Happy Birthday to Vanessa Bell Calloway who turned 56 today. Calloway has been singing, dancing and acting for close to 30 years on stage, television and the big screen – with no signs of slowing up!
Born Vanessa Bell in Cleveland, Ohio, she received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree from Ohio University where she was a member of the African-American Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Calloway also studied dance with Alvin Ailey, George Faison, and Otis Sallid. Her began her career as a dancer in Michael Bennett’s original Broadway production of Dreamgirls.
Calloway tried her hand behind the camera directing the music video Angel Man for soul singer Rhetta Hughes. She also began her career working in the soaps acting in the long-running soap opera All My Children in 1982. She has appeared in various guest roles in television including Falcon Crest, 1st & Ten, L.A. Law, A Different World, Doctor Doctor, Dream On, Diagnosis: Murder, The Closer. In 1995, she co-starred opposite James Earl Jones and Joe Morton in the short-lived CBS drama Under One Roof. For her role on the series,
Calloway has received six NAACP Image Award nominations for her work on Boston Public and The District. In addition to television and stage work, Calloway has also appeared in several films. She made her film debut in the comedy Coming to America as Eddie Murphy’s subservient bride-to-be. Calloway later appeared in What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993) opposite Angela Bassett, Crimson Tide (1995) starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, and Lakeview Terrace (2008) starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Currently, Calloway has guest starred on the popular Showtime series, Shameless and hosted her own radio talk show, That’s So Very Vanessa, which airs every Sunday at 6:00pm on Blog Talk Radio. With three movies in production, Calloway is still going strong!
Check out some images from Calloway’s film career, below: