Victoria Rowell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Victoria Rowell
De'Von Brown with Actress Victoria Rowell.jpg
Born Victoria Lynn Rowell
(1959-05-10) May 10, 1959 (age 55)
Portland, Maine, U.S.
Occupation Actress, producer, writer
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Tom Fahey (1989-1990)
Radcliffe Bailey (2009-present)

Victoria Lynn Rowell (born May 10, 1959)[1] is an American actress, writer, producer and dancer.

Rowell began her career as ballet dancer and model, before making acting debut in the 1987 comedy film, Leonard Part 6. In 1990, Rowell joined the cast of the CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless as Drucilla Winters, her signature and longest role on television, for which she was nominated for a three Daytime Emmy Awards. She left from show in 2007. Rowell also well known for her role as Dr. Amanda Bentley in the CBS medical crime drama Diagnosis: Murder (1993-2001). From 1993 to 2000, she appeared on both series simultaneously.

Rowell had number of roles in feature films. She starred as Eddie Murphy's character love interest in the 1992 comedy The Distinguished Gentleman, and later had roles in films Dumb and Dumber (1994), Barb Wire (1996), and Eve's Bayou (1997). Rowell is eleven times NAACP Image Awards winner.

Early life[edit]

Rowell was born in Portland, Maine, on May 10, 1959. Her biological mother, Dorothy Rowell, was of English descent and a Mayflower descendant, and her birth father, whose surname was Wilson, was of African-American descent.[2][3] Rowell knew very little about her father. Dorothy, who suffered from schizophrenia, took a taxi to a hospital to give birth to Rowell, leaving a son and two small daughters unsupervised. When she was 16 days old, Rowell, along with her two sisters, Sheree and Lori, was surrendered to child services.[4]

While living in Maine with foster parents Agatha C. and Robert Armstead,[3] Rowell, then eight, began ballet lessons. She became a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, an African-American Greek-Lettered Sorority. After dancing with the American Ballet Theater II and the Juilliard School of Music Dance Extension program with Antony Tudor, Rowell accepted guest artist teaching posts in New England.[5]

Career[edit]

In the 1980s, Rowell became an in-demand runway and catalog model.[6] Rowell made her film debut in the 1987 comedy film Leonard Part 6 opposite Bill Cosby and later had recurring role on The Cosby Show[6] In 1988 she also had recurring role of Nella Franklin on the CBS daytime soap opera, As the World Turns.

Rowell as Drucilla Barber in 2004

In 1990, Rowell was cast as street urchin-turned-fashion model Drucilla Barber on the CBS daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Rowell became a fan favorite and was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards in 1996, 1997 and 1998. She won 11 NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of Drucilla. Rowell's first run as Drucilla was from 1990 to 1998. She briefly returned in 2000, then returned on a regular basis from 2002 until early 2007. In 2007, Rowell became unhappy with the soap opera behind the scenes, labeling daytime television and The Young and the Restless as racist for having enough African American cast and crew.[7][8] She also argued the directions of her storylines which weren't heard, prompting her to leave. Within the storyline, Drucilla fell off a cliff and was presumed dead as her body was never found. Rowell has openly expressed pleasure in returning,[9][10] and due to the character's strong appeal and popularity, viewers have begged the series to re-hire her. However, CBS has stated that having Drucilla return is not the creative decision they are looking for, which has disappointed fans of the actress.[11] In 2014, Rowell posted a series of tweets criticizing the show for not having enough African-Americans in decision making positions. “Young & Restless on air for 40 years, loyally watched by their absolute competitive-edge audience (blacks) & not one black Exec producer?” - she tweeted. Her tweets coincided with the series 41st anniversary.[12]

From 1992 to 2001, Rowell starred as Dr. Amanda Bentley in the CBS primetime series Diagnosis: Murder, opposite Dick Van Dyke, replacing Cynthia Gibb from the original made for television movie. For much of Rowell's stint on Diagnosis: Murder, she was working on that show and on The Young and the Restless simultaneously. One episode of Diagnosis Murder centered around murder on the set of The Young and the Restless; Rowell was featured as both Amanda and Drucilla in that episode. The series run from 1992 to 2001, producing 178 episodes and two television movies, aired after the series' cancellation. Diagnosis: Murder also has long run in syndication as of 1997.

In 1990s, Rowell co-starred in a number of success feature films. She had the role as Eddie Murphy's character love interest in the 1992 comedy film, The Distinguished Gentleman. In 1994 she played FBI agent Beth Jordan in comedy film Dumb and Dumber. She co-starred opposite Mario Van Peebles in the science fiction crime filmFull Eclipse (1993), and had major role in the box office failure action film Barb Wire (1996) with Pamela Anderson. In 1997 she appeared in the critically acclaimed drama film, Eve's Bayou. In 2000s she appeared in the number of small films, like Motives and A Perfect Fit. In 2006 she so-starred as Samuel L. Jackson's character wife in Home of the Brave. She also had the recurring roles on Single Ladies and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In spring 2009, Rowell signed a six-figure deal with Atria Books for a book about the world of daytime TV. She released her memoirs called The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir in 2008.[13] She later released Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva: A Novel (2010)[14] The Young and the Ruthless: Back in the Bubbles (2013).[15]

Personal life[edit]

Rowell (left) with Maj. Gen. Nadja West in Washington, DC in 2013

Rowell's first marriage was to Tom Fahey in 1989. They had a daughter, Maya, and divorced the following year. Rowell had a long-term relationship with musician Wynton Marsalis; and they had a son, Jasper (Jasper played Rowell's son CJ on Diagnosis: Murder starting with season 3).[16] In May 2008, Rowell announced her engagement to Radcliffe Bailey, an Atlanta artist, at her annual High Tea at Noon fundraiser. Victoria and Radcliffe married on June 27, 2009, in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Rowell was raised Protestant and later converted to the Catholic Church.[17]

Work with foster children[edit]

In 1990, Rowell founded the "Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan",[18] which gives emotional support and financial aid to foster children, especially to those who aspire to become actors and dancers - the road Rowell took. In 2004, she was a special guest on the talk show Dr. Phil, in which she gave an emancipated foster child a chance at a job with Sony, dental care, and a scholarship from her foundation.

In May 2006, Rowell was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Southern Maine in recognition of her work for the benefit of foster children. In 2007, Rowell published a memoir of her life that focused on her time in foster care. Entitled The Women Who Raised Me, Rowell discusses all of the foster mothers who cared for her and for her sisters. She also pays tribute to the women in a documentary film, The Mentor, that she participated in.[4] Rowell says that she began writing the book when Y&R turned down her offer to write for the show. She began a national book tour in April 2007.[19]

In March 2008, Victoria was the first recipient of the Gift of Adoption Celebration of Adoption Award, an award given to individuals or groups who are helping to unite children with forever families.

In March 2012, Storey Publishing released a book titled Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games, which Rowell co-authored with well-known environmental activist Paul Tukey.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Leonard Part 6 Joan Parker
1992 The Distinguished Gentleman Celia Kirby
1993 Full Eclipse Anna Dire Television film
1994 Secret Sins of the Father Yolanda Seeley Television film
1994 Dumb and Dumber Beth "Athletic Beauty" Jordan
1995 One Red Rose Rose
1996 Barb Wire Cora D
1996 Dr. Hugo Stevie Hobbs Short film
1997 Eve's Bayou Stevie Hobbs
1998 Secrets Short film
1999 Fraternity Boys
1999 A Wake in Providence Alissa
2001 Feast of All Saints Josette Metoyer
2002 A Town Without Pity Dr. Amanda Bentley Television film
2003 Without Warning Dr. Amanda Bentley Television film
2003 Black Listed Patricia Chambers
2004 Motives Detective Pierce
2005 A Perfect Fit Sheila
2005 Midnight Clear Angela Pressmore Short film
2006 Home of the Brave Penelope Marsh
2007 Polly and Marie Rebecca McCaw
2008 Of Boys and Men Aunt Janay
2011 Death in the Family Vicky Turner Also producer
2013 Marry Me for Christmas Stephanie Television film
2014 I Love You Barbara Mutch Also producer and writer
2014 The Fright Night Files Alexa Television film
2015 What Love Will Make You Do Sheila Boston Also producer
2016 Soul Ties Maybelle

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 As the World Turns Nella Franklin Recurring role
1989–1990 The Cosby Show Paula Episodes: "Cliff's Wet Adventure" and "Theo's Dirty Laundry"
1990 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Mimi Mumford Episode: "Clubba Hubba"
1991–1993 Hermans Head Susan Bracken Episodes: "Bracken's Daughter" and "I Wanna Go Home"
1995 Deadly Games Courtney Lake Episode: "Divorce Lawyer"
1993–2001 Diagnosis: Murder Amanda Bentley-Livingston Series regular, 178 episodes
2001 Family Law Ms. Wilkes Episode: "Moving On"
2006 Noah's Arc Vonda Episodes: "Desperado" and "Give It Up"
2007 All of Us Deborah Cooper Episode: "He's Got Game"
1990–2000, 2002-2007 The Young and the Restless Drucilla Winters Series regular
2010 Ghost Whisperer Adrienne Episode: "Living Nightmare"
2012 Let's Stay Together Anita Episode: "Creepers"
2012 Single Ladies Veronica Recurring role, 3 episodes
2013-2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Judge Delilah Hawkins Episodes: "Criminal Hatred" and "Comic Perversion"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1992 8th Soap Opera Digest Awards Outstanding Female Newcomer: Daytime The Young and the Restless Nominated
1994 10th Soap Opera Digest Awards Outstanding Scene Stealer The Young and the Restless Won
1994 26th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
1995 11th Soap Opera Digest Awards Hottest Female Star The Young and the Restless Nominated
1996 27th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
1996 23rd Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1997 24th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1997 28th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
1998 25th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated
1998 29th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
1999 30th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series Diagnosis Murder Nominated
1999 30th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
2001 31st NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
2003 34th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
2003 18th Soap Opera Digest Awards Favorite Return The Young and the Restless Nominated
2004 35th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
2005 19th Soap Opera Digest Awards Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role The Young and the Restless Nominated
2005 36th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won
2006 37th NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Victoria Rowell". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Her mother was white and her father was black.
  3. ^ a b Victoria Rowell Biography (1960?-) Archived May 2, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Role Models, Boston Globe, May 5, 2007 Archived October 10, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ DiagnosisMurder.co.uk | Victoria Rowell Archived March 17, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "Victoria Rowell". TV Guide. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Victoria Rowell: Why I left the Young and the Restless". Black Press Magazine. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  8. ^ ll_victoria.php "About Y&R: About the Actors - Victoria Rowell". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Victoria Rowell Not Ruling Out Return to The Young and the Restless". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Victoria Rowell claims three actors are preventing her return to Y&R". Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Ex-Young and Restless Diva Victoria Rowell Says Les Moonves and Steve Kent Don't Want Dru Back! - Daytime Confidential". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Victoria Rowell Slams 'Young and the Restless' Over Lack of Diversity: Not One Black Exec Producer - TheWrap". TheWrap. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.amazon.com/The-Women-Who-Raised-Me/dp/B002ECEFEY
  14. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Soap-Opera-Diva-Novel/dp/B005B1LXAY/ref=la_B001ILKEEM_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415132385&sr=1-2
  15. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Young-Ruthless-Back-Bubbles/dp/1451643837/ref=la_B001ILKEEM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415132385&sr=1-3
  16. ^ Victoria Rowell with her two children. Archived March 9, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ CELEBRATING FOSTER CHILDREN: High-achievers credit nurturing foster parents
  18. ^ Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan Archived February 4, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Y&R's Rowell: The Real Reason I Quit". Soap Opera Weekly. February 27, 2007. pp. 2–3. 

External links[edit]