Karyn Parsons and Holly Robinson Peete Were Friends in High School — And They Were Classmates With Another Famous Actor

It’s not uncommon for celebrities to have connections that date back before they were famous. Snoop Dogg sold Cameron Diaz weed in high school, for example, while Zendaya and Gabby Douglas graduated high school together in 2015. Holly Robinson Peete and Karyn Parsons are two other stars with a friendship dating back to their teenage years.

Karyn Parsons and Holly Robinson Peete
Karyn Parsons and Holly Robinson Peete attend the ‘Boomerang’ Hollywood Premiere on June 28, 1992 at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Karyn Parsons was born and raised in Los Angeles

Parsons grew up in a mixed family in the Los Angeles area. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor graduated from Santa Monica High School — the same school that produced famous actors such as Robert Downey Jr., Charlie Sheen, and more.

Parsons was a hardworking actor in the 1990s and early 2000s, though she took a step back from the spotlight for several years to pursue other passions such as writing.

Karyn Parsons
Karyn Parsons attends the Ubuntu Education Fund’s 16th Annual “1 Million to One: Changing The Odds” Gala at Gotham Hall on June 11, 2015 in New York City | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Holly Robinson Peete moved to California as a teenager

Unlike Parsons, Holly Robinson Peete wasn’t born and raised in LA. She was born and spent many of her childhood years in the Philadelphia area, but her family moved to California when she was 10 years old.

Robinson Peete graduated from Santa Monica High School just like Parsons did. She acknowledged her relationship to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star in a 2021 tweet. “We were HS buddies,” Robinson Peete said in response to a photo of her and Parsons in the early 1990s. When a fan told her she looked like Kelly Rowland in the photo, she was flattered, saying “Awww I wish” with heart emojis.

Robinson Peete’s acting career dates back to her childhood when she appeared in an episode of Sesame Street. As an adult, she starred in iconic TV shows such as 21 Jump Street and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.

Holly Robinson Peete visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on November 17, 2020 in Universal City, California.
Holly Robinson Peete | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

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Karyn Parsons and Holly Robinson Peete also went to high school with other future stars

Parsons and Robinson Peete weren’t the only ones in their high school graduating class that went on to find success in the entertainment industry. Among their classmates were future West Wing star Rob Lowe and prolific TV producer Yvette Lee Bowser.

She mentioned Lowe being her classmate in a 2015 tweet, calling him her “old junior [high] [and] high [school] buddy.” “[He] said hi to my kids,” she recalled. “After they say ‘Mom, which Rob Lowe was that??'” She added that “he did not peak in high school.”

Robinson Peete spoke again about her relationship to Lowe when they were teenagers in a 2017 tweet. “Fun fact,” she said, “Rob and I went to junior high and high school together and were deemed ‘most talented’ in 9th grade.'”