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Vanessa Williams | DIVAS WE LOVE Series

Remember that Virginia Slims slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby”? It may as well sum-up Vanessa Williams’ career. Beautiful to look at, she is also a consummate performer who has proven she can sing and act and is in the top-tier of professionals in both arenas. Is there anything this woman can’t do?

Unbeknownst to younger fans, she began her resilient career as Miss America. She was indeed the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss America (1984), only to see her crown taken away when (unauthorized) nude photographs surfaced that had been acquired by and published in Penthouse magazine. Let’s be honest… when you look as amazing as Vanessa, you may as well flaunt your goods! But how is it that these photos always seem to fall into the hands of the wrong people? Besides… the photos weren’t even that risqué… we’re not talking Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian!

As they say, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and that is just how it happened for this Diva. After a few successful albums, stints on Broadway and a few acting roles under her belt this multiple Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominee catapulted to worldwide fame with two brilliant television roles.

Can you say “Ugly Betty”? Her role as über-bitchy editor Wilhelmina Slater was worth waiting for week after week. She obviously channeled that famous ‘editrix’ –with A&W initials– to amazing ‘camp’ effects. She successfully carried and encapsulated, with beauty and attitude, the idiosyncrasies of the fashion-print world.

Now she’s moved on to Wisteria Lane to cause new trouble on “Desperate Housewives”… she’s frankly become the best reason to watch that show nowadays.

Perhaps it is because of her sheer beauty that she repeatedly gets cast in roles that present her as a fashion icon. And there is no disputing that she plays the Diva role to a tee. But beauty can only take one so far. It takes hard work and tact to survive in the entertainment world today and talent to stay relevant. We always look forward to this fur-loving Diva We Love’s next move.

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