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Malia Obama on the red carpet © Dia Dipasupil

Malia Obama marks double celebration as she turns 26 alongside adoring family — new photos released

The Obama family are incredibly close

Hanna Fillingham
US Managing Editor
July 4, 2024
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Malia Obama has more than one reason to celebrate on July 4, as along with marking Independence Day, it's the day she was born! 

On Thursday, the budding filmmaker turned 26, and her famous parents, Barack and Michelle Obama, paid tribute to their firstborn on social media. 

Michelle took to Instagram to share a gorgeous throwback photo of Malia as a baby, and wrote: "Happy birthday, Malia! No matter how old you get, you’ll always be my little pea and I’ll always be proud of you. You deserve the world and more."

Barack, meanwhile, posted a never-before-seen picture of him and Malia as a little girl walking down the street hand-in-hand. He wrote: "Happy birthday, Malia. One of the greatest joys of my life is watching you grow into the extraordinary woman you’ve become today – and the fact that you’re still willing to hold your dad’s hand in public!"

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Malia has had an exciting year, and stepped out of her parents' shadows in January as she made her solo red carpet debut at the Sundance Film Festival to showcase her short film, The Heart

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Malia noticeably dropped her famous surname, going by the name Malia Ann instead. 

She appeared in the Sundance Institute's Meet the Artist spotlight video, showcasing her sense of humor and personality in a short clip. 

Barack and Michelle Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha
Barack and Michelle Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha

Not only is she incredibly caring, as she said: "We hope it makes you feel a bit less lonely or at least reminds you not to forget about the people who are," but she also joked: "The folks who came together to make this film have my heart, pun intended!" 

Explaining the short film, Malia also revealed that the project is "an odd little story, somewhat a fable, about a man grieving the death of his mother after she leaves him an unusual request". 

Malia Obama at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah© Dia Dipasupil
Malia Obama at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah

"The film is about lost objects and lonely people and forgiveness and regret, but I also think it works hard to uncover where tenderness and closeness can exist in those things," she continued. 

Malia moved to Los Angeles several years ago to pursue her career in the entertainment industry, and lives with her younger sister Sasha, 23. 

Michelle Obama with her late mom Marion and daughters Malia and Sasha
Michelle Obama with her late mom Marion and daughters Malia and Sasha

She has an impressive resume, having previously interned on HBO's Girls, and receiving high praise from Lena Dunham. Lena called Malia an "angel" and was impressed by how down-to-earth she was. 

malia and sasha obama in bali 2017© Getty Images
Malia and Sasha live in LA together

She said: "She was interning at HBO, and they thought, what if she comes a couple days a week to the set of Girls? She loved the show, and I mean, obviously we weren't, like, making her go get our coffee. You're not going to send [the president's daughter to get coffee]. But she wanted to do all the jobs. That was the cool thing. She was totally enthusiastic." 

michelle obama barack daughters
The Obamas are incredibly close

The actress also described Malia as being "so smart". She also worked as a staff writer on Donald Glover's Amazon Prime series Swarm, and he had nothing but good things to say about her work ethic. 

"Her writing style is great," he told Vanity Fair in 2022: "She's just like, an amazingly talented person. She's really focused, and she's working really hard." He added: "I feel like she’s just somebody who's gonna have really good things coming soon."

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