Vanessa L. Williams

American actress, singer and formerMiss America Vanessa L. Williams

Vanessa Lynn Williams is an American singer, actress and former fashion model. In 1983, she became the first American woman with African American ancestry to be crowned Miss America, but a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published nude photographs of her. She relinquished her title early and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Suzette Charles of New Jersey.
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Biography
Vanessa L. Williams's personal information overview.
News
News about Vanessa L. Williams from around the web
In Barbara Cook’s Final Days, Her Friends Came to Sing at Her Bedside
NYTimes - 6 months
Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis and others came to sing by Ms. Cook’s bedside as she lay dying. Others sent audio and video recordings to say goodbye.
Article Link:
 NYTimes article
First Watch: Van William Feat. First Aid Kit, 'Revolution'
NPR - 7 months
Van William's song preaches personal, not political, revolution — but these days, the lines can get blurry fast. (Image credit: Silvia Grav/Courtesy of the artist)
Article Link:
 NPR article
PBS's <i>Soundbreaking</i>: Hank Shocklee Explains How Recording a Song is Harder Than Turning on Your iPhone
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Frank Sinatra records would rarely be confused with Public Enemy records. But the thing to understand about record production, says Hank Shocklee, is that the principle is the same. Shocklee (above) is one of more than a hundred voices explaining the production mystique in Soundbreaking, an exhaustive eight-part PBS series that launches at 10 p.m. ET Monday. It was the last project of the late Sir George Martin (below), who is best known for producing the Beatles, and it ropes in artists and producers from Paul McCartney, Elton John and B.B. King to Questlove and Sheila E. Its sheer length might wear some casual music fans down, but as a look into why so many great records sounded great, it's insightful and invaluable. This isn't about how the sausage was made. This is about how Sgt. Pepper, Thriller and Fear of a Black Planet were made. Shocklee is best known for producing some of the most explosive hip-hop albums ever, when he and the aptly named Bomb Squa...
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 Huffington Post article
The 'Ugly Betty' Reunion Of Your Dreams Is Happening This Summer
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Betty Suarez and the staff of Mode magazine are getting back together! Well, at least for a night. An "Ugly Betty" reunion is being organized for this summer at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, which Entertainment Weekly announced on Wednesday. America Ferrera, who won a Golden Globe for her role as "Betty," is confirmed to attend along with nine of her fellow cast mates.  EW will host and moderate the closing night event, much like it did last summer for the much-anticipated reunion of the "Gilmore Girls" cast at the festival. “I am so excited for the 'Ugly Betty' cast to be reuniting at ATX,” Ferrera said to Entertainment Weekly. “They are truly my family and we can’t wait to celebrate together.”  Ferrera will be joined by Eric Mabius, Vanessa Williams, Becki Newton, Michael Urie, Ashley Jensen, Ana Ortiz, Tony Plana, Mark Indelicato and Rebecca Romijn at the June 11 event. While further details have yet to be announced, it is likely the event will be a mo...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Review: Vanessa Williams, Strong and Steady, Without Taking Chances
NYTimes - about 2 years
In her concert, which opened Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, Ms. Williams projected the persona of a hard-working, self-possessed entertainer.
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 NYTimes article
Miss Colombia Offered Million Dollar Porn Contract After Pageant Loss
Huffington Post - about 2 years
The swimsuit round is about as bare as it gets in the Miss Universe pageant, but the folks at Vivid Entertainment porn studio want to pay Miss Colombia to bare it all. The adult film and entertainment company offered the pageant's first-runner up Adriadna Gutierrez a $1M dollar contract to star in a porn video in the aftermath of her widely publicized Miss Universe loss on Sunday night.  TMZ obtained the personal letter that Vivid's CEO Steve Hirsch sent to Gutierrez propositioning the idea. “You will pick your partners, the type of sex you want to have and how many movies you ultimately appear in," he wrote. The porn king also noted that "the only name people remember is Vanessa Williams" because of her nude photo shoot in Penthouse magazine.  Vivid's repertoire of stars who have appeared in their films include Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham, Pamela Anderson, and Kendra Wilkinson, according to Hollywood life.  Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez was accidentally crowned the w...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Miss Colombia Offered Million Dollar Porn Contract After Pageant Loss
Huffington Post - about 2 years
The swimsuit round is about as bare as it gets in the Miss Universe pageant, but the folks at Vivid Entertainment porn studio want to pay Miss Colombia to bare it all. The adult film and entertainment company offered the pageant's first-runner up Adriadna Gutierrez a $1M dollar contract to star in a porn video in the aftermath of her widely publicized Miss Universe loss on Sunday night.  TMZ obtained the personal letter that Vivid's CEO Steve Hirsch sent to Gutierrez propositioning the idea. “You will pick your partners, the type of sex you want to have and how many movies you ultimately appear in," he wrote. The porn king also noted that "the only name people remember is Vanessa Williams" because of her nude photo shoot in Penthouse magazine.  Vivid's repertoire of stars who have appeared in their films include Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham, Pamela Anderson, and Kendra Wilkinson, according to Hollywood life.  Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez was accidentally crowned the w...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Back to the Catskills for Boys & Girls Harbor
Wall Street Journal - almost 3 years
David R. Weinreb, CEO of the Howard Hughes Corp., was honored at the Boys &amp; Girls Harbor benefit, where he gave an impromptu performance of ‘On a Clear Day’ with Vanessa Williams.
Article Link:
 Wall Street Journal article
Vanessa Williams Sheds Light on Female-on-Female Rape
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Vanessa Williams is many things: actress, singer, model, mother. She is also one of an estimated 17.7 million American women who's been a victim of attempted or completed rape. On Oprah's Master Class, Williams revealed that she was molested by an 18-year-old when she was just 10. But what's really caught the attention of news outlets and the general public is this salacious detail: Her perpetrator was (yes) a woman. There are sound reasons why you rarely hear about female rape offenders: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly 99 percent of sexual abuse offenders are male. But that hardly means women aren't capable of perpetrating sex crimes -- and in a sense, it's offensive to assume otherwise. For one, this taps into lingering stereotypes about innate female delicacy. More importantly, it assumes that because women can't typically do as much physical damage as men, this type of rape isn't as "legitimate." Yet the fallout from rape -- from PTSD to depression and subst...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Syracuse Beats Duke 91-89 In Overtime Thriller (VIDEO)
Huffington Post Sports - about 4 years
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Coach K said he hoped this game would live up to its billing. It did, and then some. Jerami Grant scored eight points in overtime to finish with a career-high 24 and Jim Boeheim's No. 2 Syracuse stayed unbeaten, topping Mike Krzyzewski's No. 17 Duke 91-89 on Saturday in a matchup of the two winningest coaches in Division I history. The Orange withstood a tying 3-pointer in regulation and won before a Carrier Dome record crowd of 35,446. "It was just a great game," Boeheim said after career victory No. 941. "I don't think I've ever been involved in a better game in here where both teams played at such a high level. Both teams just went after it. We've had a lot of games that have been here that are great. There's never been one as good as this one." C.J. Fair scored a career-best 28 points as Syracuse (21-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) set a school record for consecutive wins to start a season. The Orange remained one of three undefeated teams in the natio...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post Sports article
Vanessa Williams to sing anthem at Duke-Syracuse
USA Today - about 4 years
More than 35,000 fans are expected to attend the game.
Article Link:
 USA Today article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Vanessa L. Williams
    FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 50
    During a taping of The Queen Latifah Show on September 26, 2014, Williams announced her engagement to Jim Skrip, a retired accountant from Buffalo. They married on July 4, 2015.
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    Starting April 1, 2014, Williams will be a special guest star of the Broadway musical After Midnight at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
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  • FORTIES
  • 2012
    Age 48
    Williams' daughter Jillian Hervey, following in her mother's footsteps, released her first single with the duo Lion Babe in 2012. Her second marriage was to NBA basketball player Rick Fox. They married in September 1999 and have a daughter, Sasha, born on May 1, 2000. After The National Enquirer published pictures of Fox kissing and hugging another woman in mid-2004, Fox's representative announced that the couple had been "headed toward divorce" for over a year. A few months later in August 2004, Fox filed for divorce.
    Williams and her mother, Helen, co-authored a memoir entitled You Have No Idea, published in April 2012.
    In a commercial that began running during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, Williams voiced the new character Ms. Brown, a brown M&M.
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  • 2011
    Age 47
    Williams is a supporter of gay rights and same sex marriage and in 2011, she participated in a HRC campaign entitled “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality".
  • 2008
    Age 44
    Her other media appearances include endorsing Crest Rejuvenating Effects Toothpaste, endorsing Disneyland and Universal Studios in a VisitCalifornia advertisement for British and Irish television in 2008, and hosting the 6th Annual 2008 TV Land Awards show.
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    In 2008 and 2009, she was again nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for Ugly Betty.
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  • 2006
    Age 42
    In 2006, Williams received considerable media attention for her comic/villainess role as former model/magazine creative director turned editor-in-chief Wilhelmina Slater in the ABC comedy series Ugly Betty.
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    In early 2006 she starred in the short-lived UPN drama South Beach.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2003
    Age 39
    In 2003, Williams read the narrative of Tempie Herndon Durham from the WPA slave narratives in the HBO documentary Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives.
  • 2001
    Age 37
    In 2001, Williams starred in the Lifetime cable movie about the life of Henriette DeLille, The Courage to Love.
  • 1997
    Age 33
    She played the nymph Calypso in the 1997 Hallmark Entertainment miniseries The Odyssey, starring Armand Assante.
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  • 1995
    Age 31
    Her appearances in television movies and miniseries include Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer and The Jacksons: An American Dream as Suzanne de Passe. In 1995, Williams starred as Rose Alvarez in a television adaptation of the 1960 Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie.
    In 1995 she recorded "Colors of the Wind", the Oscar-winner for Best Original Song from the Disney animated feature film Pocahontas, and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
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  • 1994
    Age 30
    Williams broadened her ascendant music career into a theatrical role when she was cast in the Broadway production of Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1994.
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    The Sweetest Days, her third album, was released in 1994 to highly-favorable reviews.
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    In 1994 she debuted on Broadway in the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1988
    Age 24
    Williams released her debut album, The Right Stuff in 1988.
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    Williams released her debut album The Right Stuff in 1988, which spawned the hits "The Right Stuff", a No. 1 on Hot Dance Songs, and "Dreamin'", a No. 1 on R&B and No. 8 on Billboard Hot 100.
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  • 1987
    Age 23
    Williams has been married three times. Her first marriage, to public relations consultant Ramon Hervey II, was from 1987 to 1997.
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  • 1985
    Age 21
    After days of media frenzy and sponsors threatening to pull out of the upcoming 1985 pageant, Williams felt pressured by Miss America Pageant officials to resign, and did so in a press conference on July 23, 1984.
  • 1984
    Age 20
    Although she resigned from fulfilling the duties of a current Miss America, Williams was allowed to keep the bejeweled crown and scholarship money and is officially recognized by the Miss America Organization as "Miss America 1984"; Charles is recognized as "Miss America 1984-b".
    On September 7, 1984, Williams filed a $500 million lawsuit against Chiapel and Guccione.
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    She was crowned Miss America 1984 on September 17, 1983, becoming the first African American to win the title.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1983
    Age 19
    After winning the Miss Syracuse title, Williams won the Miss New York crown in 1983, and went to compete for the Miss America title at the national pageant in Atlantic City.
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    Williams competed in the Miss Syracuse (University) beauty pageant when a campus musical she was in was canceled in 1983.
  • 1982
    Age 18
    The black-and-white photos dated back to 1982 (the year before she won the Miss America Pageant), when she worked as an assistant and makeup artist for Mount Kisco, New York photographer Tom Chiapel.
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  • 1981
    Age 17
    Williams studied piano and French horn growing up, but was most interested in singing and songwriting. She graduated in 1981 from Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York, received a scholarship and attended Syracuse University as a Musical Theatre Arts major from 1981 to 1983.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1963
    Born
    Born on March 18, 1963.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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