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Biography #2 (for Ugly Betty)

Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today, having conquered the music charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television.

Her albums The Right Stuff, The Comfort Zone and The Sweetest Days earned multiple Grammy nominations and yielded such classics as Save the Best for Last, Dreamin', Work to Do and Love Is, among others. She was also nominated for a Grammy for her single Colors of the Wind, from Disney's Pocahontas, which went on to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and the Grammy for Best Song in a Motion Picture. Other recordings include two holiday albums, Star Bright and Silver & Gold, plus "Vanessa Williams' Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years and Everlasting Love," love songs from the 1970s.

In 1994 Williams took Broadway by storm when she replaced Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman, winning the hearts of critics and becoming a box-office sensation. She garnered rave reviews and was nominated for a Tony Award for the 2002 revival of Into the Woods, headlined a limited special engagement of the classic Carmen Jones at the Kennedy Center, and starred in the Encore! Series staged concert production of St. Louis Woman.

Williams made her film debut in 1986 in Under the Gun, then appeared in The Pick-Up Artist, Another You and Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. She starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser, followed by a leading role opposite Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia in Hoodlum and in the box office hit, Soul Food. She also starred in Dance with Me, Light It Up, Shaft, opposite Samuel L. Jackson, and in Johnson Family Vacation, with Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey. She will be seen next in the independent feature My Brother.

On television she starred in Stompin' at the Savoy, The Boy Who Loved Christmas and The Jacksons: An American Dream, for which she won an NAACP Image Award. Williams won rave reviews in ABC's revival of Bye, Bye Birdie and starred in the miniseries Nothing Lasts Forever and the Emmy-nominated The Odyssey. She appeared opposite John Lithgow in TNT's Don Quixote, and executive-produced and starred in The Courage to Love for Lifetime. She was also seen in the VH1 original movie, A Diva's Christmas Carol, as well as the Showtime movie Keep the Faith, Baby, and most recently the UPN drama South Beach.

Williams' charitable contributions are many and varied, embracing and supporting such issues as education, homelessness, abuse, women's issues and health concerns, AIDS and anything having to do with children.

Bio courtesy ABC for "Ugly Betty" (19-Nov-2006)


Biography #3

Vanessa Williams is a pop/R&B singer and actress who began her career as the first black Miss America in 1984. She resigned early in her reign on July 23, 1984, however, when it was discovered that she had posed nude for photographs that were later published in the magazine Penthouse.

Music

She managed to rise above the Miss America scandal and become a popular singer with her 1988 debut album, The Right Stuff, which went gold and earned Vanessa three Grammy Nominations, including one for Best New Artist. Her most notable songs include Dreamin', Running Back To You, Save The Best For Last, Love Is, The Sweetest Days, Colors of the Wind, and Oh How The Years Go By. In addition to 6 million records sold and 15 Grammy nominations, Ms. Williams also has three NAACP Image Awards, A Billboard Music Award, 7 New York Music Awards, An MTV Video Music Award, A Theater World Award, and was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for 2002's revival of Into The Woods by the Tony Awards. In 1996, she received the Soul Train: Lady of Soul Lena Horne Lifetime Career Achievement Award for Outstanding work in the field of entertainment.

Film work

Vanessa also made a splash into Hollywood and became an acclaimed actress, with appearances in films like Eraser, co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and starring in movies such as 1997's Soul Food for which she won the Best Actress award from the NAACP, and Dance With Me in 1998. Other movies include 1997's Hoodlum opposite Laurence Fishburne, 2000's Shaft opposite Samuel L. Jackson and her most recent, Johnson Family Vacation alongside Cedric The Entertainer.

Television

In addition to her music, theater, and work on the silver screen, she has made numerous made-for-TV movies, infomercials for acne, and miniseries and has appeared on hit shows including, The Love Boat, TJ Hooker, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saturday Night Live, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, LateLine, Ally McBeal and Boomtown.

Personal Life

In her personal life, she is the mother of four children. Three of her children are from her first marriage to her then-manager Ramon Hervey. The marriage ended in 1997. She again married in 1999 to NBA basketball star Rick Fox. They have one daughter, Sasha. Rick Fox filed for divorce on August 11, 2004. Although Ms. Williams maintains that the two of them are still married, they are believed to be separated. The divorce is not final as yet.

For 2005, Vanessa is releasing her eighth studio album Everlasting Love, a collection of her favorite '70s songs.

Williams attended Syracuse University.

Article text released under CC-BY-SA. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vanessa Williams" (11-Jun-2005)


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