Get ready for a nostalgic journey as we go way back to 1989, look back at the fabulous actress’ remarkable career, find out what the superstar has been up to, and what the famous mogul has in store for the future.
“Dr. Huxtable!” Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman, known as “Raven-Symoné” or simply “Raven,” started her career at just 3 years old, playing curious, sassy, sweet Olivia Kendall in The Cosby Show. Following The Cosby Show, Raven made some cameo appearances, playing Nicole Lee in Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Charisse Dolittle in both Doctor Dolittle 1 and 2, and playing Stephanie in The Proud Family.
“I just had a vision!” Remember everyone’s favorite teen psychic? In 2003, Raven’s career took off and the actress landed the lead role in her very own Disney Channel show, as the title character, Raven Baxter; a sassy, dramatic, and comical psychic teenager who got into trouble with her visions, but had the support of her wonderful friends and family right by her side in That’s So Raven. This is one of the only Disney Channel shows to break its own “65 Limit” (where Disney will cancel a show after 65 episodes to keep it from going stale and from collecting residuals). It was also the first Disney Channel show to break 100 episodes.In September 2007, That’s So Raven became the longest-running Disney Channel original series in history.
“Cheetah-licious!!” Following That’s So Raven, in 2005 Raven continued her Disney Channel phenomenon and co-starred as Galleria Garibaldi in The Cheetah Girls along with Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan, and Kiely Williams. This Disney Channel original movie returned with a sequel, The Cheetah Girls 2, in 2006. There was also a third movie added to The Cheetah Girl series, The Cheetah Girls: One World, but this one did not co-star Raven because she was working on her solo singing career.
“Hey girl!” In addition to The Cheetah Girls, from 2002-2007 Raven voiced Kim Possible’s stylish BFF, Monique, in the Disney Channel original show Kim Possible.
“There’s a Double Dutch Bus comin’ down the street!” In 2008, Raven starred as the prospective college student Melanie in College Road Trip, along with Martin Lawrence.
In 2011, Raven returned to television, starring as the title character in ABC Family’s State Of Georgia, playing Georgia Chamberlain, an aspiring actress with a larger-than-life personality, and her science geek best friend, Jo, who are trying to make professional and personal headway in New York City. State Of Georgia ran for 12 episodes, between late June and mid-August of this year. The first episode attracted 1.32 million viewers but the second installment fell abruptly to 807,000 — a loss of nearly 40%. Subsequent episodes did even worse and the season (now series) finale attracted just 590,000 total viewers. Due to the lack viewers, ABC confirmed that there would not be a following season.
“I Will Follow Him…” In 2012, Raven returned to her Broadway roots since doing a guest spot with “The Boys Choir of Harlem” at the age of 5, and took over the lead role of Deloris in the hit Broadway musical, Sister Act. Sister Act opened on Broadway in April 2011 after a consignment in London and was nominated for a best musical Tony in 2011.
So what has this child prodigy been up to lately? Lately, Raven has taken a break from television and joined the animation world, playing Iridessa the Light Fairy who always looks on the bright side of things in Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell and The Lost Treasure, and Tinker Bell and The Great Fairy Rescue. Raven also played Iridessa in Pixie Hollow Games, The Pirate Family, and Pixie Hollow Bake Off. She is rumored to be the voice of Iridessa in the upcoming video game Legend of the NeverBeast. Raven is also rumored to be cast in a post-production film, Loose.
Last year, the 28-year-old made waves when she released a public statement about her sexuality on Twitter. On June 28th, 2013 same sex marriage was valid California.On August 2nd, 2013, Raven tweeted: “I can finally get married! Yay government! So Proud of you.” This tweet went viral and received 16,633 retweets and 15,120 favorites.
Raven appeared on an Oprah Special, Where Are They Now?, an American reality television series on The Oprah Winfrey Show, that takes a look back at what happened to some of the biggest headline makers plus updates on their current life. In Raven’s Where Are They Now? interview with Oprah Winfrey, the actress stated: “I don’t want to be labeled gay. I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled.”
“So was that your way of coming out?” Winfrey asked. “Saying you were gay?”
“That was my way of saying I’m proud of the country,” said the actress. “But I will say that I’m in … an amazing, happy relationship with my partner, a woman. On the other side, my mother and people in my family, they’ve taught me to keep my personal life to myself as much as possible. I try my best to you know, hold the fence where I can, but I am proud to be who I am and what I am.”
Raven told Oprah that she rejects the notion of labels completely in all areas of her life. “I’m tired of being labeled,” she said. “I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American.”
The remark caught Oprah off guard. “Oh, girl,” Oprah said, shifting in her chair. “Don’t set up the Twitter on fire… Oh, my lord. What did you just say?”
“I mean, I don’t know where my roots go to,” Raven explained. “I don’t know how far back they go… I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American. And that’s a colorless person.”
“You’re going to get a lot of flak for saying you’re not African-American. You know that, right?” Oprah asked.
Raven put her hands up. “I don’t label myself,” she reiterated. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with Black, I connect with Indian, I connect with each culture.”
“You are a melting pot in one body,” Oprah said.
“Aren’t we all?” Raven asked. “Isn’t that what America’s supposed to be?”
As of right now, Raven is reveling in college life, attending the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. In her Where Are They Now? interview with Oprah Winfrey, the 28-year-old said, “I’m going to college. It’s given me a new lease on life…(I’m studying) art. I wanna take jewelry (design); I take sculpting; I take printmaking; I take figure-drawing.” The actress admitted she is proud to be back at school after successfully avoiding the negative alternatives of growing up a child star. She added, “I want to turn over the stereotype of what I can become, and to me it (studying art) is just another extension of what I did when I was younger…”
From playing a cute and sweet girl on The Cosby Show, to making history with her That’s So Raven sitcom, to Broadway, to cinema, to attending college, Raven has never failed to impress and has paved the way for many aspiring actors, actresses, entertainers, and singers. The incredible actress has won a Radio Disney Music Award, two Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, three Young Artists awards, and five Image awards. The entertainer has been performing on Broadway since a young age, been in over 40 films and television, and recorded 4 studio albums, all under the age of 30.
In an interview with Rolling Out TV Entertainment, Raven: “I want people to remember me as an actress, and say, ‘she made me laugh,’ ‘she brightened my day a little bit’ ‘she’s crazy, but she brightened my day.’ And, as a brand, I want them to say, ‘she kept in mind the different flavors in the world.’ And as an overall human being, which is very important, I think that people forget, to just be human, ‘(and) that she told the truth,’ as much as I can, because I can get in trouble every now and then, but I’ll try to always tell you the truth, and if I don’t tell you the truth, I’ll tell you bits and pieces until I’m ready, because I think that a lot of people try to tell you more than it is, and it doesn’t need to be.”
Seeing that the icon starred in the most successful, popular, and comical Disney Channel show of its time at the age of 15, and publicly spoke on her sexuality, the entertainment mogul made people laugh, and told the truth indeed, while keeping in mind the different flavors of the world. Raven-Symoné successfully transitioned from a child actor on The Cosby Show to more mature roles on television, film and stage, all while keeping a level head. We do not know what the actress has yet to impress us with, but I can guarantee that she will certainly make us laugh, brighten our day, keep in mind the different flavors of the world, and tell the truth.