Vanessa Lynn Williams (born March 18, 1963) is an American actress, singer, and fashion designer. She initially gained recognition as the first African-American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in September 1983. However, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, she learned that Penthouse magazine would be publishing unauthorized nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue. Williams thus resigned as Miss America on July 22, 1984 (under pressure from the Miss America Organization), and was replaced by first runner-up Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles. A few years later, she rebounded as an entertainer with the song "The Right Stuff." She then had a string of successful albums and singles and also found success as an actress (she is particularly well known for her roles as Teri Joseph in the 1997 feature film Soul Food, Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, and Renee Perry in Desperate Housewives).