Wendy Williams

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Wendy Williams
WendyWilliamsJun05.jpg
Williams in 2005
BornWendy Joan Williams
(1964-07-18) July 18, 1964 (age 49)
Asbury Park, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationTalk show host, actress, author, radio personality
Years active1986–present
Known forHosts The Wendy Williams Show, ex shock jock on The Wendy Williams Experience
Spouse(s)Kevin Hunter, Sr. (1998–present)
ChildrenKevin Hunter, Jr.
 
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Wendy Williams
WendyWilliamsJun05.jpg
Williams in 2005
BornWendy Joan Williams
(1964-07-18) July 18, 1964 (age 49)
Asbury Park, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationTalk show host, actress, author, radio personality
Years active1986–present
Known forHosts The Wendy Williams Show, ex shock jock on The Wendy Williams Experience
Spouse(s)Kevin Hunter, Sr. (1998–present)
ChildrenKevin Hunter, Jr.

Wendy Williams Hunter (born Wendy Joan Williams; July 18, 1964) is an American media personality, actress and author. She hosts a syndicated television talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.[1]

Prior to television, Williams was a "shock jockette" on several radio shows.[2] Williams has gained notoriety for her on-air spats with celebrities.[2][3] She was the subject of the 2006 VH1 reality TV series called The Wendy Williams Experience which broadcast events surrounding her radio show.

She has written an autobiography and several other books, and has created two product lines. An apparel line with QVC called Adorn by Wendy Williams and a wig line named Wendy Williams Hair World.

Biography[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Wendy Williams, born July 18, 1964, in Asbury Park, New Jersey[4] is the second of three children. Their parents, Thomas and Shirley Williams,[4] raised Wendy and her siblings in the Wayside section of Ocean Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey.[2] Williams graduated from Ocean Township High School,[5] and from 1982 to 1986, she attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she graduated[3] with a B.A. in communications and was a DJ for the college radio station WRBB.

Personal life[edit]

In her biography, Wendy's Got the Heat, she uses the pseudonym Robert Morris III to refer to her first husband and describes him as a salesperson.[6] Williams divorced her first husband.[7]

She is currently married to Kevin Hunter, who is also her manager. Their son, Kevin, Jr., was born in 1999.[4]

Radio career[edit]

Williams began her career working for WVIS in the Virgin Islands.[3] In 1989, Williams began at urban contemporary WRKS (now WEPN-FM) in New York City as a substitute disc jockey. WRKS hired her full-time for its morning show. A year later, Williams moved to an afternoon drive-time shift, eventually winning the Billboard Award for "Best On-Air Radio Personality" in 1993.[citation needed] In December 1994, Emmis Broadcasting purchased WRKS and switched Williams to the company's other New York property, hip-hop formatted WQHT ("Hot 97"), as WRKS was reformatted into an urban adult contemporary outlet. She was fired from Hot 97 in 1998.[2]

Williams was hired by a Philadelphia urban station, WUSL ("Power 99FM"). Her husband, Kevin Hunter, became her agent.[2] She was very open about her personal life on air, discussing her miscarriages, breast enhancement surgery,[2] and former drug addiction,[3] and helped the station move from 14th place in the ratings to 2nd.[2]

In 2001, Williams returned to the New York airwaves when WBLS hired her full-time for a syndicated 2–6 p.m. time slot. Williams' friend, MC Spice of Boston, offered his voiceover services to the show, often adding short rap verses tailored specifically for Williams' show. The New York Times stated that her "show works best when its elements – confessional paired with snarkiness – are conflated," and cited a 2003 interview with Whitney Houston as an example.[8] During the highly publicized interview[9] that "went haywire" and included "a lot of bleeped language", Williams "asked [Houston], insistently, about her drug and spending habits".[10]

By 2008, she was syndicated in Redondo Beach, California; Shreveport, Louisiana; Wilmington, Delaware; Toledo, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Emporia, Virginia; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Tyler, Texas; and Alexandria, Louisiana, among other markets.[citation needed]

Williams left her radio show in 2009 to focus on her television program and spend more time with her family. She was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.[11]

Lawsuit[edit]

In 2008, Nicole Spence, talent booker for The Wendy Williams Experience, filed papers with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suing Williams. Spence claimed Williams' husband, Kevin Hunter, demanded sex from Spence on many occasions and created a hostile work environment by threatening and assaulting his wife on company premises.[12][13][14] On June 11, 2008, Spence filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit against Williams, Hunter, and Inner City Broadcasting Corporation in federal court in Manhattan.[15] Both Williams and Hunter deny the charges.[13][16]

Television[edit]

The Wendy Williams Show[edit]

AMV 53rd Street Studio where the show was produced from Season 1–3

On July 13, 2008, Williams debuted her daytime talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, a 6-week test run on Fox owned-and-operated stations in New York City, Dallas, Detroit, and Los Angeles, during the summer of 2008. Fox Television Stations signed a deal with syndication company Debmar-Mercury at the end of the test to broadcast the show on its station group beginning in July 2009.[17]

In addition to its broadcast syndication coverage, Black Entertainment Television (BET) picked up cable rights to The Wendy Williams Show.[18]

On April 11th, 2013 Wendy Williams announced on the Wendy William's Show she was becoming an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church World Headquarters[19]

Other television appearances[edit]

In November 1992, Williams was an extra on TV's Martin.

In October 2007, Williams filled in for Jodi Applegate on WNYW's morning television show, Good Day New York.

Williams was announced as one of the contestants on the twelfth season of Dancing with the Stars, which began on March 21, 2011. Her professional partner was Tony Dovolani.[20]

Williams has made guest appearances in March and April 2011 on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Williams played a talk show host named Phyllis Rose.

In 2011, Williams played a judge on the Lifetime network show Drop Dead Diva.

Williams hosted a game show for GSN called Love Triangle, which premiered on April 11, 2011. Williams and husband Kevin Hunter served as executive producers.[21]

In February 2013, it was announced that Williams and her husband and manager, Kevin, were launching a reality television production company, Wendy Williams Productions.[22] that will produce unscripted content, including reality television and game shows.[23]

On March 19, 2013, Williams appeared as a guest judge on the sixth episode of The Face.[24] She will also be an executive producer on the show Secret Celebrity.[24]

The TV Guide Network has greenlit a docuseries that chronicles Williams' preparations for her 7-week run on the Broadway musical, Chicago, she is playing the character Mama Morton. The series is being produced by Williams' own production company, Wendy Williams Productions.[25]

Film[edit]

In 2009, Williams announced that she was in the planning stages of making a movie about her life, Queen of All Media, written by Kimba Henriques, with Robin Givens in the lead role as Wendy Williams.[26] Other cast members include Angel Melaku, Trey Songz, Lil' Kim, Chandra Davis, and Thea Vidale. Filming wrapped up in late August 2009 and was set to be released in 2011.[citation needed]

Williams appeared in the film adaptation of Steve Harvey's book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, titled Think Like a Man (2012).

In 2012, it was announced Williams would enter into a "production alliance" with producers Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones to create movies and televisions show aimed at multicultural audiences.[27][28] These projects will appear under the heading "Wendy Williams presents"[28] and their first project will be VH1 adaptation of a Star Jones novel.[27]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Television

Books[edit]

Williams has published several books, including:

Non-fiction[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Internet[edit]

In 2009, BlogTV announced that Williams would be a partner with the virtual web show hosting website that was scheduled to launch in mid-2010 which would feature live streaming web-cam sessions with celebrity guests.[34]

Adorn by Wendy Williams[edit]

Williams sells a line of jewelry products on the home shopping network, QVC, called "Adorn by Wendy Williams".[35]

Williams and her husband, Kevin Hunter, commissioned the Chinese-based manufacturing firm, Max Harvest International Holdings, to make 12,140 pairs of shoes bearing the logo of her brand, Adorn.[36] The owners of Max Harvest International Holdings were said to have gone into hiding after the owner of the shoe factory who made the shoes kidnapped one of their managers and held the man prisoner for two weeks before releasing him, and Williams' failure to pay was cited the reason, reported by the New York Daily News.[37] The manager and his wife retained lawyer Staci Riordan of Los Angeles.[38] Their representative says they've been in negotiations for several months in order to reach a settlement.[36] Williams declined to comment on the matter.[38]

Endorsements[edit]

Williams has been a spokesperson for Georges Veselle champagne.[citation needed]

She posed for PETA's "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur", ad campaign in 2012.[39]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Wendy Williams Show on FOX
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "How New York's Shock Jockette Got Supersized", New York, October 16, 2005, Accessed September 18, 2006
  3. ^ a b c d Lola Ogunnaike (2003-10). Drama Queen. Vibe Media Group. pp. 160–. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Wendy Williams.Biography". biography.com. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ Neglia, Ashley V. "Mixing Media", New Jersey Monthly, June 9, 2008, Accessed July 22, 2008
  6. ^ Williams, Wendy (August 1, 2003). "Wendy's Got the Heat". GoogleBooks. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ "How New York's Shock Jockette Got Supersized". NY Mag. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  8. ^ Drake, Monica (July 13, 2008). "TELEVISION; A Radio Shock Jock Who's Ready for TV". The New York Times. p. 17. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Omarosa: Wendy Williams a 'Fake and a Phony'". Fox News Channel. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ ALESSANDRA STANLEY (July 22, 2008). "Talk Show Is Less Talk, More Alpha-Female Action". New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c "National Radio Hall of Fame: Wendy Williams, Talkshow Host". 
  12. ^ Fenner, Austin (March 25, 2008). "DJ'S HUBBY BEAT HER: AIDE". The New York Post. Retrieved February 12, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Court Papers: DJ Wendy Williams' Husband Beat Her, Propositioned Aide for Sex", Fox News Channel, March 25, 2008, Accessed July 22, 2008
  14. ^ Parham, Marti (July 21, 2008). "Wendy Williams: Unapologetic Radio Host Gets Her Shot At Network TV". Jet. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ "N.Y. radio host Wendy Williams sued for harassment". USA Today. June 12, 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Buzz Briefs: Jay-Z, R. Kelly", CBS News, June 12, 2008
  17. ^ Littleton, Cynthia. "'Wendy Williams' set for July: Talk show goes national this summer", Variety, January 12, 2009
  18. ^ Tanklefsky, David. BET Acquires Cable Run Of Wendy Williams Show, Broadcasting & Cable, June 4, 2009
  19. ^ "Talk Show Wendy Williams to Get Ordained by the Universal Life Church World Headquarters of Carrabelle, Florida". sbwire.com. 
  20. ^ Dancing with the Stars – The Pro Dancers – Season 12, abc.go.com. Accessed March 4, 2011.
  21. ^ Love Triangle Premieres April 18, gsn.com. Accessed March 4, 2011.
  22. ^ Essex, Myeisha (February 6, 2013). "Wendy Williams Launches Reality TV Production Company". Clutch Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ Marechal, AJ (February 5, 2013). "Talkshow maven pacts with manager and Debmar Mercury". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Essex, Myeisha (February 5, 2013). "Wendy Williams Inks First Look Deal with Oxygen". EurWeb. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  25. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/17/wendy-williams-broadway-special-tvgn_n_3612016.html
  26. ^ Wendy Williams Taps Robin Givens For Biopic: "I Know She's Only 90 Lbs {But} Who Do I Look Like?"
  27. ^ a b Manuel-Logan, Ruth (June 30, 2012). "Wendy Williams, Suzanne DePasse Team Up on Multi-Picture Venture". Blast Zone Online. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b Bock, Alex (June 28, 2012). "Wendy Williams Aligns With de Passe Jones Entertainment for Scripted Ventures". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  29. ^ Wendy Williams (September 6, 2005). The Wendy Williams Experience (1 ed.). Dutton Adult. ISBN 0525948376. 
  30. ^ Wendy Williams & Karen Hunter (2003, isbn=0743470214). Wendy's Got the Heat. Atria. 
  31. ^ Wendy Williams & Karen Hunter (June 20, 2006). Drama is Her Middle Name: The Ritz Harper Chronicles 1 (First Edition isbn= 0739470043 ed.). Harlen Moon. 
  32. ^ Wendy Williams & Karen Hunter (February 13, 2007). Is the Bitch Dead, Or What?: The Ritz Harper Chronicles Book 2. Broadway. ISBN 0767924878. 
  33. ^ Wendy Williams & Zondra Hughes (2009). Ritz Harper Goes to Hollywood! (Ritz Harper Chronicles) (BCE edition ed.). Pocket books. ISBN 1615231307. 
  34. ^ Wendy Williams on BlogTV
  35. ^ "Adorn by Wendy Williams" on QVC.com
  36. ^ a b "Wendy Williams Runs Out on a $419K China Shoe Bill!". EurWeb. November 29, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  37. ^ Ross, Barbara (November 26, 2012). "Wendy Williams' failure to pay $400K reason for kidnapping". NY Daily News. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  38. ^ a b Rogers, Abby (November 28, 2012). "Wendy Williams' Massive Shoe Bill Allegedly Led to a Kidnapping in China". Business Insider. Retrieved February 11, 2013. [dead link]
  39. ^ "Media 'Queen' Wendy Williams Strips for PETA," New York Post, November 15, 2012.
  40. ^ "Wendy Williams-The Queen of All Media". AALBC.com. Retrieved April 12, 2011. 
  41. ^ "NATIONAL RADIO HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 2009". August 5, 2009. 

External links[edit]