A STAR IS PORN!; Bad nudes turns to good for saucy star.
No. 1 at the box office, a high-flyer on Broadway - and now she's even taking Hollywood by storm with big hit movie Soul Food.
Not bad for someone whose career looked doomed before it even started.
For a scandal over nude photos forced her to hand over her Miss America crown.
But she ignored the sniping, and transformed herself into one of the best-selling singers on the planet.
She notched up four million sales, nine Grammy nominations and an Oscar for the theme song for Disney's Pocahontas.
BUT THAT WASN'T ENOUGH.
She stormed Broadway in Kiss of the Spiderwoman, delighting her growing army of fans and staying in the lead for nine months.
Next she announced that she wanted to be a movie star. Those who dismissed her chances should have known better.
Vanessa, 34, got her big break in Eraser, playing a witness in a defence scam who's protected by Arnie Schwarzenegger against a bunch of deadly villains.
Her star-studded showing soon had movie moguls beating a path to her door. Next stop was the Hoodlum, where her lovely screen appeal shot up even more.
But it was Soul Food that's had the critics licking their lips.
She plays one of three sisters in a tight-knit black family, who gather weekly at their mums' to eat and put the world to rights.
The film's soundtrack has also topped the music charts - competing with her new album Next.
She's achieved all the stardom going through a painful divorce.
And New Yorker Vanessa still squeezes in her duties as a full-time mum- of-three to Melanie, 10, Jillian, eight, and Devin, four.
She tried to overlook her husband's roving eye, but says: "It's one thing to forgive once, but when a pattern of behaviour is dangerous for my health, embarrassing and humiliating for me and my family, it's intolerable."
Few know more about humiliation. After she shot to fame as the first black Miss America in 1983, it all went sour after 11 months.
She posed for an old friend a year earlier - explicit shots of her and another woman - and the snaps were published in Penthouse. Vanessa was forced to quit in disgrace. And she says it was like a death in the family.
She says: "Unless I kill somebody or there's some other major thing in my life, which I don't think will happen, I'll never have to go through heat like that ."
But she toughed it out, recording the albums, The Right Stuff, Comfort Zone and The Sweetest Days, and enjoying her heady Broadway success in 1994.
Vanessa says: "When I became famous, nobody thought I was talented.
"At auditions they thought I was a scandalised beauty queen who wanted to act all of a sudden."
But she broke free from her past and vows nothing will stop her from trying to become even bigger.
And she's getting there. She's also made a TV mini-series, Odyssey, and is starring in Shut Up And Dance, a pounds 24 million dancehall drama due to hit the big screens on Valentine's Day.
Yet Vanessa still ISN'T satisfied. "It's a great time in my life. I haven't arrived, but I'm getting there - finally."
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|Author:||HAYES, From DAVID|
|Publication:||Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Nov 2, 1997|
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