Vanessa Williams Biography
Birth Name - Vanessa Lynn Williams
Date of Birth - 18 March 1963
Tarrytown, New York, USA
Nickname Van, Ness, V
Height - 5' 6" (1.68 m)
Vanessa Williams photo gallery
Vanessa Williams must be credited with making one of the most startling and unexpected comebacks in show business history. Born to teacher parents in New York City, Vanessa and her brother grew up in suburban New York in comfortable surroundings. Vanessa sang and danced in school productions and signed her high school yearbook with a promise to 'see you on Broadway'. After winning a performing scholarship to Syracuse University, she left school and tried to make it in New York show business. She began entering beauty contests in 1984, eventually winning Miss New York and then becoming the first African-American Miss America. During her reign, some nude girl-girl photos taken while she was in New York surfaced in Penthouse magazine. Although the photos were taken before her beauty contest victories, she was forced to resign her crown. Many predicted that her future in show business was over. She landed a recording contract and released several hit albums, including 'The Comfort Zone' and 'The Sweetest Days'. After performing in television roles and music videos, she began appearing in films like Another You (1991) and Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991). She scored her first big hit film with the thriller Eraser (1996) co-starring with Arnold Schwarzenegger and followed it up with Soul Food (1997) and the remake of Shaft (2000). She managed to keep her high school promise and performed on Broadway in the musical 'Kiss of the Spider Woman', a musical based on the Academy-Award winning film of the same name. As of this writing, she is one of the most beautiful and sought after performers around and she is in rehearsals to star in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical 'Into The Woods'. She continues to alternate between recording, the stage, films and television.
Rick Fox (26 September 1999 - 2005) (divorced) 1 child
Ramon Hervey (2 January 1987 - 1997) (divorced) 3 children
More information on Vanessa Williams
Was originally cast as Jane Toussaint in Spike Lee's School Daze (1988), but was replaced by Tisha Campbell-Martin due to artistic differences.
Parents, Milton & Helen Williams, were both music teachers.
In 1981, she won a musical theatre scholarship to Syracuse University. However, she eventually lost those funds. That led to her entry in the Miss America pageant.
Expecting her fourth child, and first with Rick Fox, in mid-2000.
Grew up in Millwood, New York, USA
Often confused with actress Vanessa Williams.
Dropped out of Syracuse University to pursue the Miss America crown but received her Bachelor's degree from the Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts on May 10, 2008.
Former Miss America 1984, resigned after nude photos surfaced in Penthouse magazine. The centerfold model for that issue was 16-year-old Traci Lords. Because Ms. Lords was underage, it is illegal to own or trade that issue of the magazine, unless the centerfold pictorial is removed.
Has four children: Melanie (b. 1987), Jillian (b. 1989), and Devin (b. 1993), Sasha (b. 2000).
Daughter, Sasha Gabriella Fox, born 1 May 2000 in NYC.
Was the first black contestant in the hot seat on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (1999/I).
Won a Sports Emmy for singing a song about quarterback Joe Montana during an opening sequence on ABC's "NFL Monday Night Football" (1970).
Was nominated for Broadway's 2002 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for a revival of "Into The Woods."
Spokesperson for Proactive Solution (Acne Medication).
Attended New York's prestigious School of Performing Arts, the high school that was the setting for the movie and TV series "Fame" (1982).
Was introduced to husband Rick Fox by his then-girlfriend, model Tyra Banks. When his romance with Banks ended, Fox and Williams began dating.
She and Rick Fox eloped to the Caribbean in the Summer of 1999, but promised family and friends they would re-tie the knot that Fall, which they did in a lavish ceremony at the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City, followed by a gala reception at the St. Regis Hotel.
Has been doing commercials for Radio Shack since 2001 with Howie Long and Ving Rhames, and, since 2003, husband Rick Fox. She also does spots for Crest, and a late-night infomercial for skin care product, Proactive Solution.
Measurements: 34B/C-24-34 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Her runner-up, Suzette Charles, became the second African-American Miss America after her resignation.
Is the sister of Chris Williams.
Sang the National Anthem at Arnold Schwarzenegger's inauguration as Governor of California. (17 November 2003)
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame [March 2007].
Ranked #56 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
Turned down the role in Monster's Ball (2001), which later went to Halle Berry.
Personal quotes from Vanessa Williams
"I throw myself into my work. It's exhausting. It's time-consuming. I feel guilty for not being with my kids all the time, But then when I'm home with my children and devoting my life to my kids, in the back of my mind I'm wondering whether I'll ever get employed again. So there's a constant battle of doing what fuels me and what I do best. And also, being there for my kids."
Vanessa Williams Filmography
Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
"Ugly Betty" .... Wilhelmina Slater (50 episodes, 2006-2008)
- Tornado Girl (2008) TV episode .... Wilhelmina Slater
- Crush'd (2008) TV episode .... Wilhelmina Slater
- Ugly Berry (2008) TV episode .... Wilhelmina Slater
- Granny Pants (2008) TV episode .... Wilhelmina Slater
- Betty Suarez Land (2008) TV episode .... Wilhelmina Slater
And Then Came Love (2007) .... Juile
The Beautiful World of Ugly Betty (2007) (TV) (also archive footage) .... Narrator / Wilhelmina Slater
My Brother (2006) .... L'Tisha Morton
"South Beach" .... Elizabeth Bauer (8 episodes, 2006)
- It Looked Like Somebody's Nightmare (2006) TV episode .... Elizabeth Bauer
- The S.B. (2006) TV episode .... Elizabeth Bauer
- I'll Do What I Want to Do (2006) TV episode .... Elizabeth Bauer
- Who Do You Trust (2006) TV episode .... Elizabeth Bauer
- Every Day Above Ground Is a Good Day (2006) TV episode .... Elizabeth Bauer
Johnson Family Vacation (2004) .... Dorothy Johnson
Beck and Call (2004) (TV) .... Zoe
"Boomtown" .... Detective Katherine Pierce (6 episodes, 2003)
- The Big Picture (2003) TV episode .... Detective Katherine Pierce
- Haystack (2003) TV episode .... Detective Katherine Pierce
- The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang (2003) TV episode .... Detective Katherine Pierce
- Wannabe (2003) TV episode .... Detective Katherine Pierce
- Inadmissible (2003) TV episode .... Detective Katherine Pierce
"Ally McBeal" .... Sheila Hunt (1 episode, 2002)
- Another One Bites the Dust (2002) TV episode .... Sheila Hunt
Keep the Faith, Baby (2002) (TV) .... Hazel Scott
WW3 (2001) (TV) (as Vanessa L. Williams) .... M.J. Blake
... aka WWIII (USA)
... aka Winds of Terror (USA: video title)
A Diva's Christmas Carol (2000) (TV) .... Ebony Scrooge
Shaft (2000) .... Carmen Vasquez
... aka Shaft - Noch Fragen? (Germany)
Don Quixote (2000) (TV) .... Dulcinea / Aldonza
The Courage to Love (2000) (TV) .... Mother Henriette Delille
"Style World" (2000) TV series .... Host
Light It Up (1999) (as Vanessa L. Williams) .... Audrey McDonald
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999) .... Queen of Trash
"L.A. Doctors" .... Dr. Leanne Barrows (3 episodes, 1999)
... aka L.A. Docs (USA: promotional title)
- Every Picture Tells a Story (1999) TV episode .... Dr. Leanne Barrows
- Que Sera, Sarah (1999) TV episode .... Dr. Leanne Barrows
- O Captain, My Captain (1999) TV episode .... Dr. Leanne Barrows
Futuresport (1998) (TV) .... Alexandra 'Alex' Torres
Dance with Me (1998) .... Ruby Sinclair
"Between Brothers" .... Rebecca (1 episode, 1997)
- The Interview (1997) TV episode .... Rebecca
Soul Food (1997) (as Vanessa L. Williams) .... Teri
Hoodlum (1997) .... Francine Hughes
The Odyssey (1997) (TV) .... Calypso
... aka Abenteuer des Odysseus, Die (Germany)
... aka Homer's Odyssey
... aka Odysseia (Greece)
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" .... Arandis (1 episode, 1996)
... aka DS9 (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka Deep Space Nine (USA: short title)
... aka Star Trek: DS9 (USA: short title)
- Let He Who Is Without Sin... (1996) TV episode .... Arandis
Eraser (1996) .... Lee Cullen
Bye Bye Birdie (1995) (TV) .... Rose Alvarez
Nothing Lasts Forever (1995) (TV) .... Dr. Kathy 'Kat' Hunter
Score with Chicks (1994) (V)
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" .... Danny Mitchell (1 episode, 1992)
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Forum (1992) TV episode .... Danny Mitchell
The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992) (TV) .... Suzanne de Passe
Stompin' at the Savoy (1992) (TV) .... Pauline
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) .... Lulu Daniels
Another You (1991) .... Gloria
Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer (1990) (TV) .... Terri Knight
The Kid Who Loved Christmas (1990) (TV) .... Lynette Parks
Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal (1989) (TV) .... Valentine Hayward
... aka The Sex Tapes Scandal
Under the Gun (1988) .... Samantha Richards
The Pick-up Artist (1987) .... Rae, Girl with Dog
"The Love Boat" (1 episode, 1986)
- My Stepmother, Myself/Almost Roommates/Cornerback Sneak (1986) TV episode
"T.J. Hooker" .... Pat Williamson (1 episode, 1986)
- Partners in Death (1986) TV episode .... Pat Williamson
"Partners in Crime" .... Roselle Robins (1 episode, 1984)
... aka 50/50 (Europe)
- Celebrity (1984) TV episode .... Roselle Robins