Vanessa Bell Calloway

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Vanessa Bell Calloway
Vanessa Bell Calloway.jpg
Vanessa Bell Calloway, September 2007
Born Vanessa Bell
(1957-03-20) March 20, 1957 (age 58)
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Actress, dancer
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Dr. Anthony Calloway (m. 1988)

Vanessa Bell Calloway (born March 20, 1957) is an American actress who has appeared in a number of films, including Biker Boyz, Love Don't Cost a Thing, What's Love Got to Do with It, Coming to America, and Cheaper by the Dozen.

Early life and career[edit]

Born Vanessa Bell in Toledo, Ohio,[1] 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. Calloway began her career as a dancer in Michael Bennett's original Broadway production of Dreamgirls.[2][3] She also was in the ensemble of the short-lived musical Bring Back Birdie.[4]

It was during this time period that Calloway directed the music video Angel Man for soul singer Rhetta Hughes.

Calloway first began 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 was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. She has also received two Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 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.

Personal life[edit]

She has been married to anesthesiologist Dr. Anthony Calloway since 1988. The couple have two daughters, Ashley and Ally.[1] Ashley is one of the stars of the BET series Baldwin Hills.[5]


Calloway with her daughter Alexandra in December 2010
Year Title Role Notes
1988 Coming to America Imani Izzi
1992 Bébé's Kids Jamika Voice
1993 What's Love Got to Do with It Jackie
1994 Inkwell, TheThe Inkwell Francis Phillips Alternative title: No Ordinary Summer
1995 Crimson Tide Julia Hunter
1996 Daylight Grace Calloway
2001 Brothers, TheThe Brothers Dr. Thelma Woolridge
2002 Dawg Christine Hodges Alternative title: Bad Boy
2003 Biker Boyz Anita
2003 Love Don't Cost a Thing Vivian Johnson
2003 Cheaper by the Dozen Diana Philips
2008 Lakeview Terrace Aunt Dorrie
2009 Killing of Wendy Wendy
2010 Obama Effect, TheThe Obama Effect Molly Thomas
2012 Last Fall, TheThe Last Fall Marie Bishop
Year Title Role Notes
1985 All My Children Yvonne Caldwell 3 episodes
1985 Days of Our Lives Denise Preston Unknown episodes
1986 Colbys, TheThe Colbys Lowell Sherman Episode: "The Trial"
1986 Simon & Simon Julie Episode: "Act Five"
1987 227 Sherry Episode: "The Honeymoon's Over"
1989 In the Heat of the Night Audrey Moore Episode: "Accused"
1989 Polly Nancy Television movie
1990 China Beach Sweet Hula Episode: "One Giant Leap"
1990 Polly: Comin' Home Nancy Dodds Television movie
1991 Father Dowling Mysteries Emily Episode: "The Monkey Business Mystery"
1992 Stompin' at the Savoy Dorothy Television Movie
1993 Sinbad Show, TheThe Sinbad Show Michelle Michaels Episode: "The Par-tay"
1995 Touched by an Angel Debra Willis Episode: "The Driver"
1996 Cherokee Kid, TheThe Cherokee Kid Abby Holsopple Television movie
1997 Sparks Monique Episode: "Too Hot Not to Cool Down"
1998 Prey Grace Episodes: "Revelations"
1998 Moesha Dr. Woods Episode: "Psyche Your Mind"
1998 Temptations, TheThe Temptations Jonnie Mae Matthews Miniseries
1999 Malcolm & Eddie Viva Jensen Episode: "Daddio"
2001 Division, TheThe Division Dana Episode: "The First Hit's Free, Baby"
2002 One on One Michelle McCall Episode: "The Way You Make Me Feel"
2002 Parkers, TheThe Parkers Alaina Episode: "And the Winner Is..."
2003–2004 10-8: Officers on Duty Gina Barnes Episodes: "Blood Sugar Sex Magik"
"Late for School"
"Love Don't Love Nobody"
2004 CSI: Miami Tonya Washington Episode: "Speed Kills"
2004 Strong Medicine Melanie Rhodes Episode: "Foreign Bodies"
2005 Joan of Arcadia Corey Phillips Episode: Shadows and Light"
2006 Closer, TheThe Closer Lynn Talmadge Episode: "Slippin'"
2009 CSI Judge Himmel Episode: "Miscarriage of Justice"
2009 Cold Case Geraldine Watkins (1970) Episode: "Soul"
2010 Dexter Crisis Counselor Episode: "Practically Perfect"
2010 Hawthorne Gail Strummer 10 episodes
2011 Shameless Carol Fisher Recurring
2012 Ringer Royce Weigler Episode "I'm the Good Twin"
2012 Rizzoli & Isles Assistant District Attorney 3 episode
2013 Castle Beryl Wickfield Episode: "Time Will Tell"
2014 NCIS Sally Hammond Episode "Crescent City: Part 1"
2014 Reckless Judge Kress Episode "Parting Shots"

Award nominations[edit]

Award nominations
Year Award Category Title of work Result
1996 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Under One Roof Nominated
1997 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series America's Dream Nominated
1998 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Orleans Nominated
1999 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series Temptations, TheThe Temptations Nominated
2002 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Boston Public Nominated
2004 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series District, TheThe District Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Vanessa Bell Calloway Biography (1957–)". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  2. ^ "Outstanding accomplishments: Ohio University's Greek community honors three alumni". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  3. ^ "Official biography". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  4. ^ IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information
  5. ^ "Bet’s ‘Baldwin Hills’ Returns With Fresh Faces and New Drama". 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2008-08-16. [dead link]

External links[edit]