(written from a Production point of view)
Vanessa Lynn Williams (born 18 March 1963; age 59) is a singer and actress from the Bronx, New York. She became the first African-American woman to become Miss America in 1984, but resigned later that year.
Between 2006 and 2010, Williams starred in the show Ugly Betty with fellow DS9 guest star Tony Plana and Star Trek Nemesis actor Alan Dale. She has been nominated for an 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series for her role as Wilhelmina Slater. From 2010 to 2012 she appeared in Desperate Housewives as Renee Perry, during which she played alongside Teri Hatcher, Brenda Strong, Scott Bakula, Miguel Ferrer, and Ellen Geer. In the 2012-2013 season, she starred alongside Terry O'Quinn in the short-lived series 666 Park Avenue.