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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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December 2016

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Bruce Museum
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Cost: Free

Where:
Bedford Hills Train Station
Depot Plaza
Bedford Hills, NY  10507
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Sponsor: Bedford Hills Historical Museum
Telephone: 914-806-2518
Contact Name: Ellen Cohen, Elin Peterson
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
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We all feel stress during the holidays. The expectations are that it is a happy time with family, friends, filled with gifts, good food, and company. However, many of these expectations are not...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Quest Yoga Arts
11-13 East Main Street
Mount Kisco , NY  10549
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Sponsor: Slow Medicine
Telephone: 914-218-3113
Contact Name: Tanya Neiman
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Only yesterday, it seems, one was hard-pressed to name more than a handful of successful women artists; now the list would be extensive, and the choices rich and varied. Although numerous recent...

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Bruce Museum
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The United Way Women’s Leadership Council 4th Annual Celebration of Women in Philanthropy brings together like-minded business women and community leaders to network, while raising...

Cost: $125.00

Where:
Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill
81 Highland Avenue
Tarrytown , NY  10591
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Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914- 997-6700 ex 737
Contact Name: Margaret Tramontine
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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You don't have to live with back pain! Learn about treatment options from ONS pain and rehabilitation experts, Christopher Sahler, MD and Alicia Hirscht, DPT, SCS, CSCS. The program...

Cost: Free

Where:
Greenwich Hospital
5 Perryridge Road
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Greenwich Hospital
Telephone: 203-863-4444
Contact Name: Brigitte Lundgren-Foscante
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Only yesterday, it seems, one was hard-pressed to name more than a handful of successful women artists; now the list would be extensive, and the choices rich and varied. Although numerous recent...

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Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
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By appointment only, a trained Navigator provided by the Westchester County Dept. of Health will be available to help with choosing and signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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 »

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Cost: Varies

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
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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
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Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
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Kick off the season with a Holiday Market on Thursday, December 8th between 10am-5pm. There will be unique items including jewelry, clothing, plants, food and much more. This holiday...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
New Canaan Nature Center
144 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Celebrate the holiday season at John Jay Homestead with a guided tour of John Jay's historic Bedford House focusing on the holiday traditions and decorations of the 1820s. Tours are offered on...

Cost: $7/adults; $5/seniors and students with ID; FREE/children 12 & under and members

Where:
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
400 Jay Street (Route 22)
Katonah, NY  10536
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Telephone: (914) 232-5651
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Only yesterday, it seems, one was hard-pressed to name more than a handful of successful women artists; now the list would be extensive, and the choices rich and varied. Although numerous recent...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich , CT
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Celebrate the holidays at Westchester's Winter Wonderland with its one-of-a-kind holiday experience featuring Santa and Friends, unlimited skating with skates included, performance by the...

Cost: general admission pay one price (0-5 yrs free) $15

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KENSICO DAM PLAZA
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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
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Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
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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
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Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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 »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble Westport
1076 Post Road East
Westport, CT
View map »


Telephone: (203) 221-9192
Contact Name: Tricia Tierney
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Celebrate the holidays at Westchester's Winter Wonderland with its one-of-a-kind holiday experience featuring Santa and Friends, unlimited skating with skates included, performance by the...

Cost: general admission pay one price (0-5 yrs free) $15

Where:
KENSICO DAM PLAZA
One Bronx River Parkway
Valhalla, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the holiday season at John Jay Homestead with a guided tour of John Jay's historic Bedford House focusing on the holiday traditions and decorations of the 1820s. Tours are offered on...

Cost: $7/adults; $5/seniors and students with ID; FREE/children 12 & under and members

Where:
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
400 Jay Street (Route 22)
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-5651
Website »

More information

Only yesterday, it seems, one was hard-pressed to name more than a handful of successful women artists; now the list would be extensive, and the choices rich and varied. Although numerous recent...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich , CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate the holiday season at John Jay Homestead with a guided tour of John Jay's historic Bedford House focusing on the holiday traditions and decorations of the 1820s. Tours are offered on...

Cost: $7/adults; $5/seniors and students with ID; FREE/children 12 & under and members

Where:
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
400 Jay Street (Route 22)
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: (914) 232-5651
Website »

More information

PANCAKE BREAKFAST - THIS SATURDAY! - @  8:00 -11:00 am         Bedford Village Elementary School Cafeteria ​          45 Court...

Cost: $5 Pancake Breakfast

Where:
Bedford Village Elementary School
45 Court Street
Bedford , NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: BVES
Telephone: 718-974-4326
Contact Name: Ruth Toporoff

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Lasting Impressions,” a group show of colorful prints by leading contemporary artists Ross Bleckner, Jim Dine,...

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

Ayurveda defines health as a balance of body, mind, and spirit. But how do you stay in balance during the winter months when all you want to do is hibernate? How can you prevent from getting sick,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Dr. Kaushik's Ayurvedic & Naturopathic Clinic
765 Rte 35
Yellow Monkey Village
Cross River, NY  10518
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Sponsor: Dr. Somesh Kaushik
Telephone: 646-670-6725
Contact Name: Dr. Somesh Kaushik
Website »

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Here's how it works: Your Love, Our Musical features Rebecca and Evan interviewing a real couple in the audience for details on how they met and fell in love, because they're nosey....

Cost: $20

Where:
The Barn at The Egremont Village Inn
17 Main Street
South Egremont, MA  01258
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Sponsor: The Barn at The Egremont Village Inn
Contact Name: Jenny Rubin
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Only yesterday, it seems, one was hard-pressed to name more than a handful of successful women artists; now the list would be extensive, and the choices rich and varied. Although numerous recent...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich , CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the holidays at Westchester's Winter Wonderland with its one-of-a-kind holiday experience featuring Santa and Friends, unlimited skating with skates included, performance by the...

Cost: general admission pay one price (0-5 yrs free) $15

Where:
KENSICO DAM PLAZA
One Bronx River Parkway
Valhalla, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The Bedford Hills Farmers’ Market, a project of the community group Bedford Hills LIVE, is unveiling its Second Annual Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday, November 5 beginning at 10am....

Cost: Free

Where:
Bedford Hills Train Station
Depot Plaza
Bedford Hills, NY  10507
View map »


Telephone: 917.951.3588
Contact Name: Vanessa Pahucki

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

Looking for something relaxing, creative and fun to do this Fall for the whole family. Take part in Clay Art Center’s Saturday Drop-In Clay Class, Saturdays from 2-4pm. One-time classes for...

Cost: $25

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Adam Chau
Website »

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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. All materials will be provided.

Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library Small Meeting Room
100 East Main St.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-8041
Website »

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