Vanessa Williams

Mostly Credited As: Vanessa Williams
Sometimes Credited As: Vanessa L. Williams

Birth Name: Vanessa Lynn Williams
Date Of Birth: March 18, 1963 (Age 53)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Tarrytown, New York
Height: 5' 6" (1.67 m)

Vanessa Williams

A woman of many faces and talents, a woman who not only demands respect but also has earned it. She has conquered the musical charts, the big screen and the stages of Broadway. However, she demands to be seen as a person and not just as a star. Now the story of a woman, who has not only captured the hearts of millions, but has also defied the rules and boundaries of people everywhere.

When you look at a celebrity it is often imagine that their whole lives were perfect, is is sometimes hard to imagine that these people who are "sitting on top of the world" ever wanted for anything, ever needed anything. However, despite the glamour and the "high life" they may be living now, chances are it was not always the case.

Vanessa Williams, born on March 18th of 1963, grew up in a small town in upstate New York called Millwood. Her parent, Milton and Helen Williams, were both music teachers and encouraged Vanessa in her musical studies. She also has a younger brother by 4 years, Christopher. It is said that Vanessa was born to be on the stage, to perform, to "show the world what she can do" and throughout her career she has done nothing less than just that.

As a child, Vanessa began with playing instruments such as the Piano and the French Horn. However, it was not long after that her parents began noticing there was so much more she could do. After really listening to Vanessa sing, they knew their daughter has something special to offer the world. Therefore, Vanessa began performing in school plays and things of this sort.

Vanessa began growing into a mature and beautiful woman, physically and musically. Attending Syracuse University, Vanessa began majoring in musical theater and started showing off more musical talent than anyone imagined she had. As her beauty grew and her voice became more and more outstanding people around her began to notice it. Her friends and her family would even say she possessed a certian spark that other people she was around did not. Soon enough Vanessa, sought out by scouts, found out about the "Miss Syracuse" pageant. As the scount continuously offered her a possition in the contest Vanessa began to consider it. Seeing as how the theater show Vanessa was schedualed for canceled, Vanessa decided she would enter the pageant simply for "book money" or some extra money to put toward her education. Little did she know that decision would change her life forever.

As if there was any doubt, Vanessa won the "Miss Syracuse" pageant and went on to become "Miss New York" in the well awaited Miss America pageant, 1984. Vanessa graced the stage a long with 49 other beautiful women, women considered to be the best in their state, therefore the best in the United States. Taking hold of categories such as the interview, swimsuit and talent, she went on to win the title of Miss America 1984. "Now she belongs to the world," says best friend Diane Sims. "Initially I was sad because she meant so much to me." Winning this contest was a great honor for Vanessa, being the first black Miss America however; it also brought to her life fear. Fear not only for her own life but fear also for her family's. She knew and was constantly reminded that the people of the black race did not want her known as the "First African American Miss America" because to them she was not black enough. In the same hand, she was hated by the people of the white culture because to them she had taken the crown from the many white women on the stage who, in their eyes, deserved it much more.

So it is no surprise that Vanessa would often hear things such as: "she was chosen because they changed the lighting on the stage to make everyone look lighter than they really are" or "they choose her because they needed better ratings." It were comments like this that would make Vanessa herself sometimes feel as if she would want to be done with it all, to give it all up. It was not soon after that she would be forced to give it all up anyway. As a teenager, Vanessa worked as a photographers assistant/secretary, however she considered the photographer a personal friend of hers. Somewhere along the line, he had persuaded her to take a few nude pictures that would be just between her and him and would never be seen otherwise. Years later, Vanessa's trust would be betrayed and those same pictures would be sold over to Penthouse magazine who published them.
This was costing Vanessa her crown.

For a while she felt down, as anyone would, she had made a mistake and the mistake had been made public to the world. She had been humiliated, constantly threatened and you could even say she had hit rock bottom. However, Vanessa was down but not out, she kept her head up and stuck to the motto "once you hit rock bottom the only place to go is up" and instead of sulking in her problem she decided not to let it drag her down but instead grow stronger from it. Knowing she still had the talent though she may have the same respect, she began a new life. She hired a man named Ramon Hervey to be her manager and together they shot Vanessa straight back to the top.

Today, Vanessa has not only has 14 Grammy Nominations, won over 30 awards from things such as Soul Train awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards (to name a few), but she has also conquered "The Big Screen" with movies such as Soul Food, Eraser and Dance With Me. She has overcome the TV screen with made-for-tv-movies such as Bye Bye Birdie and The Courage to Love. Lastly, she has made her life long dream come true and performed on none other than Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

As if all the were not enough she also raised a family of 4 children: Melanie (June of '87), Jillian (June of '89) and Devin (April '93), and her youngest daughter with new husband, Rick Fox, Sasha Gabriella (May 2000). Despite her divorce to former manager, Ramon Hervey, she has remarried with Rick Fox of the LA Lakers. In 1990/2000 she was starring in and executive producing the Lifetime Movie The Courage to Love. This is how Vanessa turned her trials into triumphs. She may be a singer, dancer, actress and so much more but first and foremost she is a mother, a wife and a friend to the people closest to her. That is possibly the most amazing thing behind this hazel eyed beauty, this woman of wonder, basically this strong human being.


TV Appearances

Main cast 
Satan's Sisters (2017)As: Maxine
Fantasy Life (2015)As: Terry
666 Park Avenue (2012)As: Olivia Doran
South Beach (2006) (2006)As: Elizabeth Bauer
Ugly Betty (2006)As: Wilhelmina Slater
Desperate Housewives (2004)As: Renee Perry (Season 7-8)
TV Land Icon Awards (2003)As: Herself (Host 2008)
Murder One (1995)As: Lila (1995-1996)
The Daytime Emmy Awards (1974)As: Herself (Host 2009)
Miss America (1954)As: Herself (Miss America 1984)
Episode Cast Credits 

Seriously... Phil Collins (1990) 
  Seriously... Phil Collins (Sep/08/2015) As Rachel - TV Executive 

The Mindy Project (2012) 
  Danny Castellano Is My Nutritionist 03x17: (Feb/24/2015) As Dr. Suzanne Phillips 

Tavis Smiley (2004) 
  Vanessa L. Williams 11x179: (Oct/03/2014) As Herself, [Interviewees]

The Queen Latifah Show (2013) 
  Vanessa Williams, Blair Underwood, Cicely Tyson, Joey Fatone 02x12: (Sep/30/2014) As Herself 

Oprah's Master Class (2011) 
  Vanessa L. Williams 04x07: (Jul/13/2014) As Herself 

The Chew (2011) 
  Extra Value Friday: Star-Studded Snacks 03x143: (Apr/25/2014) As Herself 

The Talk (2010) 
  Vanessa Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Guy Fieri 03x165: (May/17/2013) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Season 3, Episode 96 03x96: (Jan/31/2013) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Season 2, Episode 172 02x172: (May/22/2012) As Herself, [Co-Guest Stars]

The View (1997) 
  Season 16, Episode 146 16x146: (Apr/19/2013) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Season 16, Episode 18 16x18: (Sep/27/2012) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Vanessa Williams, Isaac Mizrahi, Sarah Chalke, Geralyn Lucas, guest co-host Judge Glenda Hatchett 10x35: (Oct/23/2006) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Season 8, Episode 118 08x118: (Feb/17/2005) As Herself, [Interviewees]

Bethenny (2013) 
  Vanessa Williams 01x01: (Jun/11/2012) As Herself 

Who Do You Think You Are? (US) (2010) 
  Vanessa Williams 02x01: (Feb/04/2011) As Herself 

Daybreak (2010) 
  November 25, 2010 01x59: (Nov/25/2010) As Herself 

The Wendy Williams Show (2009) 
  Vanessa Williams 02x01: (Jul/13/2009) As Herself 
  Vanessa Williams 01x26: (Aug/18/2008) As Herself 

Knight Rider (2008) (2008) 
  Day Turns Into Knight 01x11: (Jan/14/2009) As Ambassador Olara Kumali 
  Don't Stop The Knight 01x10: (Jan/07/2009) As Ambassador Olara Kumali 

The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet (2007) 
  Maggie Gyllenhaal; Vanessa Williams; Rick Warren 03x69: (Dec/04/2008) As Herself 

Live with Kelly (1983) 
  Relly Week 2008: 27x19: (Sep/25/2008) As Herself 
  Anne Hathaway, Vanessa Williams 24x92: (Jan/10/2006) As Herself 

Jimmy Kimmel Live (2003) 
  Vanessa Williams, Shannon Elizabeth, Cinematic Orchestra 06x65: (Apr/29/2008) As Herself 

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003) 
  OneRepublic, Dakota Blue Richards, Vanessa Williams 05x61: (Dec/03/2007) As Herself 

E! True Hollywood Story (1996) 
  Vanessa Williams 11x06: (Aug/11/2007) As Herself 

Shear Genius (2007) 
  I'm A Hair God 01x04: (May/02/2007) As Herself (Guest Judge) 

Cold Case (2003) 
  Shuffle, Ball Change 04x17: (Mar/11/2007) As Crystal Stacy (2007) 

Oprah (1986) 
  The 3-Year-Old Obsessed with Her Looks 20x110: (Apr/24/2006) As Herself 

The Tony Danza Show (2004) (2004) 
  Vanessa Williams, Mike Rowe 02x88: (Jan/25/2006) As Herself 
  Vanessa Williams 02x83: (Jan/18/2006) As Herself 
  Ted McGinley, Vanessa L. Williams 01x105: (Feb/18/2005) As Herself 
  Jamia Simone Nash, Tony Bennett, Tyler Florence, Michael McDonald 01x71: (Dec/24/2004) As Herself 

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005) 
  Bjorn Agren, Johnny Borrell, Carl Dalemo, Christian Smith 01x20: (Jan/28/2005) As Herself 

Good Day Live (2001) 
  Noah Wyle; Vanessa Williams 04x63: (Dec/01/2004) As Herself 

MADtv (1995) 
  Episode #920 09x20: (Apr/10/2004) As Herself 

The Sharon Osbourne Show (US) (2003) 
  Episode 109 01x109: (Feb/25/2004) As Herself 

Boomtown (2002) 
  The Big Picture 02x06: (Dec/28/2003) As Katherine Pierce 
  The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang 02x05: (Dec/27/2003) As Katherine Pierce 
  Haystack 02x04: (Dec/27/2003) As Katherine Pierce 
  Wannabe 02x03: (Dec/27/2003) As Katherine Pierce 

Charmed (1998) 
  Power Outage 03x07: (Nov/16/2000) As Claire 

Total Recall 2070 (1999) 
  Self-Inflicted 01x04: (Feb/02/1999) As Violet Whims 

Saturday Night Live (1975) 
  Alec Baldwin/Luciano Pavarotti 24x09: (Dec/12/1998) As Herself, [Musical Guests]
  Woody Harrelson/Vanessa Williams 17x21: (May/16/1992) As Herself, [Musical Guests]

The Pretender (1996) 
  Collateral Damage 02x07: (Jan/03/1998) As Denise Clements 

Between Brothers (1997) 
  The Interview 01x11: (Dec/18/1997) As Rebecca 

Jungle Cubs (1996) 
  The Ape That Would Be King 02x01: (Oct/11/1997) Voiced  Trech 

The Late Show with David Letterman (1993) 
  Vanessa Williams, Joe Montana 04x209: (Aug/25/1997) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Vanessa Williams, Jonathan Silverman, Lucile Treganowan 03x171: (Jun/17/1996) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Michael Keaton, Nicholas Turturro, Vanessa Williams 02x64: (Dec/02/1994) As Herself 

Chicago Hope (1994) 
  Divided Loyalty 03x09: (Nov/18/1996) As Dr. Grace Carr 
  A Day in the Life 03x08: (Nov/11/1996) As Dr. Grace Carr 
  Liar, Liar 03x05: (Oct/14/1996) As Dr. Grace Carr 
  Liver Let Die 03x04: (Oct/07/1996) As Dr. Grace Carr 

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) 
  Let He Who is Without Sin... 05x07: (Nov/11/1996) As Arandis 

Buddies (1996) 
  Marry Me ... Sort Of 01x05: (Apr/03/1996) As Janice Rollins 

The Academy Awards (1953) 
  The 68th Annual Academy Awards 44x01: (Mar/25/1996) As Herself ("Colors of the Wind"), [Musical Guests]

Super Bowl (1967) 
  Super Bowl XXX 30x01: (Jan/28/1996) As Herself (National Anthem), [Musical Guests]

Murder One (1995) 
  Chapter Eleven 01x11: (Jan/15/1996) As Lila 
  Chapter Nine 01x09: (Dec/31/1995) As Lila 

NYPD Blue (1993) 
  Don We Now Our Gay Apparel 02x09: (Jan/03/1995) As Kyra Jeeter 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) 
  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 03x11: (Nov/23/1992) As Danny Mitchell 

Soul Train (1971) 
  Vanessa Williams/ Shanice Wilson/ Jodeci 21x14: (Jan/18/1992) As Herself 
  Thomas Dolby/ Vanessa Williams/ Tony Terry 18x01: (Sep/24/1988) As Herself 

Law & Order (1990) 
  Happily Ever After 01x05: (Oct/23/1990) As Vera 

The Love Boat (1977) 
  My Stepmother, Myself/Almost Roommates/Cornerback Sneak 09x24: (May/17/1986) As unknown 

T.J. Hooker (1982) 
  Partners in Death 05x14: (May/07/1986) As Pat Williamson 

Partners In Crime (1984) 
  Celebrity 01x01: (Sep/22/1984) As Roselle Robbins 

LateLine (1998) 
  The Seventh Plague 02x07: (Unaired) As Herself 
Featured Songs

Melrose Place (1992) Songs:
My New Partner + Love Is (feat. Brian McKnight) 
New Girl Songs:
Kryptonite + Save The Best For Last 

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Vanessa Williams Quotes

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