The roller coaster career of actress and singer Vanessa L. Williams provides an excellent example of fortitude, resilience, and real talent winning out over adversity. In 1983, the dark-skinned, raven-haired, green-eyed Williams made history when she was the first black woman to be chosen Miss America. For a time she was the country's darling as she toured about, attending to her royal duties, but when Penthouse magazine published graphic nude photographs that she had posed for years before, Williams lost her crown, two million dollars in product endorsements, and the lead in a Broadway show; suddenly, America's sweetheart found herself the subject of moral outrage, criticisms, and sniggering jokes. But though her career and reputation were in shambles, Williams kept her dignity and faith, and continued on, first making her name as a successful R&B singer (one of her songs went gold, "Save the Best for Last") and then receiving considerable critical acclaim on Broadway for starring in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Williams made her feature film debut in The Pick-Up Artist (1987) and went on to forge a steady career as an actress. Notable subsequent film roles include one co-starring with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser (1996) and the part of a career-obsessed wife in Soul Food (1997).