Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams

Highest Rated: 90% Tom Dowd & the Language of Music (2003)

Lowest Rated: 23% Think Like a Man Too (2014)

Birthday: Jul 18, 1964

Birthplace: Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA

One of the most dynamic figures in radio and television during the late 1990s and early 21st century, Wendy Williams was the host of a wildly successful and syndicated radio program, "The Wendy Williams Experience," before transitioning to television with "The Wendy Williams Show" (syndicated/BET, 2009- ). Williams' stock in trade was celebrity gossip, which she discussed in both formats to the acclaim of fans. Unapologetic and fiercely confident, Williams rose to become one of daytime television's most popular talk show hosts, becoming a valuable contributor to her celebrity-focused medium. Born Wendy Joan Williams on July 18, 1964 in Asbury Park, NJ, she was the second of three children from parents, Thomas and Shirley Williams. She was, from the outset, a big personality, with a body to match; by the time she was in the sixth grade, Williams was 5' 7" and wore size 11 shoes. Scholastics were not her forte, but she excelled at activities outside of the classroom, including music and swimming. In 1982, she followed her older sister, Wanda, to Boston, MA to attend college at Northeastern University. There, she discovered radio, which provided the perfect format for her gift of gab and love for urban music as a DJ for the college's student station, WRBB. Her passion for the medium was so all-encompassing that in her free time, Williams would travel to New York City and spend the day in Penn Station, studying the city's DJs by dialing from station to station on a portable radio. Her ascent into broadcasting was a rocky one, fraught with clashes with management and talent that would become a hallmark of her subsequent career. Her first job in radio was at a station in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, before heading to New York City for a short-lived stint that ended when she refused to stay with the station's formatted script. A job in Philadelphia, PA preceded a run as a fill-in DJ at New York's 98.7 KISS-FM. There, she began to develop her distinct radio persona: a brash, no-holds-barred gossip queen who shared the intimate details of her own life, as well as those of popular members of the African-American entertainment community. The practice made her immensely popular with listeners, who helped Williams to earn the 1993 Billboard Award for Best On-Air Radio Personality in 1993. The following year, Emmis Broadcasting purchased KISS-FM and brought Williams to the controversial 97.1 WHQT, or "Hot 97." There, she took over as the evening DJ, generating high ratings. However, her tenure was short-lived; Williams was fired after a confrontation with the previous nighttime DJ, Angie Martinez, though Williams later suggested that pressure from hip-hop artist and producer Sean "P. Diddy" Combs led to her termination. Declaring that her New York audience had abandoned her, Williams retreated to WUSL in Philadelphia. In 2001, she returned to New York to work for WBLS, the former rival station to KISS-FM. There, she began her ascension to national popularity as the host of "The Wendy Williams Experience," a syndicated afternoon program that focused on her abrasive, probing style of celebrity interview. Dubbing herself "Queen of All Media" in reference to Howard Stern's self-appointed title, she pulled no punches in grilling figures like Whitney Houston, Blu Cantrell and Ciara while dispensing tough love advice to callers and dishing on her own issues, including battles with drugs and her numerous plastic surgeries. Williams soon garnered an audience of 12 million listeners, but not everyone warmed to her style. In 2003, she waged an ugly war of words with Houston over the singer's alleged drug use, and rappers and entertainers like Jay-Z, Will Smith and 50 Cent began singling her out for derision in their songs. Despite media criticism for her subject matter, Williams became a major entertainment figure, with two best-selling autobiographies and a VH1 series, "The Wendy Williams Experience" (2006-07) among her growing list of accomplishments. In 2008, her daytime talk show, "The Wendy Williams Show," was launched as a sneak preview in six major national markets. The response to the show, which mixed her own outsized personality with celebrity guests, audience advice and gossip, was overwhelmingly positive, prompting Fox and later BET to pick up the show for broadcasting. The popularity of her TV show spurred Williams to announce her retirement from radio to focus on the talk show. Shortly thereafter, she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. As with her radio program, Williams' TV show was not for all viewers. Her gossip could be outrageous and invasive, and her own personality - which included frank discussion of her sex life, past proclivities and issues - could be equally off-putting and attractive. Her style drew particularly pungent fire from Joel McHale, host of "The Soup" (E!, 2004- ), who frequently featured her more eyebrow-raising statements on his program. The coverage later inspired Williams to strike up a good-natured rivalry/friendship with McHale and his show. In 2011, Williams announced that she would participate as a contestant on the 12th season of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ). Her talk show went on hiatus during that period to allow her to compete for the reality show's mirrored ball trophy, though she was the second celebrity eliminated that season. Aside from co-starring roles in the comedy-drama "Think Like A Man" (2012) and its sequel "Think Like A Man Too" (2014), Williams settled into her role as a morning TV star, continuing her daytime talk show and making brief cameos as herself in horror film "World War Z" (2013) and comedy "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (2016).

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Wendy Williams: What a Mess! Unknown (Character) - 2021
No Score Yet 90% Wendy Williams: The Movie Executive Producer - 2021
No Score Yet 41% La era de hielo: El gran robo del huevo Condor Mum (Voice) - 2016
23% 59% Think Like a Man Too Gail (Character) $65.1M 2014
No Score Yet 45% The Santa Con Pastor Ruth (Character) - 2014
54% 79% Think Like a Man Gail (Character) $91.5M 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Cookout 2 Self - 2011
No Score Yet 18% Payback Writer - 2006
90% 92% Tom Dowd & the Language of Music Co-Producer $40.2K 2003
No Score Yet 58% The Black Velvet Gown Grace Gallmington (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet Feet of Clay Fay Kent (Character) - 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet Crash Drive Ann Dixon (Character) - 1959

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Wendy Williams Show Host,
Executive Producer
2009-2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Access Hollywood Guest 2020-2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Entertainment Tonight Guest 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dr. Oz Show Guest 2018-2021 2013-2016 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Access Daily Guest 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Good Morning America Guest 2021 2018 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet The View Guest 2021 2014-2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet Extra Guest 2021 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen Guest 2019-2020 2012-2013
No Score Yet 37% Late Night With Seth Meyers Guest 2016-2020 2014
98% 83% Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Guest 2020
No Score Yet 49% The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Guest 2020 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mamarazzi Guest 2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet Project Runway All Stars Guest 2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dish Nation Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet HSN Today Guest 2018 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Page Six TV Guest 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Chew Guest 2013-2017 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'n Out Unknown (Character) 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sister Circle Guest 2017
No Score Yet 70% Odd Mom Out Herself (Guest Star) 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet Celebrity Page Guest 2017
No Score Yet 35% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Guest 2017
No Score Yet 67% Nightcap Unknown (Guest Star) 2017
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet CBS News Sunday Morning Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Ellen DeGeneres Show Guest 2016 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Conan Guest 2016 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Access Hollywood Live Guest 2016
100% 30% The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Death by Gossip With Wendy Williams Host 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Meredith Vieira Show Guest 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hell's Kitchen Guest 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Today Guest 2013-2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Celebrities Undercover Unknown (Character),
Executive Producer
2014
31% 83% The Neighbors Unknown (Guest Star) 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Larry King Now Guest 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Maury Guest 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Anderson Guest 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Belle's Unknown (Guest Star) 2013
78% 88% Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Wendy Williams (Guest Star) 2013
78% 93% 30 Rock Wendy Williams (Guest Star) 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Katie Guest 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dr. Steve Guest 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Joy Behar Show Guest 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet The A-List: New York Host 2011
72% 56% Drop Dead Diva Judge Mary Rudd (Guest Star) 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dancing With the Stars Contestant 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Guest 2009-2010
50% No Score Yet The Wanda Sykes Show Guest 2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet Lopez Tonight Guest 2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Morning Show With Mike & Juliet Guest 2008
No Score Yet No Score Yet New York Undercover Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet Butterflies Unknown (Character) 1979

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