To quote one of Vanessa Williams‘ hit songs, these are “the sweetest days” for the eternally gorgeous and talented star. After winning the Miss America pageant in 1983 and losing her title when old nude photos emerged, Vanessa quickly put the scandal behind her and found success on her own terms. She landed a record deal that led to 11 Grammy nominations, starred in films, originated a role in Stephen Sondheim‘s Into the Woods revival on Broadway, got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and scored three Emmy nominations for her smart comic turn on the 2006-2010 hit Ugly Betty.
“My life story is: Success is the best revenge,” Vanessa, 56, tells Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “If you know who you are, you’ll eventually get a chance to show them — just wait. Everyone’s going to judge you and have first impressions, but it’s up to you to bring it when you have the opportunity.”
Recently she’s had the opportunity to help kids learn how to read through the Kellogg’s Feeding Reading program. “Both my parents were teachers who read to me,” says Vanessa, who has four grown kids of her own. “And we’ve got 3,000 books in our house!” Closer caught up with Vanessa to talk about a possible Ugly Betty reunion, the reason she’s remained pals with her two exes and how she found the love of her life with her husband of four years, accountant Jim Skrip, 56. “My happy place,” says Vanessa, “is being at home.”
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