She Played Nicole on "Fame." See Nia Peeples Now at 60.
THE ACTOR AND SINGING MOVED ON TO MORE INFLUENTIAL TV SHOWS.
Nia Peeples was born in Hollywood, so it's no wonder that she's spent her entire life performing. Some of her first acting roles were TV movies in the early 1980s, before she landed the recurring role of Carla Escobar on General Hospital in 1983 and a year later, the role that would make her famous: Nicole Chapman on the TV series Fame. Peeples joined the cast of the performing high school series in Season 4, playing a talented teen who ultimately met a tragic end. She obviously showed off her voice on the show, which led to a recording career. The performer saw the release of three studio albums: Nothin' But Trouble in 1988, a self-titled album in 1992, and Songs of the Cinema in 2007. Here's what else the Fame star has been up to since the early days of her career.
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She's a surfer and advocate for healthy oceans.
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In addition to being a part of the Fame universe, Peeples is also a legend in the world of cult surfer movies for her role as Kiana in 1987's North Shore, one of the more famous surfing movies of all time. Since then, she's become part of the surfing community and even advocates for environmental causes related to the oceans. She met famed surfer and surfer documentarian Sam George on the set of the movie, and they married years later, in 2004.
The actor and singer was married three times before that: First to Guy Ecker from 1984 to 1986, then to Howard Hewett from 1989 to 1993, and later to Lauro Chartrand from 1997 to 2004. She welcomed a son named Chistopher with Hewett and a daughter named Sienna, who's pursuing an acting career, with Chartrand. She and George split in 2015.
She lived in a trailer.
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Peeples and George made their home in a double-wide trailer in Malibu—a living situation that suited their surfer lifestyle. In fact, the $875,000 mobile home overlooking the ocean was one of the things that Peeples sought to keep after her divorce from George, per TMZ.
It's not just any trailer, obviously. The space has been fully renovated, and if you didn't know that it was a trailer, you could easily mistake it for a Beverly Hills mansion. The actor gave OWN a tour of the property in 2015, saying that she doesn't regret moving to a smaller space at all, though she had qualms about not being able to host parties any more due to space constrictions. "I was dead wrong," she said. "People still come over."
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She went on a three-year walkabout.
Peeples wrote her own IMDb biography, in which she states, "Recently, with her son well on his music path, her daughter heading off to college, and her 4th marriage ending, Nia sold everything and went on 'walk about' to realign with her greater purpose." In 2021, she gave a TED Talk about her experience and how it empowered her to live a different, more spiritual sort of life.
She wrote a children's book.
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Peeples returned from her walkabout and wrote a children's book called The Little Apple Tree. "Through the journey of a little boy who dreams of being a farmer & his first little apple tree who must find the courage to become all she was meant to be (which is more than he can handle) unfolds a story of the harmonization of the masculine & feminine…exactly what the world is calling forth at this time," the official description reads.
The actor is also reportedly working on a book in which she interviews her ex-romantic partners.
She's still acting.
Peeples starred on Fame from 1983 to 1986. After that show, she continued to perform on the big and small screens. Her TV work includes music shows like Top of the Pops, Dance Fever, and Soul Train, as well as her own series, The Party Machine with Nia Peeples. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, she guested on shows including WKRP in Cincinnati, Touched by an Angel, Early Edition, The Division, and Barbershop. She's also known for lead roles on the shows Walker, Texas Ranger, The Young and the Restless, and Pretty Little Liars. More recently, she recurred on Season 5 of the family drama, The Fosters. She's also appeared in several TV movies, including 2019's Dying for a Baby and Badland Wives.
In her IMDB bio, Peeples wrote that, as of 2018, she was living in Topanga, California where, "when she's not fasting at an ashram," she's studying physics and sacred geometry and launching "empowering lines of jewelry."