Full Name: Vanessa Lynn Williams
Birth Date: March 18, 1963
Bronx, New York, USA
Height: 5' 6"
Vanessa Williams Biography
Vanessa Lynn 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 her first success as a recording artist came in 1988 with her first release, The Right Stuff, which became a pop and R&B smash. In 1991, Williams topped the pop, adult contemporary and R&B charts for five straight weeks with the single Save the Best For Last, from the multi-million selling CD The Comfort Zone. Her third album, The Sweetest Days, went platinum and her single, Colors of the Wind (from the soundtrack of Pocahontas), soared up the charts and went on to earn an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.
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. She later starred in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into The Woods". Next up for Vanessa will be appearing on the new TV series "South Beach" which will also feature Sara Foster.
Vanessa Williams Filmography
"South Beach" .... Elizabeth Bauer
- I'll Do What I Want to Do (2006) TV Episode .... Elizabeth Bauer
My Brother (2006) .... L'Tisha Morton
- Pilot (????) TV Episode .... Wilhelmina
Johnson Family Vacation (2004) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Dorothy Johnson
"Boomtown"(2003) TV Series (as Vanessa Williams) .... Det. Katherine Pierce
- Another One Bites the Dust (2002) TV Episode (as Vanessa Williams) .... Sheila Hunt
Keep the Faith, Baby (2002) (TV) .... Hazel Scott
WW3 (2001) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... M.J. Blake
... aka WWIII (USA)
... aka Winds of Terror (USA: video title)
A Diva's Christmas Carol (2000) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Ebony Scrooge
Shaft (2000) (as Vanessa Williams) .... 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) .... Audrey McDonald
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Queen of Trash
"L.A. Doctors"(1999) TV Series .... Dr. Leanne Barrows
... aka L.A. Docs (USA: promotional title)
"Saturday Night Live"
... aka SNL
... aka SNL 25 (USA: new title)
- Episode 24.9 (1998) TV Episode (as Vanessa Williams) .... Musical Guest
- Episode 17.20 (1992) TV Episode (as Vanessa Williams) .... Musical Guest
Futuresport (1998) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Alexandra 'Alex' Torres
Dance with Me (1998) .... Ruby Sinclair
- The Interview (1997) TV Episode (as Vanessa Williams) .... Rebecca
Soul Food (1997) .... Teri
Hoodlum (1997) .... Francine Hughes
The Odyssey (1997) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Calypso
... aka Abenteuer des Odysseus, Die (Germany)
... aka Homer's Odyssey
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"
... 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) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Lee Cullen
Bye Bye Birdie (1995) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Rose Alvarez
Nothing Lasts Forever (1995) (TV) .... Dr. Kathy 'Kat' Hunter
Score with Chicks (1994) (V)
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Forum (1992) TV Episode (as Vanessa Williams) .... Danny Mitchell
The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Suzanne de Passe
Stompin' at the Savoy (1992) (TV) .... Pauline
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) .... Lulu Daniels
Another You (1991) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Gloria
Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer (1990) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Terri Knight
The Kid Who Loved Christmas (1990) (TV) .... Lynette Parks
Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal (1989) (TV) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Valentine Hayward
... aka The Sex Tapes Scandal
Under the Gun (1988) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Samantha Richards
The Pick-up Artist (1987) (as Vanessa Williams) .... Rae, Girl with Dog
"The Love Boat"
- My Stepmother, Myself/Almost Roommates/Cornerback Sneak (1986) TV Episode
- Partners in Death (1986) TV Episode .... Pat Williamson
"Partners in Crime"
... aka 50/50 (Europe)
- Celebrity (1984) TV Episode .... Roselle Robins
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