Keke Palmer


26 Aug 1993


Harvey, Illinois, USA


Lauren Keyana Palmer


Keke Palmer was born Lauren Keyana Palmer in Robbins, Illinois--a small town 20 miles south of Chicago-- to Sharon and Larry Palmer, both former actors. Palmer showed vocal promise as a five-year-old, when she belted out "Jesus Loves Me" in her church choir. A year later the singer-actress had a solo in her kindergarten play but, to her mom's dismay, the mike had not been adjusted to suit her daughter's height. Without missing a beat, Palmer lowered the mike and moved the crowd with her heavenly voice. At that very moment, her family knew there was something special about Keke (a nickname given to her by her sister).

Although music was still her passion, Palmer's first big break came via her acting skills, making her big-screen debut in Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004) as Queen Latifah's niece. Immediately recognizing her star potential, the film's producers encouraged her parents to take their daughter to California to explore other acting opportunities. Relocating required that Palmer's parents leave behind the security of their jobs, a newly purchased home and uproot their other three children. However, it didn't diminish the family's support of Palmer's aspirations.

Once settled on the West Coast, Palmer did not waste any time. Within six weeks she had booked an episode of the critically acclaimed CBS series Cold Case (2003), a national K-Mart commercial and was chosen from a nationwide search to play opposite William H. Macy in a TNT movie, The Wool Cap (2004). Her performance was so amazing that it earned her a Screen Actors Guild nomination--to date, she is the youngest actress (then at age ten) ever to receive a nomination in a Lead Actress Category.

In 2006 Palmer appeared as the lead character "Akeelah Anderson" in the critically acclaimed, award-winning film Akeelah and the Bee (2006). The film, about a young South Los Angeles girl who attempts to win a national spelling bee, won the hearts of audiences everywhere. Her breakthrough performance has received praise from many film critics and organizations. Among the list of nominations received, "Akeelah and the Bee" was listed as one of NBR's 2006 Top Independent Films of the Year, as well as four nominations from the NAACP Image Awards. Palmer, alone, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture, as well as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture by the Black Movie Awards. She has also received nominations for Most Promising Newcomer by the Chicago Film Critics, Best Actress by the Black Reel Awards, and Best Young Actress by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Keke held her own in scenes with veteran co-stars Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.

That very same year, Palmer appeared in Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion (2006), which was #1 at the box office for two consecutive weeks. Palmer went on to win a 2007 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her breakout role in "Akeelah and the Bee". She also received a ShoWest Award for Rising Star of the Year. Shortly after, Palmer lit up the small screen starring in the Disney Channel's hit movie, Jump In! (2007). This one-two punch of big-screen success coupled with small screen ratings power made Keke Palmer a household name in Hollywood.

Palmer contributed her first recording, which was featured on the "Akeelah and the Bee" soundtrack, titled "All My Girlz", and followed it up with the ever popular "My Turn Now" on the "Jump In!" soundtrack. As if two soundtracks were not enough, she was also asked to sing "Tonight", an end title song from the smash-hit Ben Stiller movie, Night at the Museum (2006). Her Atlantic Records debut album, "So Uncool", is jammed with up-tempo R&B tracks, inspirational moments, and love songs. In 2008, Palmer starred in the Weinstein Co. feature, The Longshots (2008). The film was based on the true story of a young female quarterback, played by Palmer, that makes Pop Warner history; she starred opposite Ice Cube, for first time director and Limp Bizkit front man, Fred Durst.

Palmer also starred as the title character in the hit Nickelodeon series, True Jackson, VP (2008), for 68 episodes, she played a high-school student who becomes the head of a major fashion label. In the fall of 2008, "True Jackson" bowed with over 4.8 million viewers, setting a record for Nickelodeon's largest audience for a live-action premiere. She has received four NAACP Awards for Best Actress in Children's Television for her role as "True Jackson".

Keke starred in the movie, Abducted: The Carlina White Story (2012), for the Lifetime Network. She had a voice role in the 20th Century Fox animated film, Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012), as the character "Peaches". Her co-stars include Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Jennifer Lopez and Queen Latifah.

Palmer was seen on the big screen in the Alcon/Warner Bros movie, Joyful Noise (2012), singing alongside legendary Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, however, it was Palmer who the critics singled out for her "young and inspiring" rendition of the Michael Jackson song, "Man in the Mirror".

Palmer resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Actor ( 79 credits )

Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) Peaches (voice)
Tobacco Valley (2016) Young Diana Davis
Brotherly Love (2015) Jackie
Scream Queens (2015)  Zayday Williams (23 episodes, 2015-2016)
The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore (2015)  Herself - Panelist / ... (2 episodes, 2016)
FabLife (2015)  Herself (1 episode, 2016)
Animal (2014) Alissa
Imperial Dreams (2014) Samaara
The Meredith Vieira Show (2014)  Herself - The Trip to Bountiful (1 episode, 2014)
Just Keke (2014)  Herself - Host (unknown episodes)
Hollywood Today Live (2014)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014)  Herself (1 episode, 2016)
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House (2013) Herself
Masters of Sex (2013)  Coral (1 episode, 2014)
Full Circle (2013)  Chan'dra Stevens (2 episodes, 2013)
Datzhott (2013)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
The Queen Latifah Show (2013)  Herself / ... (2 episodes, 2013-2014)
Hollywood Today (2013)  Herself (1 episode, 2013)
The Broadway.Com Show (2013)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
The Real (2013)  Herself (1 episode, 2015)
Apollo Night LA (2013)  Herself - Celebrity Guest (1 episode, 2014)
Curdled (2013) Tara
Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) Peaches (voice)
Joyful Noise (2012) Olivia Hill
Key and Peele (2012)  Malia's Anger Translator (1 episode, 2013)
Bethenny (2012)  Herself (1 episode, 2013)
Winx Club: Beyond Believix (2012)  Aisha (27 episodes, 2012-2013)
Winx Club: Power of Believix (2012)  Aisha (26 episodes, 2012)
The Q Side (2012)  Herself
Single Ladies (2011)  Keke Palmer (1 episode, 2014)
Big Morning Buzz Live with Carrie Keagan (2011)  Herself (2 episodes, 2012-2013)
Winx Club: Enchantix (2011)  Aisha (69 episodes, 2011-2012)
Bubble Guppies (2011)  Stylee (1 episode, 2011)
Winx Club 3D: Magical Adventure (2010) Aisha
The Talk (2010)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
NewsNation with Tamron Hall (2010)  Guest - Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Access Hollywood Live (2010)  Herself (1 episode, 2015)
Shrink (2009) Jemma
The Cleveland Show (2009)  Brandi (1 episode, 2010)
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (2009)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
That Morning Show (2009)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
ES.TV HD (2009)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2012)
The Longshots (2008) Jasmine
90210 (2008)  Elizabeth / ... (4 episodes, 2013)
The Wendy Williams Show (2008)  Herself - Guest / ... (6 episodes, 2009-2014)
The Jace Hall Show (2008)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
True Jackson, VP (2008)  True Jackson (58 episodes, 2008-2011)
The Bonnie Hunt Show (2008)  Herself (2 episodes, 2009-2010)
Cleaner (2007) Rose Cutler
Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom (2007) Aisha (voice)
Akeelah and the Bee (2006) Akeelah
Madea's Family Reunion (2006) Nikki
House of Payne (2006)  Nikki (1 episode, 2007)
Rachael Ray (2006)  Herself (2 episodes, 2009)
Grey's Anatomy (2005)  Cheryl Jeffries (1 episode, 2014)
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005)  Herself / ... (8 episodes, 2006-2014)
Made in Hollywood (2005)  Herself (1 episode, 2011)
Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004) Gina's Niece (as Lauren 'Keke' Palmer)
Second Time Around (2004)  Sharlene (1 episode, 2005)
Fashion News Live (2004)  Herself (3 episodes, 2013)
Cold Case (2003)  Arlene (1939) (1 episode, 2004)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2012)
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Fashion Police (2002)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2014)
Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001)  Herself (2 episodes, 2011)
Strong Medicine (2000)  Sarina (1 episode, 2004)
106 & Park Top 10 Live (2000)  Herself (1 episode, 2006)
Family Guy (1999)  Pam (1 episode, 2014)
The Early Show (1999)  Herself (1 episode, 2006)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)  Tasha Wright (1 episode, 2005)
The View (1997)  Herself - Guest / ... (2 episodes, 2014)
ER (1994)  Janell Parkerson (1 episode, 2005)
Good Day L.A. (1993)  Herself (1 episode, 2013)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993)  Herself (1 episode, 2008)
Live with Kelly and Michael (1988)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
Inside Edition (1988)  Herself - The View (archive footage) (1 episode, 2014)
The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986)  Herself (1 episode, 2006)
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Herself (5 episodes, 2008-2011)
Good Morning America (1975)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2014)

Producer ( 1 credit )

Curdled (2013) executive producer