Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and she 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 have yielded such classic hits as "Save the Best For Last," "Dreamin," "Work To Do" and "Love Is," and the Academy Award-winning single "Colors of the Wind," from Disney’s "Pocahontas," among many others. Her recordings also include two holiday albums, "Star Bright" and "Silver & Gold," "Vanessa Williams Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years" and "Everlasting Love," a romantic collection of love songs from the 1970’s. Concord Records released Vanessa’s, "The Real Thing," in June 2009, for which she received a NAACP nomination for Outstanding Jazz Artist.
In 1994, Vanessa 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." She also 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." She recently starred in Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s "Sondheim on Sondheim," a new original Broadway musical at The Roundabout Theatre.
Vanessa made her film debut in 1986 in "Under the Gun." She has starred in such features as "Eraser," "Hoodlum," "Soul Food," "Dance With Me," "Light It Up," "Shaft" and "Johnson Family Vacation." She starred recently in the independent features, "My Brother" and "Somebody Like You" and co-starred in Disney’s feature film, "Hannah Montana: The Movie."
On television, Vanessa has starred in such movies and mini-series as "Stompin’ at the Savoy," "The Boy Who Loved Christmas," "The Jacksons: An American Dream," ABC’s revival of "Bye, Bye Birdie," "Nothing Lasts Forever," "The Odyssey," "Don Quixote" and "Keep the Faith, Baby," and she executive produced and starred in Lifetime’s "The Courage to Love" for Lifetime and the VH1 Original Movie, "A Diva’s Christmas Carol." She starred in ABC’s critically-acclaimed hit series, "Ugly Betty," earning three Emmy nominations as the deliciously wicked Wilhelmina Slater, in addition to numerous individual and ensemble awards and nominations, including SAG, Golden Globes and NAACP Image Awards. This Fall, she moved to Wisteria Lane as the newest resident on ABC’s "Desperate Housewives," where she is stirring things up as Renee Perry, Lynette’s former college friend and sorority sister.
In 2007, Vanessa achieved a career pinnacle, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her accomplishments as a performer. In December 2010, the International Foreign Press Academy named Vanessa as the recipient of the 2010 Mary Pickford Award For Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry. The award honors her international achievements and success in film, television, stage and recording over the past 28 years. Her charitable endeavors are many and varied, embracing and supporting such organizations as Special Olympics and many others.