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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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June 2016

Spend time relaxing with friends and enjoying a delightful tea service in the Summer Dining Room of the Rosen House, overlooking the romantic Spanish Courtyard. Tea service includes a variety...

Cost: Child $31, Adult $41

Where:
Caramoor's Rosen House
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

On Sat. June 4, 2016, Offerings Gallery in Katonah, NY will be hosting a momentous multi-generation art exhibit with internationally collected, highly awarded...

Cost: Free

Where:
Offerings Gallery
59 Katonah Ave
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Offerings Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-9643
Contact Name: Mindy Yanish
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 present its upcoming exhibition “Turns of Phrase” featuring sculpture by John Clement and paintings by Matthew Heller.  The exhibition will be...

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

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 Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce our latest art exhibitions opening in May. Impulse showcases large-scale abstract paintings by Ashley Chase Andrews that reference history and culture...

Cost: free

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


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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Sat. June 4, 2016, Offerings Gallery in Katonah, NY will be hosting a momentous multi-generation art exhibit with internationally collected, highly awarded...

Cost: Free

Where:
Offerings Gallery
59 Katonah Ave
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Offerings Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-9643
Contact Name: Mindy Yanish
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 present its upcoming exhibition “Turns of Phrase” featuring sculpture by John Clement and paintings by Matthew Heller.  The exhibition will be...

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

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 Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce our latest art exhibitions opening in May. Impulse showcases large-scale abstract paintings by Ashley Chase Andrews that reference history and culture...

Cost: free

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


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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Sat. June 4, 2016, Offerings Gallery in Katonah, NY will be hosting a momentous multi-generation art exhibit with internationally collected, highly awarded...

Cost: Free

Where:
Offerings Gallery
59 Katonah Ave
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Offerings Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-9643
Contact Name: Mindy Yanish
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present its upcoming exhibition “Turns of Phrase” featuring sculpture by John Clement and paintings by Matthew Heller.  The exhibition will be...

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

The Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce our latest art exhibitions opening in May. Impulse showcases large-scale abstract paintings by Ashley Chase Andrews that reference history and culture...

Cost: free

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


Sponsor: The Lionheart Gallery
Telephone: 914.764.8689
Contact Name: Susan Grissom
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...

Cool down at the pool while you get the chance to learn about Energize Bedford and how you can save money on your energy bills and stop wasting energy! 

Cost: free

Where:
Bedford Hills Pool
, CT


Sponsor: Energize Bedford
Website »

More information

On Sat. June 4, 2016, Offerings Gallery in Katonah, NY will be hosting a momentous multi-generation art exhibit with internationally collected, highly awarded...

Cost: Free

Where:
Offerings Gallery
59 Katonah Ave
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Offerings Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-9643
Contact Name: Mindy Yanish
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 Post Road
White Plains , NY  10601
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914- 997-6700 ex 752
Contact Name: Pat Anderson
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 present its upcoming exhibition “Turns of Phrase” featuring sculpture by John Clement and paintings by Matthew Heller.  The exhibition will be...

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

The Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce our latest art exhibitions opening in May. Impulse showcases large-scale abstract paintings by Ashley Chase Andrews that reference history and culture...

Cost: free

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


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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Spend time relaxing with friends and enjoying a delightful tea service in the Summer Dining Room of the Rosen House, overlooking the romantic Spanish Courtyard. Tea service includes a variety...

Cost: Child $23.50, Adult $33.50

Where:
Caramoor's Rosen House
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

On Sat. June 4, 2016, Offerings Gallery in Katonah, NY will be hosting a momentous multi-generation art exhibit with internationally collected, highly awarded...

Cost: Free

Where:
Offerings Gallery
59 Katonah Ave
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Offerings Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-9643
Contact Name: Mindy Yanish
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 present its upcoming exhibition “Turns of Phrase” featuring sculpture by John Clement and paintings by Matthew Heller.  The exhibition will be...

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

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 Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce our latest art exhibitions opening in May. Impulse showcases large-scale abstract paintings by Ashley Chase Andrews that reference history and culture...

Cost: free

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


Sponsor: The Lionheart Gallery
Telephone: 914.764.8689
Contact Name: Susan Grissom
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...

On Sat. June 4, 2016, Offerings Gallery in Katonah, NY will be hosting a momentous multi-generation art exhibit with internationally collected, highly awarded...

Cost: Free

Where:
Offerings Gallery
59 Katonah Ave
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Offerings Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-9643
Contact Name: Mindy Yanish
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 present its upcoming exhibition “Turns of Phrase” featuring sculpture by John Clement and paintings by Matthew Heller.  The exhibition will be...

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

The Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce our latest art exhibitions opening in May. Impulse showcases large-scale abstract paintings by Ashley Chase Andrews that reference history and culture...

Cost: free

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


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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Sat. June 4, 2016, Offerings Gallery in Katonah, NY will be hosting a momentous multi-generation art exhibit with internationally collected, highly awarded...

Cost: Free

Where:
Offerings Gallery
59 Katonah Ave
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Offerings Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-9643
Contact Name: Mindy Yanish
Website »

More information

Get a head-start on Independence Day with an evening of patriotic music, delicious picnics on the lawn, stilt-walkers, friends, family, and fireworks! An audience favorite, the 60-piece Westchester...

Cost: $30, $40, $50, $60, $70, $80, $85

Where:
Venetian Theater-Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah , CT
View map »


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

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 present its upcoming exhibition “Turns of Phrase” featuring sculpture by John Clement and paintings by Matthew Heller.  The exhibition will be...

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

The Lionheart Gallery is pleased to announce our latest art exhibitions opening in May. Impulse showcases large-scale abstract paintings by Ashley Chase Andrews that reference history and culture...

Cost: free

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


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

More information

Fill your summer with adventure and discovery by becoming a Backyard Explorer! Children and parents are invited to experience the wonder of the natural world through hands-on encounters with native...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: 203.920.1702
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

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