Maya Rudolph’s Parents: Everything To Know About Her Musical Mom & Dad

Maya Rudolph’s Parents: Everything To Know About Her Musical Mom & Dad


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Image Credit: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection

  • Maya Rudolph is an award-winning actress and comedian known for her work on Saturday Night Live, Loot, Disenchanted, and more.
  • One of her most memorable roles includes playing the role of Lillian in the 2011 comedy Bridesmaids.
  • In 2022, Maya joined Disney’s Disenchanted alongside Amy Adams in the sequel to the 2007 hit movie Enchanted.

Maya Rudolph, 50, is a beloved actress and comedian who is known for her hilarious roles from Lillian in Bridesmaids to Molly in the Apple TV series Loot. However, Maya is not the only talented one in her family, as both of her parents worked in the music industry for many years. Below is everything to know about her mom and dad, Minnie Riperton and Richard Rudolph.

Maya Rudolph is the daughter of Minnie Riperton & Richard Rudolph. (Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton is Maya’s mother, who was born on Nov. 8, 1947, in the city of Chicago. The singer sadly died on Jul.12, 1979, in the city of Los Angeles, California when Maya was just seven years old. Minnie was not only a mother to Maya and her brother, Marc Rudolph, 54, but she was also a gifted singer and songwriter. Some of her most notable songs include the 1975 single “Lovin’ You” and “Inside My Love.”

She was also known for her four octave D₃ to F♯₇ coloratura soprano range, as well as being able to hit a “whistle tone”. In fact, many media outlets often refer to the late singer as the “Queen of the Whistle Register” and rank her as one of the most talented whistle register singers to date. Aside from her work as a recording artist, Minnie was also known as a representative of the American Cancer Society, per her obituary in The New York Times. Her cause of death was due to breast cancer, according to the outlet, and she died at the age of 31. As a result of her efforts to educate people on the illness, former President Carter honored with an award for her “courage and public service.” She also was the first Black woman to be selected as the national educational chairman of the American Cancer Society.

Richard Rudolph

Maya has openly talked about her childhood, including her mother’s passing. (Nancy Rivera / SplashNews)

Maya’s father, Richard Rudolph, 76, also has worked in music for many years. Richard, who was born in Pittsburgh in 1946, wore many hats in the music business including songwriter, musician, music publisher, and producer. He notably worked with Minnie on many of her hit songs including “Lovin’ You”, “Inside My Love”, and “Love Hurts.”

Richard was married to Minnie from 1970 until her tragic death in 1979. Eleven years after Minnie’s passing, he remarried another singer by the name of Kimiko Kasai, 76, in 1990. Kimiko is a retired Japanese jazz singer who is known for her songs “Tell Me A Bedtime Story” and “Sunlight.” Richard is also the father to Maya’s brother, Marc, who was born in 1968, about two years before Minnie’s marriage to Richard.

What Has Maya Said About Her Parents?

The SNL alum opened up about the death of her mom during a 2018 interview with The New York Times Magazine. “For many, many years, I couldn’t even touch this conversation. Like my mom was always—it was such a painful—” Maya began. “I don’t remember if I ever did proper grieving. I know I did, but it came out in ways—like when I was a kid, I went to a new school and I kicked people.” She also revealed that only in recent years has it gotten easier to talk about her mom. “Up until very recently, it was still, like, a sting to talk about her,” Maya added.

In the same interview, the actress opened up about her relationship with her dad when her mom passed away, calling him a “pretty adorable Jew.” She also added that her pops struggled to comb his daughter’s hair and it was something she still remembers to this day. “So much of my childhood was dealing with my hair and being super embarrassed by it, mainly because I grew up being the only mixed kid,” she said.

Sabrina Picou

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