Kismet, magic dust, and French fries all played a part in the courtship of Holly Robinson and Rodney Peete. Or, as Holly says, “It was the fairy tale, after the dream, inside of the storybook.” She was a stunning, successful TV actress most famous for the late ’80s crime drama 21 Jump Street, and he an NFL starting quarterback. He proposed in front of a live studio audience during the filming of the sitcom she was starring in at the time, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.
In June 1995, more than 300 guests attended their California wedding, the Reverend Jesse Jackson presided, and Holly surprised Rodney with an appearance by the entire marching band from his alma mater, USC.
The dream continued in 1997 with the birth of twins, a boy, Rodney Jackson R.J., and a girl, Ryan. But three years later, Holly and Rodney’s lives were rocked when R.J. began to withdraw into himself and the couple received his shattering diagnosis: autism.