TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to Tarrytown’s Vanessa Williams!
Williams, a singer, actress, producer and former fashion model, is a long time Tarrytown resident, turns 53 on Friday.
Vanessa Lynn Williams was born March 18, 1963, in Millwood, N.Y.
In 1983, she became the first African-American woman crowned Miss America, but a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published nude photographs of her, taken before she was in the Miss America pageant. She relinquished her title early and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Suzette Charles of New Jersey. Williams rebounded by launching a career as an entertainer, earning multiple Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominations. She is arguably the most successful Miss America winner in the field of entertainment.
Williams has received eleven Grammy nominations without a win. Williams has featured on three albums nominated for the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. The song "Colors of the Wind," performed by Williams at the end of the film "Pocahontas," won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.