Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams Headshot

Host • Broadcaster • Personality • Businesswoman

Birth Name: Wendy Joan Williams

Birth Date: July 18, 1964

Age: 59 years old

Birth Place: Asbury Park, New Jersey

One of the most dynamic figures in radio and television during the late 1990s and early 21st century, Wendy Williams was the host of a wildly successful and syndicated radio program, "The Wendy Williams Experience," before transitioning to television with "The Wendy Williams Show" (syndicated/BET, 2009- ). Williams' stock in trade was celebrity gossip, which she discussed in both formats to the acclaim of fans. Unapologetic and fiercely confident, Williams rose to become one of daytime television's most popular talk show hosts, becoming a valuable contributor to her celebrity-focused medium. Born Wendy Joan Williams on July 18, 1964 in Asbury Park, NJ, she was the second of three children from parents, Thomas and Shirley Williams. She was, from the outset, a big personality, with a body to match; by the time she was in the sixth grade, Williams was 5' 7" and wore size 11 shoes. Scholastics were not her forte, but she excelled at activities outside of the classroom, including music and swimming. In 1982, she followed her older sister, Wanda, to Boston, MA to attend college at Northeastern University. There, she discovered radio, which provided the perfect format for her gift of gab and love for urban music as a DJ for the college's student station, WRBB. Her passion for the medium was so all-encompassing that in her free time, Williams would travel to New York City and spend the day in Penn Station, studying the city's DJs by dialing from station to station on a portable radio. Her ascent into broadcasting was a rocky one, fraught with clashes with management and talent that would become a hallmark of her subsequent career. Her first job in radio was at a station in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, before heading to New York City for a short-lived stint that ended when she refused to stay with the station's formatted script. A job in Philadelphia, PA preceded a run as a fill-in DJ at New York's 98.7 KISS-FM. There, she began to develop her distinct radio persona: a brash, no-holds-barred gossip queen who shared the intimate details of her own life, as well as those of popular members of the African-American entertainment community. The practice made her immensely popular with listeners, who helped Williams to earn the 1993 Billboard Award for Best On-Air Radio Personality in 1993. The following year, Emmis Broadcasting purchased KISS-FM and brought Williams to the controversial 97.1 WHQT, or "Hot 97." There, she took over as the evening DJ, generating high ratings. However, her tenure was short-lived; Williams was fired after a confrontation with the previous nighttime DJ, Angie Martinez, though Williams later suggested that pressure from hip-hop artist and producer Sean "P. Diddy" Combs led to her termination. Declaring that her New York audience had abandoned her, Williams retreated to WUSL in Philadelphia. In 2001, she returned to New York to work for WBLS, the former rival station to KISS-FM. There, she began her ascension to national popularity as the host of "The Wendy Williams Experience," a syndicated afternoon program that focused on her abrasive, probing style of celebrity interview. Dubbing herself "Queen of All Media" in reference to Howard Stern's self-appointed title, she pulled no punches in grilling figures like Whitney Houston, Blu Cantrell and Ciara while dispensing tough love advice to callers and dishing on her own issues, including battles with drugs and her numerous plastic surgeries. Williams soon garnered an audience of 12 million listeners, but not everyone warmed to her style. In 2003, she waged an ugly war of words with Houston over the singer's alleged drug use, and rappers and entertainers like Jay-Z, Will Smith and 50 Cent began singling her out for derision in their songs. Despite media criticism for her subject matter, Williams became a major entertainment figure, with two best-selling autobiographies and a VH1 series, "The Wendy Williams Experience" (2006-07) among her growing list of accomplishments. In 2008, her daytime talk show, "The Wendy Williams Show," was launched as a sneak preview in six major national markets. The response to the show, which mixed her own outsized personality with celebrity guests, audience advice and gossip, was overwhelmingly positive, prompting Fox and later BET to pick up the show for broadcasting. The popularity of her TV show spurred Williams to announce her retirement from radio to focus on the talk show. Shortly thereafter, she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. As with her radio program, Williams' TV show was not for all viewers. Her gossip could be outrageous and invasive, and her own personality - which included frank discussion of her sex life, past proclivities and issues - could be equally off-putting and attractive. Her style drew particularly pungent fire from Joel McHale, host of "The Soup" (E!, 2004- ), who frequently featured her more eyebrow-raising statements on his program. The coverage later inspired Williams to strike up a good-natured rivalry/friendship with McHale and his show. In 2011, Williams announced that she would participate as a contestant on the 12th season of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ). Her talk show went on hiatus during that period to allow her to compete for the reality show's mirrored ball trophy, though she was the second celebrity eliminated that season. Aside from co-starring roles in the comedy-drama "Think Like A Man" (2012) and its sequel "Think Like A Man Too" (2014), Williams settled into her role as a morning TV star, continuing her daytime talk show and making brief cameos as herself in horror film "World War Z" (2013) and comedy "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (2016).

Credits

Where Is Wendy Williams?Stream

Executive Producer
Movie
2024

Wendy Williams: What a Mess! (Enhanced Edition)

Executive Producer
Show
2021

Wendy Williams: What a Mess! (Enhanced Edition)

Host
Show
2021

Wendy Williams: What a Mess!Stream

Executive Producer
Movie
2021

Wendy Williams: What a Mess!Stream

Self
Movie
2021

Wendy Williams: The MovieStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2021

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

Fashions by Wendy Williams

Guest
Show
2018

Fashion Finds

Guest
Show
2018

Wendy Williams Favorite Gifts

Guest
Show
2017

Michel'le: Still Standing

Host
Show
2017

Sister Circle

Guest
Talk
2017

The Trumpet Awards

Guest
Show
2017

NightcapStream

Guest Star
Series
2016

Wendy Williams Shoe Closet

Guest
Show
2016

Wendy's Style Squad: Emmys

Host
Show
2016

Page Six TV

Guest
News
2016

#20YrsLtr: Doe or Die

Self
Show
2016

Celebrity PageStream

Guest
News
2016

Wendy Williams Fashions

Guest
Show
2016

Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade

Voice
Condor Mom
Show
2016

Wendy Williams Style Squad Special

Host
Show
2016

Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade

Voice
Condor Mum
Movie
2016

Pitbull's New Year's Revolution

Host
Show
2015

The Daily Show with Trevor NoahStream

Guest
Talk
2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

Guest
Talk
2015

Death by Gossip With Wendy Williams

Host
Show
2015

Wendy Williams Fashions Celebration

Guest
Show
2015

Odd Mom OutStream

Guest Star
Herself
Series
2015

Weekends With Wendy Williams Fashions

Guest
Show
2015

The Nightly Show With Larry WilmoreStream

Guest
Talk
2015
100%

2014 Soul Train Awards

Host
Show
2014

The Meredith Vieira Show

Guest
Talk
2014

Last Week Tonight With John OliverStream

Guest
Talk
2014

Celebrities Undercover

Executive Producer
Show
2014

Celebrities Undercover

Self
Show
2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

Guest
Talk
2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

Guest
Talk
2014

Braxton Family Values Gold Medal Moments

Narrator
Show
2014

15th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

Host
Show
2014

Think Like a Man TooStream

Actor
Gail
Movie
2014
24%

The Santa Con

Actor
Pastor Ruth
Movie
2014

Aaliyah: Princess of R & B

Executive Producer
Movie
2014

2013 Soul Train Awards Red Carpet

Host
Show
2013

Belle's

Guest Star
Show
2013

The NeighborsStream

Guest Star
Series
2012
31%

Katie

Guest
Talk
2012

Anderson Live

Guest
Show
2012

Larry King NowStream

Guest
Talk
2012

Braxton Family Reunion: Season 2

Host
Show
2012

Project Runway All Stars

Guest
Show
2012

Think Like a ManStream

Actor
Gail
Movie
2012
54%

The Chew

Guest
Talk
2011

Dish Nation

Guest
Talk
2011

Braxton Family Reunion

Host
Show
2011

Dr. Steve

Guest
Show
2011

Braxton Family ValuesStream

Host
Reality
2011

Love Triangle

Host
Show
2011

The Cookout 2

Self
Movie
2011

ConanStream

Guest
Talk
2010

The A-List: New York

Host
Show
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

The Huckabee Show

Guest
Show
2010

Lopez Tonight

Guest
Show
2009

The Wanda Sykes Show

Guest
Talk
2009

The Joy Behar Show

Guest
Show
2009

The Dr. Oz Show

Guest
Talk
2009

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest
Talk
2009

Kiss and Tail: The Hollywood Jump-Off

Narrator
Show
2009

Drop Dead DivaStream

Guest Star
Judge Mary Rudd
Series
2009
78%

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Guest
Talk
2009

The Doctors

Guest
Talk
2008

The Wendy Williams Show

Executive Producer
Talk
2008

The Wendy Williams Show

Host
Host
Talk
2008

HSN Today

Guest
Show
2008

The Morning Show With Mike & Juliet

Guest
Show
2007

30 RockStream

Guest Star
Wendy Williams
Series
2006
78%

Wild 'N OutStream

Actor
Game Show
2005

Dancing With the StarsStream

Contestant
Reality
2005

Hell's KitchenStream

Guest
Reality
2005

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Guest
Talk
2005

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
Talk
2003

Tom Dowd & the Language of Music

Co-Producer
Movie
2003

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Wendy Williams
Series
1999
78%

MauryStream

Guest
Talk
1998

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

Access HollywoodStream

Guest
News
1996

New York UndercoverStream

Guest Star
Series
1994

Extra

Guest
News
1994

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

Entertainment Tonight

Guest
News
1981

CBS News Sunday Morning

Guest
News
1979

Butterflies

Actor
Show
1978

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

One Life to LiveStream

Guest Star
Soap
1968

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutWendy Williams

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Wendy Williams Battling ‘Serious’ Health Issues: Show Will Return Without Her

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Wendy Williams on Her Lifetime Biopic Viewing Plans & Finding the Perfect Casting Fit

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Wendy Williams on Staying Real With Her Audience Over 11 Seasons

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Wendy Williams Gets Emotional On-Air, Reveals She’s Living in a Sober House (VIDEO)

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Wendy Williams Addresses Rumors in Emotional Return to TV — Plus, Fans React

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Wendy Williams Finally Sets Talk Show Return After Two-Month Hiatus

The Wendy Williams Show

WATCH: Wendy Williams Announces Graves’ Disease Diagnosis, Hiatus From Show

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Wendy Williams Cries While Addressing Fainting Incident: ‘I Like to Be on This Side of Hot Topics, Not That Side’

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