Victoria Rowell

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Victoria Rowell
De'Von Brown with Actress Victoria Rowell.jpg
BornVictoria Lynn Rowell
(1959-05-10) May 10, 1959 (age 55)
Portland, Maine, U.S.
OccupationActress, producer, writer
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Tom Fahey (1989-1990)
Radcliffe Bailey (2009-present)
 
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Victoria Rowell
De'Von Brown with Actress Victoria Rowell.jpg
BornVictoria Lynn Rowell
(1959-05-10) May 10, 1959 (age 55)
Portland, Maine, U.S.
OccupationActress, producer, writer
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Tom Fahey (1989-1990)
Radcliffe Bailey (2009-present)

Victoria Lynn Rowell (born May 10, 1959)[1] is an American actress, writer, producer and dancer.

Rowell began her career as ballet dancer and model, before making acting debut in the 1987 comedy film, Leonard Part 6. In 1990, Rowell joined the cast of the CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless as Drucilla Winters, her signature and longest role on television, for which she was nominated for a three Daytime Emmy Awards. She left from show in 2007. Rowell also well known for her role as Dr. Amanda Bentley in the CBS medical crime drama Diagnosis: Murder (1993-2001). From 1993 to 2000, she appeared on both series simultaneously.

Rowell had number of roles in feature films. She starred as Eddie Murphy's character love interest in the 1992 comedy The Distinguished Gentleman, and later had roles in films Dumb and Dumber (1994), Barb Wire (1996), and Eve's Bayou (1997). Rowell is eleven times NAACP Image Awards winner.

Early life[edit]

Rowell was born in Portland, Maine, on May 10, 1959. Her biological mother, Dorothy Rowell, was of English descent and a Mayflower descendant, and her birth father, whose surname was Wilson, was of African-American descent.[2][3] Rowell knew very little about her father. Dorothy, who suffered from schizophrenia, took a taxi to a hospital to give birth to Rowell, leaving a son and two small daughters unsupervised. When she was 16 days old, Rowell, along with her two sisters, Sheree and Lori, was surrendered to child services.[4]

While living in Maine with foster parents Agatha C. and Robert Armstead,[3] Rowell, then eight, began ballet lessons. She became a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, an African-American Greek-Lettered Sorority. After dancing with the American Ballet Theater II and the Juilliard School of Music Dance Extension program with Antony Tudor, Rowell accepted guest artist teaching posts in New England.[5]

Career[edit]

In the 1980s, Rowell became an in-demand runway and catalog model.[6] Rowell made her film debut in the 1987 comedy film Leonard Part 6 opposite Bill Cosby and later had recurring role on The Cosby Show[6] In 1988 she also had recurring role of Nella Franklin on the CBS daytime soap opera, As the World Turns.

Rowell as Drucilla Barber in 2004

In 1990, Rowell was cast as street urchin-turned-fashion model Drucilla Barber on the CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Rowell became a fan favorite and was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards in 1996, 1997 and 1998. She won 11 NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of Drucilla. Rowell's first run as Drucilla was from 1990 to 1998. She briefly returned in 2000, then returned on a regular basis from 2002 until early 2007. In 2007, Rowell became unhappy with the soap opera behind the scenes, labeling daytime television and The Young and the Restless as racist for having enough African American cast and crew.[7][8] She also argued the directions of her storylines which weren't heard, prompting her to leave. Within the storyline, Drucilla fell off a cliff and was presumed dead as her body was never found. Rowell has openly expressed pleasure in returning,[9][10] and due to the character's strong appeal and popularity, viewers have begged the series to re-hire her. However, CBS has stated that having Drucilla return is not the creative decision they are looking for, which has disappointed fans of the actress.[11] In 2014, Rowell posted a series of tweets criticizing the show for not having enough African-Americans in decision making positions. “Young & Restless on air for 40 years, loyally watched by their absolute competitive-edge audience (blacks) & not one black Exec producer?” - she tweeted. Her tweets coincided with the series 41st anniversary.[12]

From 1992 to 2001, Rowell starred as Dr. Amanda Bentley in the CBS primetime series Diagnosis: Murder, opposite Dick Van Dyke, replacing Cynthia Gibb from the original made for television movie. For much of Rowell's stint on Diagnosis: Murder, she was working on that show and on The Young and the Restless simultaneously. One episode of Diagnosis Murder centered around murder on the set of The Young and the Restless; Rowell was featured as both Amanda and Drucilla in that episode. The series run from 1992 to 2001, producing 178 episodes and two television movies, aired after the series' cancellation. Diagnosis: Murder also has long run in syndication as of 1997.

In 1990s, Rowell co-starred in a number of success feature films. She had the role as Eddie Murphy's character love interest in the 1992 comedy film, The Distinguished Gentleman. In 1994 she played FBI agent Beth Jordan in comedy film Dumb and Dumber. She co-starred opposite Mario Van Peebles in the science fiction crime filmFull Eclipse (1993), and had major role in the box office failure action film Barb Wire (1996) with Pamela Anderson. In 1997 she appeared in the critically acclaimed drama film, Eve's Bayou. In 2000s she appeared in the number of small films, like Motives and A Perfect Fit. In 2006 she so-starred as Samuel L. Jackson's character wife in Home of the Brave. She also had the recurring roles on Single Ladies and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In spring 2009, Rowell signed a six-figure deal with Atria Books for a book about the world of daytime TV. She released her memoirs called The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir in 2008.[13] She later released Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva: A Novel (2010)[14] The Young and the Ruthless: Back in the Bubbles (2013).[15]

Personal life[edit]

Rowell (left) with Maj. Gen. Nadja West in Washington, DC in 2013

Rowell's first marriage was to Tom Fahey in 1989. They had a daughter, Maya, and divorced the following year. Rowell had a long-term relationship with musician Wynton Marsalis; and they had a son, Jasper (Jasper played Rowell's son CJ on Diagnosis: Murder starting with season 3).[16] In May 2008, Rowell announced her engagement to Radcliffe Bailey, an Atlanta artist, at her annual High Tea at Noon fundraiser. Victoria and Radcliffe married on June 27, 2009, in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Rowell was raised Protestant and later converted to the Catholic Church.[17]

Work with foster children[edit]

In 1990, Rowell founded the "Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan",[18] which gives emotional support and financial aid to foster children, especially to those who aspire to become actors and dancers - the road Rowell took. In 2004, she was a special guest on the talk show Dr. Phil, in which she gave an emancipated foster child a chance at a job with Sony, dental care, and a scholarship from her foundation.

In May 2006, Rowell was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Southern Maine in recognition of her work for the benefit of foster children. In 2007, Rowell published a memoir of her life that focused on her time in foster care. Entitled The Women Who Raised Me, Rowell discusses all of the foster mothers who cared for her and for her sisters. She also pays tribute to the women in a documentary film, The Mentor, that she participated in.[4] Rowell says that she began writing the book when Y&R turned down her offer to write for the show. She began a national book tour in April 2007.[19]

In March 2008, Victoria was the first recipient of the Gift of Adoption Celebration of Adoption Award, an award given to individuals or groups who are helping to unite children with forever families.

In March 2012, Storey Publishing released a book titled Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games, which Rowell co-authored with well-known environmental activist Paul Tukey.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1987Leonard Part 6Joan Parker
1992The Distinguished GentlemanCelia Kirby
1993Full EclipseAnna DireTelevision film
1994Secret Sins of the FatherYolanda SeeleyTelevision film
1994Dumb and DumberBeth "Athletic Beauty" Jordan
1995One Red RoseRose
1996Barb WireCora D
1996Dr. HugoStevie HobbsShort film
1997Eve's BayouStevie Hobbs
1998SecretsShort film
1999Fraternity Boys
1999A Wake in ProvidenceAlissa
2001Feast of All SaintsJosette Metoyer
2002A Town Without PityDr. Amanda BentleyTelevision film
2003Without WarningDr. Amanda BentleyTelevision film
2003Black ListedPatricia Chambers
2004MotivesDetective Pierce
2005A Perfect FitSheila
2005Midnight ClearAngela PressmoreShort film
2006Home of the BravePenelope Marsh
2007Polly and MarieRebecca McCaw
2008Of Boys and MenAunt Janay
2011Death in the FamilyVicky TurnerAlso producer
2013Marry Me for ChristmasStephanieTelevision film
2014I Love YouBarbara MutchAlso producer and writer
2014The Fright Night FilesAlexaTelevision film
2015What Love Will Make You DoSheila BostonAlso producer
2016Soul TiesMaybelle

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1988As the World TurnsNella FranklinRecurring role
1989–1990The Cosby ShowPaulaEpisodes: "Cliff's Wet Adventure" and "Theo's Dirty Laundry"
1990The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirMimi MumfordEpisode: "Clubba Hubba"
1991–1993Hermans HeadSusan BrackenEpisodes: "Bracken's Daughter" and "I Wanna Go Home"
1995Deadly GamesCourtney LakeEpisode: "Divorce Lawyer"
1993–2001Diagnosis: MurderAmanda Bentley-LivingstonSeries regular, 178 episodes
2001Family LawMs. WilkesEpisode: "Moving On"
2006Noah's ArcVondaEpisodes: "Desperado" and "Give It Up"
2007All of UsDeborah CooperEpisode: "He's Got Game"
1990–2000, 2002-2007The Young and the RestlessDrucilla WintersSeries regular
2010Ghost WhispererAdrienneEpisode: "Living Nightmare"
2012Let's Stay TogetherAnitaEpisode: "Creepers"
2012Single LadiesVeronicaRecurring role, 3 episodes
2013-2014Law & Order: Special Victims UnitJudge Delilah HawkinsEpisodes: "Criminal Hatred" and "Comic Perversion"

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryWorkResult
19928th Soap Opera Digest AwardsOutstanding Female Newcomer: DaytimeThe Young and the RestlessNominated
199410th Soap Opera Digest AwardsOutstanding Scene StealerThe Young and the RestlessWon
199426th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
199511th Soap Opera Digest AwardsHottest Female StarThe Young and the RestlessNominated
199627th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
199623rd Daytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessNominated
199724th Daytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessNominated
199728th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
199825th Daytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessNominated
199829th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
199930th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesDiagnosis MurderNominated
199930th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
200131st NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
200334th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
200318th Soap Opera Digest AwardsFavorite ReturnThe Young and the RestlessNominated
200435th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
200519th Soap Opera Digest AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Supporting RoleThe Young and the RestlessNominated
200536th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon
200637th NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesThe Young and the RestlessWon

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Victoria Rowell". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Her mother was white and her father was black.
  3. ^ a b Victoria Rowell Biography (1960?-) Archived May 2, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Role Models, Boston Globe, May 5, 2007 Archived October 10, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ DiagnosisMurder.co.uk | Victoria Rowell Archived March 17, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "Victoria Rowell". TV Guide. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Victoria Rowell: Why I left the Young and the Restless". Black Press Magazine. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  8. ^ ll_victoria.php "About Y&R: About the Actors - Victoria Rowell". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Victoria Rowell Not Ruling Out Return to The Young and the Restless". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Victoria Rowell claims three actors are preventing her return to Y&R". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Ex-Young and Restless Diva Victoria Rowell Says Les Moonves and Steve Kent Don't Want Dru Back! - Daytime Confidential". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Victoria Rowell Slams 'Young and the Restless' Over Lack of Diversity: Not One Black Exec Producer - TheWrap". TheWrap. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.amazon.com/The-Women-Who-Raised-Me/dp/B002ECEFEY
  14. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Soap-Opera-Diva-Novel/dp/B005B1LXAY/ref=la_B001ILKEEM_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415132385&sr=1-2
  15. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Young-Ruthless-Back-Bubbles/dp/1451643837/ref=la_B001ILKEEM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415132385&sr=1-3
  16. ^ Victoria Rowell with her two children. Archived March 9, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ CELEBRATING FOSTER CHILDREN: High-achievers credit nurturing foster parents
  18. ^ Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan Archived February 4, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Y&R's Rowell: The Real Reason I Quit". Soap Opera Weekly. February 27, 2007. pp. 2–3. 

External links[edit]