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Black Love: Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete

We celebrate actress Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, retired athlete Rodney Peete's, 20 years of marital bliss. Let's rewind their sweet love story.
Forever Kwaku Alston
By Charli Penn · May 18, 2011

The Peetes have been happily married for 20 years and they're still going strong.

Kwaku Alston

Today Holly Robinson-Peete and Rodney Peete celebrate 20 years of marital bliss. Let's rewind their sweet love story.

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A mutual friend thought Holly and Rodney would be perfect for each other so she invited the actress to a picnic hosted by the then Dallas Cowboys quarterback. They started dating.

After a year dating, Rodney surprised Holly with a wedding proposal on the set of popular 90s sitcom, “Hanging with Mr. Cooper,” which she was starring in at the time.

Holly compared her and Rodney’s courtship to a “fairy tale, after the dream, inside the storybook.” Their June 1995 wedding was equally enchanting. Rev. Jesse Jackson presided and 300 guests attended.

“Before we had kids, we were adventurous travelers, fun-loving — sex in the kitchen, stuff like that,” Holly told Redbook.

Holly and Rodney were blessed with twins Ryan and Rodney Jr. two years after getting married.

Holly and Rodney’s son Rodney Jr. (left) was diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2. “We both were devastated,” Rodney told Redbook. Through the challenging times ahead, Holly and Rodney persevered. "It’s definitely brought us together. It’s the whole corny “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” thing," said Holly.

The beautiful couple welcomed their son Robinson in 2002 and another son, Roman, in 2005.

The power couple refers to their family as “Team Peete.”

On their 10th anniversary Holly and Rodney renewed their vows.

The beautiful couple shares a tender moment.

So what is the key to making a marriage work? “It’s about having trust and respect for one another, it’s laying out the ground rules before we got married,” Rodney told ESSENCE.

The Peetes’ can always be found on the dance floor. “We have fun together, we have date nights and do things that we did when we didn’t have kids. We keep the spark,” Rodney told ESSENCE.

Rodney gives his beautiful wife a slice of cake at the renewal of their wedding vows.

An avid football fan, Holly penned ‘Get Your Own Damn Beer I’m Watching the Game! : A Woman’s Guide to Loving Pro Football."

“We’re both willing to put the work in because what you get is so tremendous.” Holly told ESSENCE. “And we have a special needs child so we have a lot of responsibility. I feel like we’re business partners in a way, the family business."

In line with their “Team Peete” mantra, the Peete’s started the HollyRod Foundation to help people living with Parkinson’s disease. Holly’s father, Matt Robinson, passed away from the disease.

The Peetes’ were honored for their philanthropic work at the 365Black Awards presented by McDonald’s during the ESSENCE Music Festival.

42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards – Arrivals
(L-R) Rodney Peete, Ryan Peete and Holly Robinson Peete attend the 42nd annual NAACP Image Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on March 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Holly and Rodney told Oprah that although their marriage is beautiful, they still see a counselor once in a while so they’re always on the same page. “We are married today because Rodney P. agreed to go sit down and talk about his feelings, and that’s the number one reason,” she said.

Holly and her daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete recently co-authored a children’s book about understanding autism.

The Peetes’ and their adorable clan can often be seen at Hollywood events. Here they pose for a group shot on the red carpet of “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” premiere.

After 16 years of marriage Holly Robinson Peete and her husband Rodney Peete are a shinning example of Black love.