×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vanessa Williams Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce presented Vanessa Williams with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City, Calif.

The event, co-sponsored by Variety and the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building, honored Williams and unveiled her portrait to mark the occasion. Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, explained that the luncheon was created in 2000 to “recognize celebrities who’ve made a difference in Hollywood.” Steve Allen, the original host of “The Tonight Show,” was the first to be honored at the event.

“I ended up doing musical theater in high school and some theater in college and Broadway was the tangible goal for me,” Williams said as she accepted her award. “Hollywood was never on the radar because it was one of those things that was unattainable.”

She said how she went on to exceed her expectations by singing at the Oscars in 1996 and getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and much more throughout her career spanning over 30 years. Williams said, “Even though I feel like an outsider because this is all a dream, the fact that I can look at my life and see my achievements and know that Hollywood was such an integral part of what made me me and what’s helped my career, I thank you.”

Prior to Williams’s acceptance speech, Steven Gaydos, vice president and executive editor at Variety, introduced a video highlighting the success Williams has had in film, television, music, and theater. The montage included scenes from “The Pick-Up Artist,” “Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives,” and her singing the Oscar-winning song “Colors of the Wind” and from Disney’s “Pocahontas.”

In addition to giving Williams her award and portrait, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce also ushered in its new 2018-2019 chair, Donelle Dadigan, and swore in new directors and officers.

More Scene

  • Armie Hammer and Felicity Jones'On the

    Why Armie Hammer Cooked for the Cast of 'On the Basis of Sex'

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to her hometown on Sunday for the New York premiere of “On the Basis of Sex,” a biopic starring Felicity Jones tells the Supreme Court justice’s origin story. The 85-year-old Brooklynite received a standing ovation when she entered the Walter Reade Theater — a testament to the Notorious RBG’s rock-star status. Ginsburg [...]

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, Magic [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content