Suzette Charles

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Suzette Charles
Born Sarah Martine DeGaetano
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ethnicity Italian American and French Carribean
Education Presidential Scholar 1981
Occupation TV host,Singer and Actress
Title Miss America 1984
Board member of
Endowment of the Arts
Spouse(s) married

Suzette Charles (born Sarah Martine DeGaetano) Philadelphia,Pennsylvania]) is an American singer, entertainer and former Miss America.


Born in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, she represented New Jersey home of her parents, in the 1983 Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She won her preliminary talent night and preliminary swimsuit and finished first runner-up to Vanessa Lynn Williams, who became Miss America. When Williams was forced to relinquish the title amid a scandal triggered by Williams' posing for nude photographs published in Penthouse magazine, Charles was crowned in Williams' place and served the remaining seven weeks of Williams' reign, the shortest served by any Miss America.

Charles, who already had many credits in advertising and educational television, has gone on to a career as a singer, entertainer, and television personality. She has acted on the ABC soap opera "Loving", CBS television series Frank's Place and performed on This Morning, a British talk show. She hosted a show on Bravo called "Arts-break" She narrated the motion picture, Beyond The Dream, And appeared at 12 years old in her first motion picture Hair directed by Milo's Forman and has appeared on stage singing with Stevie Wonder, Alan King, Joel Grey ,Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby and Frank Sinatra.

Charles also in 1993, was signed to BMG Music and recorded with top British producers Mike Stock and Pete Waterman, releasing her debut solo single, "Free To Love Again", in August of that year. The single peaked at #11 the UK Singles Chart,[1] Other songs she recorded with Stock and Waterman included "After You're Gone", "Don't Stop (All The Love You Can Give)", "Every Time We Touch", "What The Eye Don't See" and "Just For A Minute". Her producers have included Waterman and David Foster who also signed her on his 143 Label. Barry Manilow and his Management company Stiletto Management represented her on Capitol Records in the late 80's as well.

Her father, Charles DeGaetano, is of Italian descent,[2] and her mother, Suzette (Burroughs) DeGaetano, is French Carribean French born, and was an elementary school teacher.



  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 101. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "ITALIAN AMERICAN WOMEN TRAIL BLAZERS". The National Italian American Foundation. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Vanessa L. Williams
Miss America
Succeeded by
Sharlene Wells
Preceded by
Christina Shone
Miss New Jersey
Succeeded by
Patricia La Terra