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Whatever Happened To Raven-Symoné?

For avid watchers of the Disney Channel in the early- to mid-2000s, Raven-Symoné was likely a massive part of their childhood. From 2003-2007, over the course of four seasons, she starred in the hit series "That's So Raven," which chronicles the misadventures of Raven Baxter as she navigates high school while hiding her psychic ability to see the future.

In addition to stretching her acting chops via Disney, she also showcased her vocal talents as the leader of fictional girl group The Cheetah Girls. In two made-for-TV films, her character Galleria Garibaldi learns how to cool down her ego for the sake of The Cheetah Girls, whose songs "Cinderella" and "Girl Power" remain catchy 20 years later.

After getting her big break in 1989 on "The Cosby Show" as Olivia Kendall, Raven-Symoné climbed the industry ladder as a successful teen actor. Let's take a look at what she's been up to in adulthood since ditching her "cheetah-licious" persona.

She's still portraying Raven Baxter

While some Disney icons like "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus aim to completely separate themselves from the youth-focused channel, that's not the case for Raven-Symoné. In 2017, she reprised her beloved role of Raven Baxter in "Raven's Home," which shows her managing her psychic powers as an adult and single mom.

"Raven's Home" Season 5, which premiered on the Disney Channel in March 2022, is particularly special for the actress. Rondell Sheridan, who plays her father, Victor, in the original series, returns in the same role. After Victor suffers a heart attack, Raven and her psychic son Booker (Issac Ryan Brown) transition to the San Francisco home that fans can recognize as the same one from "That's So Raven" (via Essence).

"It feels so good to be able to see the journey of Raven Baxter as she is raising a teenage son, is taking care of her father and finding who she is," said Raven-Symoné. "I think that story can resonate with a lot of mothers as their children grow up. Just seeing what that means for her and how she decides to tackle life in that manner."

She's openly gay and an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community

On August 2, 2013, Raven-Symoné shocked fans by tweeting, "I can finally get married! Yay government!" @ChristianSaad replied, "Wait a minute. You play for OUR team?! Why did I not know this, where have I been?!" In June 2020, she surprised everyone again by quietly marrying Miranda Maday (via US Weekly), with whom she runs the YouTube channel 8PM, a self-described "hodgepodge of fun."

Despite knowing she was gay at the age of 12 (via Teen Vogue), Raven-Symoné wanted to keep it private for as long as possible. She was also opposed to an LGBTQ+ storyline for her character in "Raven's Home" (via Deadline). "Raven Baxter is a character that I was proud to play, even if she is straight, cisgender. I don't mind. Let her have her moment," she said. However, she is using her platform for the benefit of the LGBTQ+ community. In March 2022, the cast of "Raven's Home" walked off set to show opposition toward the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which is advancing in Florida to prevent classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in grades 3 and under.

"In today's world, it is imperative that we take stands, show support and move forward, not backwards," she said. "Every family, every person and every child deserves to be recognized no matter their race, gender or sexual orientation. Education that reflects the truth and the world we live in is something we must fight for."

She had a brief, controversial stint on The View

From 2015-2016, Raven-Symoné served as a host on ABC's daytime talk show "The View," an experience that was met with much criticism. She received backlash after stating on air, "I'm not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It's just not going to happen" (via YouTube). Many viewers felt her comment was racist and she later issued an apology (via E! News). "I was not attacking a specific race, but repeating a name that was said in a viral video which has received over 2 million likes," she said. "My comment was in poor taste. My lack of empathy towards name discrimination was uncalled for."

On another episode, when discussion centered on a black teen being roughly pulled from their desk by an officer after refusing to get off their cellphone, Raven-Symoné partially faulted the teen (also on YouTube), much to the anger of fans. "The girl was told multiple times to get off the phone. There's no right or reason for him to be doing this type of harm. That's ridiculous. But at the same time, you've got to follow the rules in school."

Upon leaving "The View" to focus on "Raven's Home," Raven-Symoné shared that she felt catfished (via The Hollywood Reporter), a statement supported by ex-host Candace Cameron Bure. "I thought I was going on a show, like Candace, where it was pop culture and fun ..." she said. Neither expected the heavy emphasis on politics.

She's taking control of her health

In summer 2021, Raven-Symoné opened up about her journey to lose weight, something she's been battling since her "That's So Raven" days. She lost an impressive 30 pounds in just three months by practicing a low-carb diet, doing minimal exercise and fasting (via "Good Morning America," on YouTube). Her goal isn't to become a "little twig," but rather an overall healthy person as her body begins to age.

Though Raven-Symoné lost 70 pounds in 2011, her new body didn't bring any happiness. "The way people were treating me while I was bigger was emotionally damaging. So when I lost weight, and I remember the moment I went on the red carpet, in my head I was cursing everyone out," she said. "I was like, 'Wow, now you want to look at me because I'm skinny? Thanks.'"

Her wife, Miranda Maday, is supportive of her efforts and often joins her for a walk (via USA Today). Raven-Symoné said, "We want to have a life together. She doesn't want to take me to an early grave and I want to make sure I am there for her in the best health possible."