Vanessa Lynn Williams (born March 18, 1963) is an American actress and singer who is particularly well known for her roles as Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, Renee Perry in Desperate Housewives, and Teri Joseph in the 1997 feature film Soul Food. She initially gained recognition as the first African American woman to win the title of Miss America (during the Miss America 1984 pageant on September 17, 1983). Seven weeks before the end of her reign, however, a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published unauthorized nude photographs of Williams. She relinquished her title and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Miss New Jersey 1983, Suzette Charles. Williams rebounded by launching a career as an entertainer, earning multiple Grammy and Emmy nominations and a Tony Award nomination. She is also the recipient of 7 NAACP Image Award and 3 Satellite Awards. In September, 2015 at the Miss America 2016 pageant, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell apologized to Williams (who was serving as head judge) for what was said to her by the Miss America Organization during the events of 1984.