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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

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Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

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July 2016

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Explore five private gardens in Bedford Hills, Cortlandt Manor, Pound Ridge, and South Salem, open to the public for self-guided tours to benefit the Garden Conservancy. No reservations required;...

Cost: $7 per garden; children 12 & under free.

Where:
Garden of Phillis Warden
531 Bedford Center Road
Bedford Hills, NY
View map »


Telephone: 888-842-2442
Contact Name: The Garden Conservancy
Website »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

OUR MAGICAL AND MERRY INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION WILL TAKE AUDIENCES ON AN ADVENTURE ALONG THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD IN OUR WOODS AS THEY MEET THEIR FAVORITE CHARACTERS: DOROTHY, SCARECROW, TIN MAN, THE...

Cost: Varied

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Telephone: 914-666-8448
Contact Name: Ann Paul
Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


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 open house...

Cost: Free

Where:
Department of Social Services
112 E Post Road
White Plains, NY  10601
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914-977-6700
Contact Name: Pat Anderson
Website »

More information

Learn basic soil science concepts and how to apply them to cultivate healthy, nutritious vegetables. Horticulturist and seed conservationist Shanyn Siegel will lead the interactive class.

Where:
John Jay Homestead
400 Jay St
Katonah, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Join United Way of Westchester and Putnam, this year’s benefiting charity, for the biggest, boldest summer party in town with breathtaking views of the Long Island Sound. Proceeds benefit our...

Cost: $85.00

Where:
Glen Island Harbour Club
299 Weyman Avenue
New Rochelle , NY  10805
View map »


Sponsor: Best of Westchester
Telephone: 914- 997-6700 ex 737
Contact Name: Margaret Tramontine
Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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

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...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us over the rainbow this summer as we present this year’s production of: The Wizard of Oz!​ OUR MAGICAL AND MERRY INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION WILL TAKE AUDIENCES ON AN...

Cost: Varied

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Telephone: 914-666-8448
Contact Name: Ann Paul
Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us over the rainbow this summer as we present this year’s production of: The Wizard of Oz! OUR MAGICAL AND MERRY INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION WILL TAKE AUDIENCES ON AN ADVENTURE...

Cost: Varied

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Telephone: 914-666-8448
Contact Name: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
Website »

More information

The John Jay Homestead Farm Market will reopen on Saturday, June 11th on the 62-acre historic site. Small local farms within miles of the site remain the focus of the market. This independent...

Cost: FREE

Where:
John Jay Homestead
400 Jay St.
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: John Jay Homestead
Telephone: 914-232-5651
Contact Name: Heather Iannucci
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

Get inspired and celebrate the arts at the 2nd Annual Stamford Art Festival at Harbor Point, taking place on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 from 10 am to 5 pm, rain or shine. A juried...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harbor Point in Stamford
Harbor Point Road
Stamford, CT
View map »


Contact Name: Sue Brown Gordon
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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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