2006 season before going on maternity leave. She returned for the February 4, 2006 episode.