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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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April 2015

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Cost: Admission: $10 general, $5 for seniors and students; members and children free

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Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
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Cost: $10.00

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Sponsor: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
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Cost: $10; seniors and students $5. Members & Children (Under the Age of 12) Free

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Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street - Route 22
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
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Cost: $35 for concert; $180 for series of 6

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
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Sponsor: St. Matthew's Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
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Mt. Kisco Public Library
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Telephone: (914) 666-8041
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The 14th season of the Bedford Chamber Concert series features wonderful musicians playing spectacular chamber music, under the leadership of St. Matthew's Church Musical Director Anthony...

Cost: $35 for concert; $180 for series of 6

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
Contact Name: Tony Newman
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A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA presents an overview of Barnes’ career and role in modern architecture, including a close look at the many Westchester homes he...

Cost: Admission: $10 general, $5 for seniors and students; members and children free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914.666.8041
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Cost: $40 per person

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Cost: $35 for concert; $180 for series of 6

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
Contact Name: Tony Newman
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More information

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Show Less...

A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA presents an overview of Barnes’ career and role in modern architecture, including a close look at the many Westchester homes he...

Cost: Admission: $10 general, $5 for seniors and students; members and children free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

Stories, rhymes, and songs for children ages 18 months through 5 years with a caregiver

Cost: Free

Where:
Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
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Website »

More information

Select a page from a book, magazine or  newspaper then black out all the words you don't want to use with your black marker. Or you can create a poem by enclosing a word or phrase or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914.666.8041
Website »

More information

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Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
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Telephone: 914.666.8041
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More information

The 14th season of the Bedford Chamber Concert series features wonderful musicians playing spectacular chamber music, under the leadership of St. Matthew's Church Musical Director Anthony...

Cost: $35 for concert; $180 for series of 6

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
Contact Name: Tony Newman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA presents an overview of Barnes’ career and role in modern architecture, including a close look at the many Westchester homes he...

Cost: Admission: $10 general, $5 for seniors and students; members and children free

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134 Jay Street - Route 22
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View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

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Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914.666.8041
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Cost: free

Where:
Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914.666.8041
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914.666.8041
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100 East Main Street
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Telephone: 914-864-0130
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The 14th season of the Bedford Chamber Concert series features wonderful musicians playing spectacular chamber music, under the leadership of St. Matthew's Church Musical Director Anthony...

Cost: $35 for concert; $180 for series of 6

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
Contact Name: Tony Newman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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Cost: Admission: $10 general, $5 for seniors and students; members and children free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

For children ages 2 - 5 years old with a parent or caregiver.

Cost: free

Where:
Mt. Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
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View map »


Telephone: 914.666.8041
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More information

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Telephone: 914-241-3131
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The 14th season of the Bedford Chamber Concert series features wonderful musicians playing spectacular chamber music, under the leadership of St. Matthew's Church Musical Director Anthony...

Cost: $35 for concert; $180 for series of 6

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
Contact Name: Tony Newman
Website »

More information

Show More...
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A Home for Art: Edward Larrabee Barnes and the KMA presents an overview of Barnes’ career and role in modern architecture, including a close look at the many Westchester homes he...

Cost: Admission: $10 general, $5 for seniors and students; members and children free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street - Route 22
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

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Telephone: 914-739-0039
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The 14th season of the Bedford Chamber Concert series features wonderful musicians playing spectacular chamber music, under the leadership of St. Matthew's Church Musical Director Anthony...

Cost: $35 for concert; $180 for series of 6

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew's Church
Telephone: 914-234-9636
Contact Name: Tony Newman
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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