Vanessa Williams boomerangs back to Chappaqua

You gotta feel for Vanessa Williams. And I’m not referring to the diss she got from the other Vanessa Williams (the one from “Melrose Place”) in Essence Magazine. Nor am I talking about the indignity of hosting Sunday’s 2008 TV Land Awards (dedicated to honoring such 1980s fare as “Roseanne” and “The Golden Girls”) or flying in on a wire singing songs from Peter Pan. (That, I’m pretty sure, she like doing.) No, my sympathy stems from the decision to move production of “Ugly Betty” from California to New York.


Now wait, you might think, isn’t that a good thing for her? Given that her family is based out of Chappaqua, isn’t that just about the best thing that could have happened for her?

Well, turns out that Vanessa was already well on her way to moving the whole Williams gang out west. As she told our sister publication, USA Today:

“We finally took a breath this year and got settled into a house that I love here in L.A. Sasha’s doing really well in school. And now all of a sudden we’re moving to New York.”

Williams received a call from show creator Silvio Horta informing her of the move just three days before wrapping Betty’s season finale.

“I was in shock,” says Williams, who immediately began text-messaging co-star America Ferrera (Betty). “I was like, ‘What???!’

“I think everyone assumed I’d be jumping for joy to be back home in New York, but the first thing I thought about was Sasha, who’d just had her First Communion in our new church. I was numb, and then anxiety kicked in: ‘I have to get rid of the house, ship all my cars back to New York and move 10 rooms of furniture.’ “

Perhaps the biggest problem of all: Since moving to the West Coast, daughter Sasha had been able to bond with her dad, Rick Fox of the L.A. Lakers. “Rick was active in her school and with her homework and got to be with her on a weekly level,” Williams told USA Today. “That’s going to be a huge adjustment, which we’re just going to have to make.”

While the homecoming may be bittersweet for Vanessa, we couldn’t be happier. And hey, as we related before, there’s always more than enough room in her Chappaqua house for Fox — and any other ex-husbands that are in town — to spend the night.

“Vanessa Williams moves home” [USA Today, via LoHud]

(Vanessa Williams at the TV Land Awards: AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Vanessa Williams to finally graduate college, earn an honest living

Yet another of our beloved LoHud celebs is pulling a Rodney Dangerfield. Remember how last summer Sneden’s Landing’s Bill Murray finally got his degree from Regis University, oh, about 30 years after he dropped out? Well, now Chappaqua’s Vanessa Williams has followed suit, returning to Syracuse this weekend nearly 25 years after she left the university to pursue singing, beauty pagenting, and looking dead sexy.

According to the AP story, Williams, who grew up in Millwood, was a musical theater major from 1981 to 1983 at ‘Cuse and  “earned the remaining credits for her degree through industry experience and her substantial performances on stage and screen.” She’ll also be delivering the school’s convocation speech.

We can only hope that she has as much fashion sense at the graduation ceremony as Murray did.

(Williams: AP Photo/Jim Cooper; Murray Photo: Regis University)

People of the Year — 15. Vanessa Williams

itw_people12.jpgWho’d have thought that radiating evil on screen would translate into good things off camera? But that’s exactly what happened after this Westchesterite (born in Tarrytown, raised in Millwood) signed on to play Ugly Betty’s villainous bad gal Wilhelmina Slater. The role landed her an Emmy nod, the covers of countless magazines (including InTown), and a $20-million endorsement deal for Proactiv. Even her beloved dog landed a fairy-tale ending this year. In June, when her Yorkie, Enzo, went missing from her Chappaqua home, he was found and traced back to Williams, thanks to a microchip implanted in his skin.

Prediction for 2008: Having now conquered the worlds of music, film, and TV, all that remains on Williams’ to-do list is finding a replacement for ex-husband Rick Fox.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� InTown Westchester, December 2007

(Illustration by Ismael Roldon)

Vanessa Williams scores $20-million deal to fight acne


After her complaints about how high-def TV makes her pores look horrible, Vanessa Williams was just about the last person I would have expected to get a skincare product endorsement deal. Hayden Panettiere, with her supernaturally spotless epidermis, sure. But not Williams.

Well, turns out that Williams, a Chappaqua resident, landed herself a $20 million deal with the Proactiv. Something tells me Neutrogena ain’t paying Hayden anywhere near that much.

Even more remarkable the mega-millions: According to the NY Post, the “Ugly Betty” will be earing even more from pimple product than Jessica Simpson. The reason? An unnamed source says, “She is going to be developing a cosmetics line for the company.”

OK, so who’s up for some Wilhemina Slater Botox?

(photo: ABC/Scott Garfield)

‘Ugly Betty’ Spoiler Alert

While we’re still in Emmy pre-show mode, what better time to share a little preview of the “Ugly Betty” season premier? ABC is already promoting the Sept. 27 episode with this teaser:


“How Betty Got Her Grieve Back”- Betty’s life is in chaos after a series of very unfortunate events, but despite all that’s happened, she’s still in denial about one thing — how much Henry’s departure has affected her. Meanwhile, Amanda turns to junk food and to Marc in dealing with the revelation that Fey Sommers was her real mother, and Wilhelmina schemes to turn the tragic Meade family events to her advantage, on the season premiere of ABC’s award-winning Ugly Betty, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.


No word yet if we’ll get to see any make-out sessions between Chappaqua’s Vanessa Williams and her real-life ex, Rick Fox (who’ll be doing a guest stint on the show this year), but you can be sure we’ll be TiVo’ing this sucker.

Vanessa Williams brings sexy back … to the gym

septcover-vanessa3.jpgIt isn’t often that I credit our competitor, Westchester Magazine, with much, but their September issue — with Chappaqua’s Vanessa Williams at her shiny, teased-out best — took me by surprise.

You may remember that back in May we also featured the “Ugly Betty” star on the cover of InTown Westchester. Inside we paid tribute to her mom, Helen, in a roundup of famous mother-daughter (and son) pairings. It was a kind of Mother’s Day love letter, but we only put Vanessa and family on one page (plus the cover). By comparison, Westchester Mag gave her eight—including some spectacularly sultry pictures, a Q&A, and a breakdown of all her favorite local picks.

But that’s not what impressed me. Just about everything from the interview—from her childhood in Millwood to getting her hair relaxed at the Galleria’s Sears—was posted here on Suburbarazzi ages ago.

The part that I couldn’t believe was that Vanessa agreed to let them photographer her working out with Sal Gaglio at Fitness for Health in Briarcliff. The “How Vanessa gets that Body” four-page spread breaks down all her exercises (lunges, squats, hamstring blast, rockers, pushup row, wood chop, ab crunch, etc., etc.). The star glistens with sweat and yet somehow looks at least as beautiful doing pushups as she did in the pages of InTown.

Check out the article’s pics and see for yourself. If that doesn’t make you feel guilty for avoiding the gym this summer, nothing will.

Incidentally, it pains me to link to the competition, but just this once I’ll make an exception — in part because when you put the InTown Sept. issue head-to-head against Westchester’s (which, aside from Williams, is thin on local content), it’s hardly a fair fight. Metaphorically speaking, that is. Vanessa, I’m sure, could still kick my ass.

‘Ugly Betty’ reunites Vanessa Williams and Rick Fox for brief make-out session

vw.jpgThey may have parted ways as a married couple in real life, but Vanessa Williams and Rick Fox are still game for a little booty call now and again — provided it’s on a fictional sitcom.

According to People, Fox is going to join the cast of Williams’ hit ABC show “Ugly Betty” for season two as his ex’s love interest. The magazine’s source says that he’ll be playing Dwayne the bodyguard for at least two episodes and that, “things get heated” between Dwayne and Wilhemina.

It should be noted that the Williams-Fox relationship has a long history of on-again-off-again moments. The two married back in 1999 on a Carribbean island, only to get remarried again that fall, only to get divorced in 2004. And as we shared back in June, Williams has even said that recently Fox began living at her Chappaqua home again. Throw in fellow ex-husband Ramon Hervey, who apparently is also living under the same roof, and you’ve got the makings of a damn fine reality TV show — something for Williams to fall back on if “Betty” ever fizzles out.

Vanessa Williams’ Yorkie on the loose

Please, for the love of Ugly Betty, if you’ve seen Vanessa Williams’ pet dog, Enzo, do the right thing and call the Mount Pleasant Police Department at 914-769-1998. There’s a $2,500 reward. Apparently the black-and-tan Yorkie has been missing since Monday from the actress’s Chappaqua yard, and she filed a missing-dog report fearing the dog had been stolen.

Note: The Yorkie above isn’t Enzo, just a damn cute look-alike from PETCO.

“Vanessa Williams’ dog disappears” [LoHud]

(Williams: AP Photo/Jim Cooper; Yorkie photo: AP Photo/PETCO)

How to spot Vanessa Williams, part 2: Look for the Maserati

We already know that, for her 44th birthday on March 18, Millwood native and current Chappaqua resident Vanessa Williams got a shiny new star on the Hollywood walk of fame. But turns out she gave herself something even shinier as a present: a kickin’ Italian sports car.

As she put it to More magazine, “For my fortieth birthday, I got a Maserati coupe, a sports car with paddle shifting and a great-sounding engine … It’s really fast — plus I get big props from the guys on the set of Ugly Betty because I can handle it. They love to hear me zoom up and screech to a halt. Being able to get the toys I want is one of the true luxuries of getting older. I wish I’d always known about options like climate control — to think, I used to just roll down a window!”

And don’t forget, Ms. Williams is our cover story for the April issue of InTown Westchester, due in your mailbox any day now.

via Inside Entertainment

PREVIOUSLY: “How to spot Vanessa Williams”

(Williams: AP Photo/Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Bob Freeman; Maserati: PRNewsFoto/Maserati North America)

Exclusive! Isaac Mizrahi picks ‘Sex And The City,’ picks apart my style and picks on Mr. Blackwell

Unless you’ve been late in checking out this blog’s updates these last few days (and if you have, Ted Mann will have to lecture you personally), you know that Isaac Mizrahi sat down with Suburbarazzi on Feb. 24 before signing autographs and pitching StriVectin anti-wrinkle cream at the Lord & Taylor branch in Eastchester.

If you missed Monday and Tuesday‘s snippets, click away. If you’re caught up — or even if you’re not — here’s the next part of the interview.

<blockquote><div>You’ve been on both shows, but gun to your head: (Is) “Ugly Betty� or “Sex And The City� (better)?

Ooh, that’s a good question…. “Sex And The City.�

A little more established, a few more seasons?


All right. I can take it. What’s wrong and what’s right with my style?

(Mizrahi’s entourage and Lord & Taylor personnel utter laughs and “ooohs.�) Wow. I don’t know. I don’t think there’s anything wrong. You know people say to me all the time to me, they say, “Oh, gosh, I thought about all day what I was going to wear, because I know I was meeting you.� And you know, I don’t care that much. (The entourage and store personnel laugh.) I’m sorry, but I really don’t. I’m not saying I don’t care enough to say what’s wrong. There’s nothing wrong. You look cute today. You look cute.

Thank you. I appreciate that. What’s the most overrated accessory – overdone, overrated, over-anything – out there right now?</div></blockquote>

Mizrahi deliberated for 26 seconds before responding. Read his response to that and his thoughts on fashion critic Mr. (Richard) Blackwell after the break.

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