Raven-Symone earned a fond place in the hearts of Cosby Show fans around the world when she joined the cast of that seminal '80s sitcom as pint-sized Olivia Kendall, the daughter of Lt. Martin Kendall (Joseph C. Phillips) and Denise Huxtable Kendall (Lisa Bonet) during the hit program's sixth season. The series wrapped within a few years of Symone's enlistment, but the young actress continued her ascent by establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with in the multiple venues of television, pop music, and feature film.
Born in Atlanta, GA, in December 1985, Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman began modeling diapers at the age of two and landed the Cosby assignment by the age of three. By 1993 (one year after Cosby took its final bow), Symone had joined the cast of yet another sitcom, ABC's Hangin' With Mr. Cooper (1992-1997), then a year into production; she would remain with Cooper until it folded in 1997, but in the mean time branched off into another venue altogether as an R&B recording artist. MCA quickly signed her and issued her rap-infused album Here's to New Dreams in 1993; unfortunately, it failed to connect with a sizeable audience, and it would be six years before Symone emerged with a sophomore recording, the R&B-flavored Undeniable (1999). That album unabashedly showcased the young performer's desire to become a teen pop sensation, and revealed her vocal skills much more transparently than its predecessor, as did its follow-up efforts. Meanwhile, Symone landed bit parts and supporting roles in movies, including Dr. Dolittle (1998) and Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001); she also voiced the character of Monique on the animated television series Kim Possible (2002) and headlined her own Disney Channel sitcom, That's So Raven. The smash program cast Symone as a 15-year-old girl whose gaffes get her family into a seemingly endless series of outrageous difficulties.
Symone then starred in the hit telemovies The Cheetah Girls and The Cheetah Girls 2, lent a supporting role to the theatrical feature The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004), and signed to star in the big-screen outing College Road Trip, opposite funnyman Martin Lawrence. In that comedy, Symone plays a young woman on a college-scouting trip with her policeman father. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi