Photo credits: Astrid Stawiarz
On March 18, 1963, Vanessa L. Williams was born in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City.
Throughout her long career, she has delighted fans with her talents as a singer, actor, and designer. When she was named Miss America 1984 in 1983, she made history as the foremost African-American woman to do so. After the pageantry, Williams went on to have a successful singing and acting career. “Dreamin'” plateaued at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States in 1989 after she released her debut studio album, The Right Stuff, in 1988.
“Save the Best for Last” was her number one hit in early 1992 and her signature song, which she performed live at the 1993 Grammy Awards ceremony. With her second and third studio LPs, The Comfort Zone (1991) and The Sweetest Days (1994), she had seen ongoing promotional excellence and got numerous Grammy Award nominations. Everlasting Love (2005) and The Real Thing (2006) are two of her most recent studio albums.
The NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture was awarded to Williams for her depiction of Teri Joseph in the film Soul Food, for which she was nominated for an Emmy (1997). As Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty (2006–2010) and Renee Perry on Desperate Housewives (2010–2012), she has been honorably mentioned three times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.