Raven-Symoné is an American actress, R&B and pop singer, songwriter, dancer, and television producer, best known for her roles as Olivia Kendall in The Cosby Show (1989-1992) and as Raven Baxter in her own show, That's So Raven, from 2003-2007.
She also starred in the short-lived sitcom State of Georgia, in 2011.
As an infant, she worked for Atlanta's Young Faces Inc. Modeling Agency and was featured in local print advertisements. At age two, she worked with Ford Models, Inc. in New York City and appeared in ads for Ritz crackers, Jell-O, Fisher-Price, and Cool Whip.
At age three, she auditioned for the film Ghost Dad. She was considered too young for the role, but was recommended for a part in The Cosby Show and was eventually cast as Olivia in February 1989. The character was the precocious three-year-old stepdaughter of Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet), the main character's daughter.
Raven played the part until the series was cancelled in 1992.
In 1993, Raven joined the cast of ABC's sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper as Nicole, the daughter of Mark Curry's character Mark Cooper's cousin.
Raven went on to have roles in the 1998 film Dr. Dolittle and in 1999's Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. In between her acting roles, Raven attended the North Springs High School, an Arts and Science high school in Sandy Springs, Georgia, where she graduated in 2005.
In 2003, Raven began her role as Raven Baxter, a teenager with psychic abilities, in the Disney Channel Original Series That's So Raven; it became Disney Channel's highest-rated and longest-running series and spawned successful product spinoffs, including soundtracks (featuring songs by Raven), episode DVDs, and video games.
In 2005, the show was nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Children's Program." In 2003, Raven was featured on The Cheetah Girls and its popular soundtrack.
In 2003, Raven was scheduled to star in two films. The first was Sparkle, which was a remake of the 1976 film. Raven got the part after R&B-Pop songstress Aaliyah was tragically killed in a plane crash in 2001. The film was scheduled to be produced by Whitney Houston and Debra Martin Chase who produced The Cheetah Girls.
The second film was titled "All American Girl", based on the book written by Meg Cabot. Both films were cancelled.
In 2004, Raven cut a six-figure deal with Disney for another series on ABC in Fall 2005. It was originally designed to be a college spinoff of That's So Raven called Raven Too!, following Raven and her friends in college.
However, Raven eventually declined the role and the sitcom instead turned into another TSR spinoff for Disney, called Cory In The House.
Recently, she has starred in a sequel to the original Cheetah Girls film, The Cheetah Girls 2, which has become Disney Channel's second most-viewed and second highest-rated film to date after Jump In!.
Coincidentally, Raven was originally set to star in Jump In! as well, which was created to be a motion picture named Double Dutch, but which was later revamped into the present version known as Jump In!, minus Raven's presence.
Raven produced the fourth and final season of That's So Raven. She took on the role of Executive Producer for The Cheetah Girls 2 In the late '90s, she co-owned RayBlaize Records with her father. However, they sold the company in the early 2000s.
Raven was featured on the March 2007 issue of Ebony Magazine with the title "The $400 Million Dollar Woman" referring to the $400-million that the That's So Raven merchandise has made.
The article also mentioned that Raven has wisely saved invested her substantial TV show earnings dating back to her time on "The Cosby Show".
On October 31 2007, she made a special guest appearance on the NBC show Phenomenon.
Raven was also one of the many singers who auditioned for the sought-after role of Effie in Dreamgirls.
Raven-Symoné's debut album, Here's to New Dreams, was released on June 22, 1993. It spawned two commercially released singles: "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of" and "Raven Is the Flavor".
"That's What Little Girls Are Made Of" was Raven's most successful single, reaching number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100, 47 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, 43 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales, and 39 on the Rhythmic Top 40.
Her record company, MCA Records, however, shortened her contract as a result of poor sales.
On May 4, 1999, Raven released her second album, Undeniable. "With a Child's Heart" was the only commercially released single from the album. With no promotion at all, the album was a complete failure, selling just 10,000 copies in the U.S. to date.
In 2000, MCA Records, her label, dropped her from their roster. The Undeniable album was bought up by TMG Records, who re-issued the album in November 14, 2006 under the title From Then Until.
In early 2003, she signed a deal with Hollywood Records, which also features fellow Disney Channel stars Aly & AJ, Hilary Duff, and Miley Cyrus.
On September 21, 2004, she released her third album This Is My Time. The album spawned three Radio Disney hits: "Backflip" (which received heavy rotation on both Disney Channel and MTV), "Bump", and "Grazing in the Grass" (which was featured on the soundtrack to The Lion King 1½).
The album debuted and peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200 selling 19,000 copies in its first week of release, becoming her most successful album yet. This Is My Time has sold 235,000 copies in the U.S. and 452,000 copies worldwide.
In 2006, Raven embarked on her first solo tour to promote the album. She was also featured in Belinda's music video for "Ni Freud ni tú mamá".