Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Ten Minutes With Vanessa Williams



Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams burst onto the national stage as Miss America 1984. Her career has continued to soar—as singer, stage actor, and TV star. Her latest role—immediately on the heels of Sondheim on Sondheim on Broadway and four years of “Ugly Betty”—is on the superhot “Desperate Housewives,” on ABC, which began its seventh season September 26. The Westchester native talked with us recently.

What do you think of your character?

She has floated into the life of each girl on the show. She’s ruffled some feathers, which is always fun. She’s establishing herself as there to stay.

Do people like her?
People are entertained by her. She’s kind of, ahh, passive-aggressive. A bit bothersome, but also candid. The Bea Arthur of the “Golden Girls,” I’d say. Her dry comments really land.

The show’s promotional pictures have you front and center, so clearly they want you as a major part of the show.
Yes, that was both unexpected and lovely. A nice nod from the network.

How is it to enter a long-running show?
It’s like being the new girl in the school. They all have their own history and relationships, but they were all very welcoming. We’re all kind of the same age range, and they appreciated what I bring to the show. They really care about their show.

Do you miss “Ugly Betty”?
Oh, yeah. They were my peeps. That was my show. There was nothing like it. I was so happy to be part of it. I miss the cast and am actually going to Becki’s baby shower next week.

Any other Broadway gigs coming up?
I am hoping to be able to do the Sondheim production in London, during my hiatus with “Desperate Housewives” in the spring.

What’s it like doing the Sondheim show with Sondheim there?
It was fantastic. Since he turned 80, it was like the Sondheim World Tour, with benefit after benefit. It was his show, and it is great to work with him. He’s a great storyteller and a great historian. A fascinating man.

You’ve been an entertainer now in many genres, dabbling in everything from recorded music to Broadway, television, and movies. Which of these do you feel is closest to your heart?
I am very happy that I can dabble in as many as possible. Theater is the most satisfying. You do it with incredibly talented ensembles. And doing it on a nightly basis, in front of a live audience. You are able to be in control of what you come up with, seven days a week. It’s so exciting.

What do love to do when you are back here?
I love riding. I took riding and jumping twice a week, and my girls did it, too. My fantasy was to have a horse when I grew up. My girls got to do it, and I started myself about 12 years ago. That’s one thing I really miss. I am definitely local when I’m there.

How important was it to return to Syracuse and get your degree in 2008?
I wanted to be a good example. My parents both had Master’s. My brother has a degree. I just think it’s important to finish college, and I thought I should show a good example.

Web Bonus: Watch the Desperate Housewives Season 7 promo trailer featuring Vanessa Williams

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

              

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See what's happening in the area this weekend
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Ten Minutes with Emily Liebert

Emily Liebert authored Facebook Fairytales: Modern Day Miracles to Inspire the Human Spirit, with a third-person foreword by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Liebert is also author of the forthcoming novel Conversations With Friends and editor of Kerry Kennedy’s Being Catholic. I talked with her about Facebook and the fairytales she came across.

High Style

We invited six notable and talented locals to model fall fashions from area shops at a marvelous, 16-acre old-world, tudor-revival manor.

Schools of Thought

Our education section explores the missions of various independent schools in the area, provides insights into study habits, and answers to common questions parents and student ask about private schools.

Ten Minutes With Robert Kessler

If you were plopped down into Robert Kessler‘s state-of-the-art sound recording studio, you’d swear it was Hollywood, Nashville, or London. But no, Kessler, the award-winning producer of audio books, motion-picture soundtracks, and noted music composer, works his magic in Katonah. We taped some of Kessler’s own reflections on recording sessions with a veritable who’s who of performers, authors, academics, and politicians

Doggin It

Mary Mayland visits estate sales and buys old, odd objects that she can refurbish and turn into lively accessories. Much of her store, Baxter & Co. Home, features animal-inspired pieces, both antique and modern.

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

May 2016

The eloquent images of Jylian GUSTLIN are the thankful reminder of better worlds. Her prolific and creative works are the rare jewel - rich in abstracted narrative and exuberant palettes. A fusion...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914 332 4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

The Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce two painting exhibitions opening on the first day of spring. Tales of the High Line showcases sensuous works by Belgian-born, SoHo-based artist Serge...

Cost: free

Where:
The Lionheart Gallery
27 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, CT  10576
View map »


Sponsor: The Lionheart Gallery
Telephone: 914.764.8689
Contact Name: Susan Grissom
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature March 6 - June 19, 2016 Artists: Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Walton Ford, Shiela Hale, Fiona Hall,...

Cost: Regular Admission: $10; Students, Seniors: $5; Members, Children under 12: free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-9555
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The eloquent images of Jylian GUSTLIN are the thankful reminder of better worlds. Her prolific and creative works are the rare jewel - rich in abstracted narrative and exuberant palettes. A fusion...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914 332 4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature March 6 - June 19, 2016 Artists: Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Walton Ford, Shiela Hale, Fiona Hall,...

Cost: Regular Admission: $10; Students, Seniors: $5; Members, Children under 12: free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-9555
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Give Local Westchester & Putnam is a 24-hour online giving event designed to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits in a single day. This community-wide event celebrates the...

Cost: Free

Where:
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
336 Central Park Ave
White Plains, NY  10606
View map »


Sponsor: United Way
Telephone: 914-977-6700 ex.720
Contact Name: Shannon Cobb
Website »

More information

The eloquent images of Jylian GUSTLIN are the thankful reminder of better worlds. Her prolific and creative works are the rare jewel - rich in abstracted narrative and exuberant palettes. A fusion...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914 332 4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Join Karen Newman – Inspirational Speaker, Author, World Class Athlete, Mother and Survivor at Pryority, Halo Studio J on Tuesday, May 3rd between 7-8.30pm - where she will tell her...

Cost: $25.00

Where:
Pryority Wellness
45 Grove Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Music, dancing, and storytelling! For ages 2-5 with a parent or caregiver.

Cost: free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Website »

More information

The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature March 6 - June 19, 2016 Artists: Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Walton Ford, Shiela Hale, Fiona Hall,...

Cost: Regular Admission: $10; Students, Seniors: $5; Members, Children under 12: free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-9555
Website »

More information

Vijaya Nair, MD, FAMS, MS, a Harvard trained physician, the founder of soulaccessmeditations.com and the author of the forthcoming book: Awaken Your Soul: Finding Balance and...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Pound Ridge Library
271 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Library
Telephone: 914-764-5085
Contact Name: Alan Ramsay
Website »

More information

Vijaya Nair, MD, FAMS, MS, will conduct a free 3-part weekly series at The Pound Ridge Library, Tuesdays, April 19 & 26, May 3 from 6-7:15PM.  Please RSVP to Alan Ramsay at the...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Pound Ridge Library
271 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Library
Telephone: 914-764-5085
Contact Name: Alan Ramsay
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Give Local Westchester & Putnam is a 24-hour online giving event designed to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits in a single day. This community-wide event celebrates the...

Cost: Free

Where:
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
336 Central Park Ave
White Plains, NY  10606
View map »


Sponsor: United Way
Telephone: 914-977-6700 ex.720
Contact Name: Shannon Cobb
Website »

More information

The eloquent images of Jylian GUSTLIN are the thankful reminder of better worlds. Her prolific and creative works are the rare jewel - rich in abstracted narrative and exuberant palettes. A fusion...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914 332 4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Counselors offer older adults one-on-one counseling covering a broad range of topics including Medicare health and prescription plans, food stamps, HEAP, EPIC, weatherization, minor home repair,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
Website »

More information

The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature March 6 - June 19, 2016 Artists: Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Walton Ford, Shiela Hale, Fiona Hall,...

Cost: Regular Admission: $10; Students, Seniors: $5; Members, Children under 12: free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-9555
Website »

More information

Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. Come to this orientation to learn...

Cost: Free

Where:
Family Ties Westchester
112 E Post Road
White Plains, NY  10601
View map »


Sponsor: United Way
Telephone: 2-1-1
Contact Name: Pat Anderson
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The eloquent images of Jylian GUSTLIN are the thankful reminder of better worlds. Her prolific and creative works are the rare jewel - rich in abstracted narrative and exuberant palettes. A fusion...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914 332 4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Create a model of the solar system using the most unlikely materials: shaving cream and glue!   Ages 7 on up Sponsored by Friends of the Library

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature March 6 - June 19, 2016 Artists: Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Walton Ford, Shiela Hale, Fiona Hall,...

Cost: Regular Admission: $10; Students, Seniors: $5; Members, Children under 12: free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-9555
Website »

More information

Beginners are welcome and instruction is provided. Participants must bring their own set.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
Website »

More information

A series of 6 workshops entitled “Become an Expert in Mah Jongg: The Chinese Game of Skill and Luck” will be led by Regina Klenosky on April 14, 21, 28 and May 5, 12, and 19, 2016...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Pound Ridge Library
271 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Library
Telephone: 914-764-5085
Contact Name: Alan Ramsay
Website »

More information

Dogs love listening to stories! Come meet "Rover" and read your favorite story. For school age children age 5 and up.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The eloquent images of Jylian GUSTLIN are the thankful reminder of better worlds. Her prolific and creative works are the rare jewel - rich in abstracted narrative and exuberant palettes. A fusion...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914 332 4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Surprise mom with a DIY hand-crafted flower pot for Mother's Day!

Cost: free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature March 6 - June 19, 2016 Artists: Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Walton Ford, Shiela Hale, Fiona Hall,...

Cost: Regular Admission: $10; Students, Seniors: $5; Members, Children under 12: free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-9555
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This special sale day is a tax-free event at Silvermine Arts Center. Great prices—$1 to $5 for many items—can be found throughout the tag sale.  Items include paints (oil,...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Telephone: 203-966-9700
Website »

More information

The eloquent images of Jylian GUSTLIN are the thankful reminder of better worlds. Her prolific and creative works are the rare jewel - rich in abstracted narrative and exuberant palettes. A fusion...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914 332 4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Have a special Mother's Day at the Caramoor with your mom or grandma. Begin with a tour of the Rosen House, then enjoy a mini concert with Caramoor favorite mezzo- soprano Kristin Gornstein....

Cost: $37 for kids $59 for adults

Where:
Caramoor
149 Girdle Rd.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The winning participants from Season 7 of America's Got Talent, scooping up the $1,000,000 prize and headlining The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Led by Richard Olate and his son Nicholas Olate, the...

Cost: $30

Where:
Paramount Hudson Valley Theater
1008 Brown Street
Peekskill, NY  10566
View map »


Sponsor: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater
Telephone: 914-739-0039
Contact Name: Paramount Hudson Valley
Website »

More information

Join us for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby — live from Churchill Downs — at the beautiful Edition Farm in Waccabuc. Luxurious hors d’oeuvres and mint juleps will be...

Cost: $65

Where:
Edition Farm
5 Schoolhouse Rd
Waccabuc, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

This fundraising event features dinner, dancing, a Kentucky Derby viewing, and an exciting evening of entertainment and both silent and live auctions.  Last year’s live auction items...

Cost: 375.00

Where:
Hyatt Regency Greenwich
1800 East Putnam Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT
View map »


Sponsor: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Telephone: 203-979-9799
Contact Name: Elizabeth Kenny
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

If you’re an adult looking for a relaxing, fresh, and new activity that will help bring stress relief to your busy life, try our new coloring class which meets every Saturday from 10:30 am -...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Website »

More information

The Glass House is pleased to present Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden, a landscape installation that will be on view throughout the 2016 tour season to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Philip...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature March 6 - June 19, 2016 Artists: Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Walton Ford, Shiela Hale, Fiona Hall,...

Cost: Regular Admission: $10; Students, Seniors: $5; Members, Children under 12: free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-9555
Website »

More information

Join Westchester Origami Workers, a regional group of Origami, USA on the first Saturday of each month from 1:00-3:00 pm to share models and techniques. Starting Saturday, January 8th. Free and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags