Date of Birth
26 August 1993, Harvey, Illinois, USA
Lauren Keyana Palmer
5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
Keke Palmer is an actress and singer who won a small role in the feature film Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004), at the tender age of nine. The role of “Gina’s niece”, though small, was significant in the movie because “Gina” was played by none other that the sensational Queen Latifah. Keke more than held her own against the likes of comic Cedric the Entertainer, arguably stealing scenes. That role led to a series of guest-starring roles on television shows such as “Strong Medicine” (2000), “Cold Case” (2003), “ER” (1994) and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (1999).
Keke later went on to star in an Emmy-nominated made-for-TV movie titled The Wool Cap (2004) (TV), where she worked alongside one of her favorite actors, William H. Macy. Her amazing performance was so remarkable that it earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Actress in a Movie Made for Television, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Nomination in the Best Leading Actress category.
Who were her fellow nominees? Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Glenn Close and Patricia Heaton! Close went on to win, which is still pretty impressive for a kid who had only been acting for one year. Keke is the youngest actor to ever be nominated by the guild in a Lead Actor Category. Recently, Keke had the pleasure of co-starring in the made-for-television movie Knights of the South Bronx (2005) (TV), with former “Cheers” (1982) star Ted Danson.
In less than two years, Keke appeared in several national commercials, made-for-TV movies; television guest-starring appearances; shot a pilot for her own show on Disney Channel titled Keke & Jamal (2005) (TV); and two Lions Gate family movies, Madea’s Family Reunion (2006), starring Tyler Perry, Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield, Cicely Tyson, Maya Angelou, which was released February 24, 2006; and Akeelah and the Bee (2006), starring Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, which opened April 28, 2006. Keke is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and signed a major recording contract with Atlantic Records. Although she had offers from three other major labels, Keke felt strongly that Atlantic was the right place for her; after all, it is the label that launched the careers of legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin & Ray Charles. Still a teenager, Keke has a long way to go, but no one can argue the fact that she is off to a fantastic start!
Born Lauren Keyana Palmer, in Robbins, Illinois, a small town 20 miles south of Chicago, Palmer showed vocal promise as a 5-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 Palmer’s 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 Show “Cold Case” (2003), booked a national K-Mart commercial, and was chosen from a nationwide search to play opposite William H. Macy in a TNT movie. Palmer’s performance in The Wool Cap (2004) (TV) 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 young South Los Angeles girl who attempts to win a national spelling bee, won the hearts of audiences everywhere. Keke held her own in scenes with acting 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 number #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 (2006). 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) (TV). 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” Movie 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, titled “So Uncool,” is jammed with up-tempo R&B tracks, inspirational moments, and love songs.
Look for her next in the feature film Cleaner (2007), in which she co-stars with Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, and Ed Harris. Her single “Footworkin’” hit stores in July 2007; her album “So Uncool” hit stores September 2007.
IMDb Mini Biography By: Eyesonyou.ENT
Her favorite actor is William H. Macy.
She resides in Illinois.
Is close friends with Carlysia Levert, daughter of the late Gerald Levert.
Audtioned for Akeelah and the Bee (2006) 5 times. Director was convinced by the emotion in her crying the 5th time around.
Trained for 7 weeks with a professional quarterback preparing for her role in The Longshots (2008).
* 2004: Babershop 2: Back in Business (Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan)
* 2006: Madea’s Family Reunion (directed by Tyler Perry)
* 2006: Akeelah and the Bee (Director: Doug Atchison)
* 2007: Jump In! (Director: Paul Hoen)
* 2007: Cleaner
* Since 2008: True Jackson
* 2008 The Longshots
* 2009 Shrink
* 2007: Keke Palmer
* 2007: So Uncool
* 2006 Jump In!
* 2006 Night at the Museum