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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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May 2016

The Katonah Museum Artists' Association is delighted to present "Mini Solos”, an exhibit at The Schoolhouse Theater Gallery in Croton Falls, NY.  opening with an artists'...

Cost: 50

Where:
The Schoolhouse Theatre
3 Owens Road
Croton Falls , NY  10519
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum Artists' Association
Telephone: 914-277-8583
Contact Name: Dyan Rosenberg
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 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

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 Katonah Museum Artists' Association is delighted to present "Mini Solos”, an exhibit at The Schoolhouse Theater Gallery in Croton Falls, NY.  opening with an artists'...

Cost: 50

Where:
The Schoolhouse Theatre
3 Owens Road
Croton Falls , NY  10519
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum Artists' Association
Telephone: 914-277-8583
Contact Name: Dyan Rosenberg
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 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

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...

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

For over 30 years, Green Chimneys has been opening its doors to the community for Little Folk Farm Day, welcoming scores of young people to explore our bustling Brewster campus. This year the...

Cost: Infants under 2 years and Adults: Free / Children 2 years and older: $10 each

Where:
Green Chimneys
400 Doansburg Road
Brewster, NY  10509
View map »


Sponsor: Green Chimneys
Telephone: 845.279.2995 ext.307
Contact Name: Gail Dickerman
Website »

More information

The Katonah Museum Artists' Association is delighted to present "Mini Solos”, an exhibit at The Schoolhouse Theater Gallery in Croton Falls, NY.  opening with an artists'...

Cost: 50

Where:
The Schoolhouse Theatre
3 Owens Road
Croton Falls , NY  10519
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum Artists' Association
Telephone: 914-277-8583
Contact Name: Dyan Rosenberg
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

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 Katonah Museum Artists' Association is delighted to present "Mini Solos”, an exhibit at The Schoolhouse Theater Gallery in Croton Falls, NY.  opening with an artists'...

Cost: 50

Where:
The Schoolhouse Theatre
3 Owens Road
Croton Falls , NY  10519
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum Artists' Association
Telephone: 914-277-8583
Contact Name: Dyan Rosenberg
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

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 Open House Orientation...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Nepperhan Community Center
324 Warburton Ave
Yonkers , NY  10701
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

The Pound Ridge Library will be offering a free 3-part weekly series entitled "Mind-Body Centered Therapeutics Workshop", led by Dominique Daly, LMT, CPT, NCTMB, board certified...

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...

Experience the gardens and landscape of the Glass House on a half day study tour led by noted scholar Maureen Cassidy-Geiger in celebration of the publication of her...

Cost: $150

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

More information

The Katonah Museum Artists' Association is delighted to present "Mini Solos”, an exhibit at The Schoolhouse Theater Gallery in Croton Falls, NY.  opening with an artists'...

Cost: 50

Where:
The Schoolhouse Theatre
3 Owens Road
Croton Falls , NY  10519
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum Artists' Association
Telephone: 914-277-8583
Contact Name: Dyan Rosenberg
Website »

More information

Honor our soldiers who gave their lives by making a Red, White, and Blue paper wreath to hang on your door or in a window. All Ages welcome!

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 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

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

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 Katonah Museum Artists' Association is delighted to present "Mini Solos”, an exhibit at The Schoolhouse Theater Gallery in Croton Falls, NY.  opening with an artists'...

Cost: 50

Where:
The Schoolhouse Theatre
3 Owens Road
Croton Falls , NY  10519
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum Artists' Association
Telephone: 914-277-8583
Contact Name: Dyan Rosenberg
Website »

More information

Don Felder is a former lead guitarist of The Eagles, one of the most popular and influential rock groups of our time. Selling more than 83 million albums, this member of The Rock and Roll Hall...

Cost: $50, $60, or $70

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

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...

5th annual horse stuff tag sale. Tack, blankets, riding clothes and boots, framed prints, stuffed animals – anything equine related. Unsold items will be donated to a horse rescue...

Cost: Free admission

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


Sponsor: BRLA
Telephone: 914-666-6686
Contact Name: Nancy
Website »

More information

The Katonah Museum Artists' Association is delighted to present "Mini Solos”, an exhibit at The Schoolhouse Theater Gallery in Croton Falls, NY.  opening with an artists'...

Cost: 50

Where:
The Schoolhouse Theatre
3 Owens Road
Croton Falls , NY  10519
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum Artists' Association
Telephone: 914-277-8583
Contact Name: Dyan Rosenberg
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 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

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...

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