Betty a La Mode

Vanessa Williams


Vanessa Williams is certainly no newcomer to fame. With a successful music career and former ‘Miss America’ title, Vanessa truly is a star.

Vanessa was born in Chappaqua, New York on March 18th 1963.

Her career started in 1983 when she became the first African-American woman to be crowned ‘Miss America’. But due to a naked photo shoot appearing in ‘Penthouse’ Magazine and the media frenzy which surrounded it, Vanessa gave up her crown, less than 72 hours from receiving it.

After 5 years out of the spotlight, Vanessa embarked on the beginning of her music career. With the release of her first album ‘The Right Stuff’, she then continued on to produce 7 more albums and hits such as ‘Save The Best For Last’, ‘Dreamin’ & ‘Colours Of the Wind’. After signing to Concord Records earlier this year, she is expected to release another album at the end of 2007.

As well as music, Vanessa has starred in multiple television & film projects. With guest appearances in ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’, ‘Star Trek : Deep Space Nine’, & ‘Saturday Night Live’, leading roles in films such as ‘Eraser’ & ‘Soul Food’, and of course, the role of ‘Wilhelmina Slater’ on ‘Ugly Betty’.

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Video Gallery

Watch ‘Save the Best for Last’ Music Video >>>

Watch ‘Colors of the Wind’ Music Video >>>

  • 2006 Cast in “Ugly Betty” (ABC) as Wilhelmina Slater, the conniving editorial director; earned an Emmy (2007) nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
  • 2004 Cast in the comedy “Johnson Family Vacation”
  • 2002 Cast as the Witch in the Broadway revival of “Into the Woods”
  • 2002 Performed title role of “Carmen Jones” at the Kennedy Center in a production directed by Debbie Allen (November)
  • 2000 Played Dulcinea in the TNT production “Don Quixote”
  • 2000 Starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson in John Singleton’s “Shaft”
  • 1997 Co-starred in the sleeper hit “Soul Food”
  • 1996 First leading role in features, “Eraser”
  • 1994 Made Broadway debut in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” replacing Chita Rivera
  • 1988 Released first album, “The Right Stuff”
  • 1987 Made film debut in “The Pick-Up Artist”
  • 1984 Lost her title as Miss America when Penthouse released nude photoghraphs of her decked out in leather bondage gear with another woman
  • 1984 Moved to Los Angeles; launched her professional career
  • 1983 Entered Miss New York Contest
  • 1983 Named Miss America



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