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Vanessa Williams Bio Pictures4idols Vanessa Williams

Vanessa WilliamsBirth Name:Vanessa Lynne Williams
Date of Birth: March 18, 1963
Birth Place: New York
Height: 5´6 (168 cm)
Hobbies: Bicycle and Horseback riding, skating, cooking, watching movies
Nickname: Van, Ness, V

Vanessa Williams was born in The Bronx in New York City; she and her brother grew up in suburban Millwood, New York. Propheticly, her parents put "Here she is Miss America" on her birth announcement.

Her parents, Milton and Helen Williams, were both music teachers who held advanced degrees in the subject. Vanessa studied piano and French horn growing up, but was most interested in singing. She received a scholarship and attended Syracuse University as a theatre arts major, but later dropped out of college to pursue a career in entertainment.

Vanessa Williams began competing in beauty pageants in the early 80s, and won Miss New York in 1983. She then went on to Atlantic City where she was crowned Miss America 1984 on September 17, 1983. Prior to the final night of competition, Williams won both the Preliminary Talent and Swimsuit Competitions earlier in the week.

Controversy erupted in the summer of 1984 when it was discovered that in 1982 she had posed nude for photographs — including scenes of graphic exposure and lesbian theming — that were about to be published in the [September]] 1984 issue of adult magazine Penthouse without her permission. After several days of media frenzy, Williams chose to resign her position on July 23, 1984. The crown was given to Suzette Charles, 54 days before the start of the pageant for Miss America 1985.

In the 80s, she also began a career in acting with guest roles in tv series, such as The Love Boat, T.J. Hooker and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and roles in made-for-TV movies, such as Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer and The Jacksons: An American Dream.

Vanessa Williams later won staring roles in feature movies, such as Eraser, co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Soul Food, for which she won the Best Actress award at the NAACP Image Awards Her other movies include Hoodlum, opposite Laurence Fishburne, Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (as the Queen of Trash), Shaft, opposite Samuel L. Jackson, and Johnson Family Vacation, alongside Cedric the Entertainer.

Soon after, she enter the music industry with her 1988 debut album, The Right Stuff, which reached gold status and earned her three Grammy Award nominations, including one for Best New Artist.

Vanessa Williams's most notable songs have included "Dreamin'", "Running Back To You", "Love Is", "The Sweetest Days", "Colors of the Wind", and "Oh How The Years Go By". Her biggest hit and signature song is "Save the Best For Last", which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks in 1992. In total, Williams has sold six million records and received fifteen Grammy Award nominations.

In 2005, Vanessa released her eighth studio album, Everlasting Love, a collection of covers of her favorite 1970s songs. She currently stars in the UPN drama South Beach, which started airing in early 2006.

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