On this day of July 1984, we celebrate the success of an African-American model who turned out to be the second Black Miss. America. Suzette Charles who was born as Suzette DeGaetano is an American actress, model, singer, and entertainer. She was born on March 2, 1963, in Mays Landing, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Suzette Gaetano who worked as a music teacher while her father Charles Gaetano was a businessman. Charles was a great performer since her childhood and always aimed to become beautiful and famous. She took part in the Miss. America pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September 1983 and represented her hometown New Jersey. Charles participation in the pageant went extremely well and won the preliminary talent round. Sadly, she finished as runner up to Vanessa Williams, who was representing New York. Williams became the first Black American to be crowned as Miss. America on September 17, 1983.
The time was ticking and there came the moment on July 24, 1984, when Williams has forcefully relinquished to hand over the crown due to her scandalous nude photographs in a famous magazine. This controversy became a big opportunity for Charles, and she became the second Black American to wear the crown of Miss. America. Charles beautifully fulfilled the duties she was given for the rest of seven weeks from the Williams reign. This was the shortest period served by any Miss. America but for her, it was an opportunity of a lifetime. She gracefully eased the period and mesmerized her fans with her gorgeous attitude and extravagant nature.
Suzette Charles had been involved in different media activities from a very long time but pursued a career as an actress, singer, and entertainer. She is famous for her amazing acting in the late 80s CBS TV series “Frank’s Place” and has also showcased her amazing talking on British TV program, “This Morning.” She became one of the major voices in the movie “Beyond The Dreams.” Charles has also made a few tours with comedians Joel Grey and Alan King.
Charles also tried her luck in singing, and during her professional tenure, she toured with musical sensations like Lou Rawls and Stevie Wonder in the late 80s. She released her first solo single in August 1993 that went quite well. Charles has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and has toured with the Suzette Charles band. She is the wife of New York’s famous Plastic Surgeon and Ophthalmologist, Dr. Leonard Bley and is enjoying her life with a son and a daughter.