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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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August 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

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

The Muscoot Farm in Somers features more than just food. Hudson Valley Wool sells home-spun yarn, and North Winds Farm displays lavender-scented household items. Highland Farms is also on hand...

Cost: Free

Where:
Muscoot Farm
51 Route 100
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: 914-864-7282
Website »

More information

The garden club exhibit will display the history of the club, the rain garden presentation, the daffodil planting sale, community service, flower shows, victory garden history. Vintage items and...

Where:
Pound Ridge Historical Society
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Visit the historic Main House to see and purchase art from this month's featured artist Hilary Hostetler.

Where:
Muscoot Farm
51 Route 100
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: 914-864-7282
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

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

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

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

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
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

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

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

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

An evening of performances by local celebrities in celebration of the Playhouse. Guests include Glenn Close, Chevy Chase, Jeffrey Tambor, and more! Must be 21 and older. RSVP BY AUGUST 20

Cost: $300

Where:
The Walker Center for the Arts - The Harvey School
260 Jay St
Katonah, NY
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy world-class yoga, community, live music, food, vendors, and more. YogaSpace will be there, and we hope you will too! The Newtown Yoga Festival was formed as a holistic solution...

Cost: $0 - $30.00

Where:
NYA Sports & Fitness
4 Primrose Street
Newtown, CT  06470
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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

The purveyors of John Jay Homestead Farm Market are local farmers, bakers & craftsmen who seasonally provide a variety of fruit, produce, meats, fish, dairy products, baked goods, prepared...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 914-232-8119, ext. 108
Website »

More information

The garden club exhibit will display the history of the club, the rain garden presentation, the daffodil planting sale, community service, flower shows, victory garden history. Vintage items and...

Where:
Pound Ridge Historical Society
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Visit the historic Main House to see and purchase art from this month's featured artist Hilary Hostetler.

Where:
Muscoot Farm
51 Route 100
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: 914-864-7282
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. 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 »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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