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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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September 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

55th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show To benefit the North Castle Public Library Ranked one of “The Top 50” Fine Art and Fine Craft Fairs in the US by Art Fair Sourcebook and named...

Cost: $12

Where:
Armonk, NY
205 Business Park Drive
Armonk, NY  10504
View map »


Sponsor: North Castle Public Library
Telephone: 203-724-9919
Contact Name: Renee Pfefer
Website »

More information

The Katonah Poetry Series launches its Fiftieth Anniversary Season with a reading by Radcliffe Fellow Kathleen Ossip, a favorite on the Westchester and New York City poetry scene.  Kathleen...

Cost: 10$; students free

Where:
Katonah Village Library
26 Bedford Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Poetry Series
Telephone: 914 271 1062
Contact Name: Julie Nord
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

Saturdays and Sundays from September 10th through October 30th 10am-5pm as well as October 3rd, 4th, 10th and 12th! Apple Picking Pumpkin Patch (NOT on the vine, but tons of regular and...

Cost: $5

Where:
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
130 Hardscrabble Road
North Salem, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Martin Kline: Paintings and Sculpture” featuring a selection Kline’s new series of white paintings along...

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

Show More...
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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 its upcoming exhibition “Martin Kline: Paintings and Sculpture” featuring a selection Kline’s new series of white paintings along...

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...

DeCicco & Sons, 17 Maple Avenue, Armonk (Demonstration Kitchen-2nd floor), 914-499-1100, www.deciccoandsons.comHelp Prep and Beer Education! As a family owned and operated specialty grocery store...

Cost: $15 plus $25 Food Fee

Where:
DeCicco & Sons
17 Maple Avenue
ARMONK, NY
View map »


Sponsor: WCC
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

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Martin Kline: Paintings and Sculpture” featuring a selection Kline’s new series of white paintings along...

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 its upcoming exhibition “Martin Kline: Paintings and Sculpture” featuring a selection Kline’s new series of white paintings along...

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

Hospice of Westchester (HOW) invites members of the community to its 24th annual “In Celebration” Gala Cocktail Reception to support The Anna & Louis H. Shereff Caregiver and...

Cost: Individual tickets ($250) and sponsorships are available.

Where:
Westchester Country Club
99 Biltmore Avenue
Rye, NY  10580
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-0066
Contact Name: Intern
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 its upcoming exhibition “Martin Kline: Paintings and Sculpture” featuring a selection Kline’s new series of white paintings along...

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...

Portrait artist to heads of State, captains of industry, and families, painter Laurel Stern Boeck will open her studio doors to artists who wish to learn the secrets of planning the perfect...

Cost: $420, including model fee

Where:
Boeck Studio
Bedford, NY  10506


Sponsor: Laurel Stern Boeck
Telephone: 914-234-2743
Contact Name: Laurel Boeck
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

LORD & TAYLOR STAMFORD ANNOUNCES 2016 FALL CHARITY DAYS TO BENEFIT THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY September 30 & October 1 CONTINUED SUPPORT PARTICIPATION FOR STAMFORD HEALTH’S...

Cost: Donation

Where:
Lord & Taylor
110 High Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: Lord &Taylor
Telephone: 120-332-76600
Contact Name: Shermaine Croney
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 its upcoming exhibition “Martin Kline: Paintings and Sculpture” featuring a selection Kline’s new series of white paintings along...

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...

Portrait artist to heads of State, captains of industry, and families, painter Laurel Stern Boeck will open her studio doors to artists who wish to learn the secrets of planning the perfect...

Cost: $420, including model fee

Where:
Boeck Studio
Bedford, NY  10506


Sponsor: Laurel Stern Boeck
Telephone: 914-234-2743
Contact Name: Laurel Boeck
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

Enjoy a nice fall orienteering event in the woods of Westmoreland Sanctuary in Mount Kisco! The Sanctuary presents significant elevation changes and is covered with a mix of trees, crossed by a...

Cost: $5 - $20

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-8448
Contact Name: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Website »

More information

LORD & TAYLOR STAMFORD ANNOUNCES 2016 FALL CHARITY DAYS TO BENEFIT THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY September 30 & October 1 CONTINUED SUPPORT PARTICIPATION FOR STAMFORD HEALTH’S...

Cost: Donation

Where:
Lord & Taylor
110 High Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: Lord &Taylor
Telephone: 120-332-76600
Contact Name: Shermaine Croney
Website »

More information

he New Canaan Nature Center's 5th Harvest Festival takes place on Saturday, October 1st from 7-10pm. Enjoy the social evening in the meadow, under illuminated tents...

Cost: $75 in advance

Where:
New Canaan Nature Center
144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Music on the Hill presents a new work by artistic director Ellen Dickinson. "Threads of Light: A Tapestry of African-American Spirituals" weaves together 30 spirituals in three movements...

Cost: free

Where:
Norwalk Concert Hall
125 East Avenue
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

Vanilla Fudge will be celebrating their 50th year Anniversary in 2017 and are still rocking the world in 2016 with concerts in the USA and European tours performing at festivals,...

Cost: $60 includes meet & greet with the band afterward for autographs & photos

Where:
The Walker Center for the Arts
The Harvey School
260 Jay Street (Rt. 22)
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

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

A ghoulishly good time is brewing at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester during Brick-or-Treat! Little ghosts and mummies can experience Halloween every weekend in October with spooktacular...

Cost: Starting at $15.95; children under 2 are FREE

Where:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, NY  10710
View map »


Sponsor: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
Telephone: 866-243-0770
Contact Name: Jake
Website »

More information

Saturdays and Sundays from September 10th through October 30th 10am-5pm as well as October 3rd, 4th, 10th and 12th! Apple Picking Pumpkin Patch (NOT on the vine, but tons of regular and...

Cost: $5

Where:
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
130 Hardscrabble Road
North Salem, NY
View map »


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 its upcoming exhibition “Martin Kline: Paintings and Sculpture” featuring a selection Kline’s new series of white paintings along...

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

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

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 »

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

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

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