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Vanessa Bell Calloway was born on March 20, 1957, in Cleveland, Ohio. She is an 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. She is known for playing Carol Fisher on Showtime's Shameless.

Early Life and Career

Born in Toledo, Ohio, 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. Vanessa began her acting career as a dancer in Michael Bennett's original Broadway production of Dreamgirls. She also was in the ensemble of the short-lived musical Bring Back Birdie.

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

Vanessa 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, Vanessa 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, Vanessa has also appeared in several films. She made her debut in the comedy Coming to America as Eddie Murphy's subservient bride-to-be. Vanessa later appeared in What's Love Got to Do with It opposite Angela Bassett, Crimson Tide starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, and Lakeview Terrace starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Personal Life

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