Early life, family, educational background
Chandler Kinney, American dancer and actress, was born on 3 August 2000 in Sacramento, California, USA; her first major appearance was as a child in the 2012 film entitled “Battlefield America.” Her mother, Taryn Kinney, is a strategist, writer and producer. Chandler and her family, which also consists of her two older brothers, moved to Los Angeles when she was one year old.
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Chandler made her start in the entertainment world as a dancer, and said in a Refinery29 interview that she dreamt about dancing professionally, and didn’t even consider acting at the time. She began dancing at the age of three, and trained with the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and the Los Angeles Ballet Academy. She also received a scholarship to attend the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC.
From ten years old, she also trained in the martial art of Taekwondo, and earned her first-degree black belt at thirteen.
Due to her filming schedule for “Lethal Weapon,” Chandler didn’t attend a ‘normal high school’ for most of her high school career, but rather what is described as an independent extension of high school. Once a week, she would meet with a teacher and then complete her schoolwork either on set or at home.
In May 2018, she matriculated from Oak Park Independent School in California, and was accepted to study at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Presently she is studying at the Marine Cooper School of Acting for training in both acting and dancing.
Chandler began acting from nine years of age in television commercials, and a couple of plays. However, her first professional venture was at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City for GAP, the biggest US apparel retailer. She said that she loved her experience on the set of the commercial so much, and realized that she would not mind doing more projects like that, so she decided to attend acting classes to improve her performance. Speaking about her move from dancing to acting, she said, ‘…I just fell in love with it. I fell in love with the craft of acting. The rest is kind of history.’
In 2012, Chandler had her first significant role as Chantel in the Chris Stokes’ dance film “Battlefield America.” The following year she guest-starred in television shows “90210” as Olivia, and “American Horror Story” as an older Julia in an episode entitled “Madness Ends.” She also appeared as Vanessa in the Disney series “Girl Meets World”, and was in a couple of episodes of Nickelodeon’s “Haunted Hathaways” in 2014, before leaving the show to star as Catherine Dillman in “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street”, from 2014 to 2016, alongside Ashley Boettcher in the Amazon original series.
Listen in as @DisneyChannel star @ChandlerLKinney from #ZOMBIES2 reads us 'Tiana's Big-City Sound' from a @DisneyBooks favorite, '5-Minute Girl Power Stories,' as we celebrate the #MagicOfStorytelling. Learn more at https://t.co/HOT7MyaA2d. pic.twitter.com/97GopFZC0S
— Disney CSR (@DisneyCSR) January 27, 2021
She landed her most notable role in 2016, as Riana in the Fox comedy-drama television series “Lethal Weapon”; her character is the teenage daughter of LAPD Captain Roger Murtaugh, portrayed by Damon Wayans, and starred in the show since it first aired. It is set in modern-day Los Angeles, and follows newly partnered detectives Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs (portrayed by Clayne Crawford), who are quite different from each other; the show is based on the 1987 film with the same name starring Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, with many characters directly or loosely based on characters from the film.
The show ran from 21 September 2016 until 26 February 2019, when Damon Wayans announced his departure from the show, prompting Fox to cancel the series.
Chandler has said that she loved working on the series and is a true fan of it. ‘Initially, I was drawn to “Lethal Weapon” for its perfect balance of comedy, actio, and drama, and the fact that it would provide something for everyone. There aren’t too many shows that have an equal blend of the three, so that was definitely something that stood out and attracted me to the project.’ She added that she was excited about being able to play a confident, outspoken, and slightly rebellious character like Riana.
She’s also appeared in the 2020 Disney film “ZOMBIES 2” as Willa.
Chandler still dances, with a focus on tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop and contemporary. She’s taken part in several dance commercials as well as competitions, including her qualifying with her dance team to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) finals in New York in April 2015.
She has also modeled for a couple of clothing companies, such as Hollister Co., as well as appearing on the cover of magazines Saturne, Glitter, and the Spring 2018 issue of American Teen among others.
Chandler keeps her personal life very private, and there is no information regarding her being in a relationship presently, or any previous relationships.
She started a foundation with her mom called “Chandler’s Friends,” which aims to assist disadvantaged youth with access to education, and to encourage them to achieve their own success. when asked about the foundation and her future plans for it in her interview with The Italian Rêve, she replied, ‘With the work that I’m doing with “Chandler’s Friends,” I hope to give underprivileged youth a better chance at success, and work towards gender parity in education.
And over time, I’d love to work on a larger scale and build relationships across the country. The goal is to reach as many lives as possible.’ In the same interview, she also shared her wish for the entertainment industry to become more inclusive, so that everyone can feel represented when watching movies or television shows.
Chandler stands 5ft 7ins (1.7 m) tall and weighs around 120lbs (55 kgs). She has black hair and dark brown eyes.
Net worth and salary
As of early 2021, Chandler has a net worth estimated at over $500 000 – her income depends on her workload during any year.