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Vanessa Williams

Birth Place: Bronx, NY, USA

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Vanessa Williams BIO

Williams initially gained recognition as the first woman of African-American descent to receive the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in 1983. However, a scandal arose the following year when, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, Williams learned that Penthouse magazine would be publishing now "iconic" unauthorized photographs of her in an upcoming issue. Amid growing media controversy and scrutiny, Williams resigned as Miss America in July 1984 (under pressure from the Miss America Organization) and was replaced by first runner-up Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles. Thirty-two years later, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell offered her a public apology (during the Miss America 2016 pageant) for the events of 1984.
Williams rebounded from the scandal with a successful career as a singer and actress. In 1988, she released her debut studio album The Right Stuff, whose title single saw moderate success before "Dreamin'" peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States in 1989. With her second and third studio albums, The Comfort Zone (1991) and The Sweetest Days (1994), she saw continued commercial success and received multiple Grammy Award nominations; this included her number-one hit (in early 1992) and signature song, "Save the Best for Last", which she performed live at the 1993 Grammy Awards ceremonies. Her later studio albums include Everlasting Love (2005) and The Real Thing (2009).
As an actress, Williams enjoyed success on both stage and screen, receiving an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her portrayal of Teri Joseph in the film Soul Food (1997). Her best-known television roles are that of Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty (2006–10), for which she was nominated three times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and Renee Perry on Desperate Housewives (2010–12).

Vanessa Williams Photos

Vanessa Williams STAGE CREDITS

Original Broadway Production, 2022

[West End]
West End Revival, 2020

City Center Encores! Production, 2018

[Los Angeles]
Hollywood Bowl Revival, 2017

Original Broadway Production, 2013
Special Guest Star [Replacement]


Roundabout Production, 2010

Broadway Revival, 2002

[Los Angeles]
Los Angeles Revival (Pre-Broadway), 2002

Broadway Production, 1993
Spider Woman/Aurora [Replacement]

Spider Woman / Aurora [Replacement]

Original Broadway Production, 1991

Daisy (Understudy)

Broadway Transfer, 1988


Vanessa Williams Productions

Vanessa Williams Movies

The Pick-up Artist
[ 1987 ] Rae
Under the Gun
[ 1988 ] Samantha Richards
Another You
[ 1991 ] Gloria
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
[ 1991 ] Lulu Daniels
[ 1996 ] Lee
Soul Food
[ 1997 ] Teri
[ 1997 ] Francine Hughes
Dance with Me
[ 1998 ] Ruby Sinclair
Light It Up
[ 1999 ] Audrey McDonald
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
[ 1999 ] Queen of Trash
[ 2000 ] Carmen Vasquez
Johnson Family Vacation
[ 2004 ] Dorothy Johnson
My Brother
[ 2006 ] L'Tisha Morton
And Then Came Love
[ 2007 ] Julie
Hannah Montana: The Movie
[ 2009 ] Vita
Delhi Safari
[ 2012 ] Begum
Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
[ 2013 ] Janice
He's Way More Famous Than You
[ 2013 ] Vanessa Williams
When Marnie Was There
[ 2014 ] Hisako
The Man from Earth: Holocene
[ 2017 ] Carolyn
The Legend of Hallowaiian
[ 2018 ] Fire Goddess
Miss Virginia
[ 2019 ] Sally Rae
Bad Hair
[ 2020 ] Zora

Vanessa Williams TV Shows

Partners in Crime
Roselle Robins
The Love Boat
The Redd Foxx Show
T.J. Hooker
Officer Pat Williamson
Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal
Valentine Hayward
Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer
Terri Knight
Seriously... Phil Collins
Rachel, TV Executive
The Kid Who Loved Christmas
Lynette Parks
Stompin' at the Savoy
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Danny Mitchell
The Jacksons: An American Dream
Suzanne de Passe
Nothing Lasts Forever
Dr. Kathy 'Kat' Hunter
Bye Bye Birdie
Rose Alvarez
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The Odyssey
Alex Torres
L.A. Doctors
Dr. Leanne Barrows
A Diva's Christmas Carol
Ebony Scrooge
The Courage to Love
Mother Henriette Delille
Don Quixote
Dulcinea, Aldonza
WW 3
M.J. Blake
Santa, Baby!
Alicia voice
Keep the Faith, Baby
Hazel Scott
Ally McBeal
Sheila Hunt
The Proud Family
Detective Katherine Pierce
South Beach
Elizabeth Bauer
The Beautiful World of Ugly Betty
Wilhelmina Slater
Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies
[ 2007-2008 ] Mama Mirabelle
Ugly Betty
[ 2006-2010 ] Wilhelmina Slater
Desperate Housewives
[ 2010-2012 ] Renee Perry
666 Park Avenue
[ 2012-2013 ] Olivia Doran
The Trip to Bountiful
Jessie Mae Watts
The Good Wife
Courtney Paige
Royal Pains
Olympia Houston
Fantasy Life
The Mindy Project
Dr. Phillips
Broad City
Elizabeth Carlton
Daytime Divas
Maxine Robinson
Modern Family
The Librarians
[ 2016-2017 ] General Cynthia Rockwell
Difficult People
False Profits
Me, Myself and I
Kelly Frasier
Doc McStuffins
Happy Accident
First Wives Club
Nance Trace
[ 2020-2021 ] Angela

Vanessa Williams Awards and Nominations

Drama League Awards - 2013 - Distinguished Performance Award

Vanessa Williams, The Trip to Bountiful

Outer Critics Circle Awards - 2013 - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Vanessa Williams, The Trip to Bountiful

Tony Awards - 2002 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Vanessa Williams, Into the Woods

Vanessa Williams Videos

Vanessa Williams News

Photos: Exclusive! Go inside Kristin Chenoweth's KRISTIN: AN EVENING WITH FRIENDS FOR TODD! for Roundabout Theater Company

On Monday, Roundabout Theatre Company presented Emmy & Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth in KRISTIN: AN EVENING WITH FRIENDS FOR TODD, a special benefit concert. BroadwayWorld went inside the star-studded event! Check out photos of Kristin along with some very special guests!


Tickets are now on sale for A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical starring James Monroe Iglehart. Learn more about the show and see how to purchase tickets.

Photos: On the Red Carpet for MISCAST24, Honoring Jason Robert Brown and Nicole Suazo

The best of Broadway was on hand at the Hammerstein Ballroom where MCC celebrated MISCAST24, honoring Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown and MCC Youth Company Alum Nicole Suazo. Check out photos from the red carpet arrivals.

Video: Behind the Scenes of Vanessa Williams' New Music Video 'Legs (Keep Dancing)'

Stage and screen star Vanessa Williams will release new music this month! The first single, 'Legs (Keep Dancing)', is available to preorder and pre-save now. The official music video for the song will premiere on April 26th.

Photo: Lilli Cooper Welcomes New Son On Eclipse Day

Lilli Cooper took to social media to share a very excitement announcement! She welcomed her new baby Desi one month early! Check out a photo!

Larry Marshall to Direct Sundog Theatre's SCENES FROM THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY

Broadway star Larry Marshall will direct Sundog Theatre's annual presentation, Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2024. Learn more!

Dobama Theatre Unveils 24/25 Season Of Comedies, Award Winners, And Premieres

Discover the line-up for Dobama Theatre's 24/25 season, featuring comedies, award winners, and premieres. Learn about the shows and see how to purchase tickets.

Jinkx Monsoon, Wayne Brady & More to Join MISCAST24

MCC Theater has revealed additional performers for Miscast24, which will take place on Monday April 15, 2024 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Learn how to purchase tickets.

Video: Stars Walk the Opening Night Red Carpet for THE NOTEBOOK

In this video, stars align to celebrate opening night of the Notebook. BroadwayWorld was there to bring you interviews with Nicholas Sparks, Ingrid Michaelson, Will Chase, Vanessa Williams, Lilli Cooper, Corey Cott, McKenzie Kurtz and more.

Matt Henry Joins THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA Musical as 'Nigel'

Matt Henry will bring the esteemed character of Nigel to the stage in The Devil Wears Prada, a new musical. Learn more about Matt here!

WP Gala Will Honor Sutton Foster, LaChanze, and Anne Quart; Hosted by Eden Espinosa

The honorees have been revealed for the WP Theater 2024 Annual Gala, which include Sutton Foster, LaChanze, and Anne Quart. The event will be hosted by Eden Espinosa  at The Edison Ballroom on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Photos: Inside THE NOTEBOOK Opening Night Party

The Notebook officially opened at the Schoenfeld Theatre last week. Following the show's opening, the cast celebrated the big night at an after party at Tavern on the Green. BroadwayWorld was on hand for the celebration, and you can check out photos here!

Photos: On the Red Carpet at Opening Night of THE NOTEBOOK

The Notebook officially opened at the Schoenfeld Theatre last week. Opening night was held on March 14th, and BroadwayWorld was there! Check out photos of the VIPs arriving at the big night here!

El Capitan Theatre Partners With Disney Music Group To Present DISNEY 2000S In April

Join El Capitan Theatre and Disney Music Group this April for 'Disney 2000s', a nostalgic celebration of beloved musical favorites from the turn of the millennium.

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld March 14, 2024

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is March 14, 2024 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Laura Benanti, Jane Krakowski, Vanessa Williams & More Join KRISTIN: AN EVENING WITH FRIENDS FOR TODD

Roundabout Theatre Company has just announced that Emmy & Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth in KRISTIN: AN EVENING WITH FRIENDS FOR TODD, a special benefit concert directed by Warren Carlyle.

Elton John Jukebox Musical May Come to the Stage in the Future

An Elton John muiscal may be in the works and coming to the stage in the future! Learn more about what Elton's husband, David Furnish, had to say about the possibility.

A Complete 2024 Broadway Awards Season Calendar

The 2024 theatre awards season is quickly approaching, and keeping track of all of the important dates for the many ceremonies and their corresponding nomination announcements is no easy feat. BroadwayWorld has all of the details!

Vanessa Williams & Jordan Fisher to Announce The 2024 Drama League Award Nominations

Grammy, Emmy, and Tony nominee Vanessa Williams and television and stage star Jordan Fisher will be the co-hosts of the 2024 Drama League Awards Nominations announcement. Learn more about the Drama League Awards!

Photos: Inside the Performance of ALAN CUMMING IS NOT ACTING HIS AGE at Studio 54

Alan Cumming brought his new one-man show Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age to Studio 54 last night, March 11.  Check out photos from the evening here!


How many Broadway shows has Vanessa Williams been in?

Vanessa Williams has appeared on Broadway in 9 shows.

How many West End shows has Vanessa Williams been in?

Vanessa Williams has appeared on London's West End in 1 shows.

What was Vanessa Williams's first West End show?

Vanessa Williams's first West End show was City of Angels which opened in 2020

What awards has Vanessa Williams been nominated for?

Vanessa Williams has been nominated for several awards, including the Distinguished Performance Award at the Drama League Awards for her role in "The Trip to Bountiful," Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for the same production, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical at the Tony Awards for her performance in "Into the Woods."

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