Singer, Actress. Born in Millwood, New York. In 1983, Vanessa Williams made history by becoming the first African-American woman to be named Miss America. One year later, she was stripped of her crown after Penthouse magazine published nude photos of her, taken years before.The controversy was only a minor set-back to her career. Williams persevered and has gone on to enjoy considerable success as both an actress and a singer. Her albums include 1988’s The Right Stuff, the multi-platinum The Comfort Zone(1992) featuring the #1 single “Save the Best for Last,” and 1994’s The Sweetest Days, and they have earned her nine Grammy nominations. Williams recorded the Oscar-winning song “Colors of the Wind,” from the Disney hit Pochahontas in 1995. In 1998 she released The Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years.
Her acting career also flourished. In 1994-5, she starred in Kiss of the Spider Woman on Broadway to great critical acclaim. She also starred in the box office hits Eraser(1996), with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hoodlum(1997), with Laurence Fishburne, Soul Food(1997), and 1998’s Dance With Me. In 2003, Williams signed on to guest star in 10 episodes of the NBC crime drama Boomtown.
Williams is the daughter of two music teachers, Milton and Helen Williams, and she pursued a degree in musical theater at Syracuse University. In 1996 she divorced Ramon Hervey, with whom she has three children, Jillian, Melanie, and Devin. She married NBA player Rick Fox in 1999; the couple has a daughter, Sasha Gabriella Fox. Fox filed for divorce in 2004