Wendy Williams Hunter (née Wendy Joan Williams; born July 18, 1964) is an American journalist and broadcaster known as the “Queen of the media.” She hosted the nationally syndicated talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, from 2008 to 2022.
Prior to television, Williams was a radio DJ and host in New York, where she swiftly gained notoriety. She was the focus of the 2006 VH1 reality television series The Wendy Williams Experience, which documented the events surrounding her radio show.
Williams’s other pursuits include writing multiple books, appearing in numerous films and television series, traveling with her comedy show,  , and creating her own product lines, which include a fashion brand, a jewelry collection, and a wig line.
In 2009 marked Williams’ induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. On her 50th birthday, the Asbury Park, New Jersey, city council renamed the street she grew up on to Wendy Williams Way.
|Date Of Birth:||18 July, 1964|
|Profession||Entrepreneur/TV Radio Presenter|
Early Life And Education
On July 18, 1964, Wendy Joan Williams was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. She is the second of Shirley (née Skinner) and Thomas Dwayne Williams’ three children.
Shirley taught special education, and Thomas was a teacher and school principal. Thomas was the first Black school administrator in Red Bank, New Jersey, in 1969.
The couple had a combined three master’s degrees. The family relocated to the primarily white, upper middle class suburb of Wayside in Ocean Township, New Jersey, after the Asbury Park racial riots of 1970.
They went to a Baptist church and spent every summer in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, a popular vacation spot for African Americans. Doctors advised Williams to take medication as a child to manage her hyperactivity.
She had a negative view of herself because of the diet her parents forced her to follow after she put on weight in elementary school. Williams served as a volunteer candy striper while a Girl Scout Brownie. Her parents anticipated that she would work as a nurse.
In 1982, Williams graduated from Ocean Township High School as one of four Black students, ranking 360th out of 362 graduates. Her academic record contrasted with that of her older sister Wanda, who at the age of obtained a university scholarship.
As she was able to employ “White” speech as opposed to African-American Vernacular English, Williams’ White peers saw her as one of them and used the word nigger freely around her. She did not get along with the other Black pupils and claimed that the only thing they had in common was smoking marijuana.
According to Williams, she did not listen to hip hop music because rock bands such as AC/DC were more popular among her classmates. She served as the public address announcer for her younger brother Thomas’ Little League baseball games.
Williams attended Northeastern University in Boston in order to become a news anchor. Her parents disapproved of her decision to transition from television communications to radio less than a month after starting since she could improve her profession more quickly.
Williams graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and a minor in journalism to placate her parents.
She was a disc jockey for the campus radio station WRBB, where her first celebrity interviewee was rapper LL Cool J. Williams, as an intern for Matt Siegel at the contemporary hit radio station WXKS-FM, recapped the soap operas Dallas and Dynasty on air.
Two weeks after graduating from Northeastern, Williams began her career as a disc jockey for the small, calypso and reggae-oriented WVIS in Frederiksted, U.S.
Virgin Islands. However, she disliked the position because she did not learn as much about radio from her coworkers as she had anticipated.
Williams began sending her résumé and sample tapes to other radio stations because of her poor wages and isolation from her family. She left WVIS after eight months and landed a job at WOL in Washington, D.C., but found the station’s oldies format incompatible with her personality.
Williams continued to send cassettes to other stations, and on November 1, 1987, he began filling in on the weekends at WQHT in New York City. She quit WOL after the urban contemporary radio station hired her full-time to work nocturnal shifts.
After two years at WQHT, Williams was let go and briefly worked overnight shifts at WPLJ before being hired by WRKS. After WBLS began poaching its personnel in May 1990, WRKS granted Williams a non-compete provision and a permanent morning position in May 1990.
As part of the station’s “Wake-Up Club,” she joined Jeff Foxx and Spider Webb. During a segment titled “Dish the Dirt,” Williams began to spread rumors about rappers and celebrities. Bill Cosby and Russell Simmons, among others, called the station and unsuccessfully asked that she be fired.
In April 1991, WRKS relocated Williams to the evening drive time slot due to her increasing popularity. She got a Billboard Radio Award for R&B Major Market Radio Air Personality of the Year in 1993, when she was the highest-rated host in her time slot in the New York City market.
Williams co-hosted the syndicated Top 30 USA song countdown program on American Urban Radio Networks in 1993 and USA Music Magazine in 1994.
By the middle of 1994, WRKS’s ratings had declined due to competition from Emmis Broadcasting’s hip-hop-focused WQHT. In an effort to reverse the trend, on September 26, 1994, WRKS shifted Williams back to mornings, where she hosted “Wendy & Company.”
However, less than three months later, Emmis purchased WRKS and sent Williams to WQHT, where she began hosting the evening drive time slot on December 12, 1994.
As WRKS was transformed into an urban adult contemporary station catering to older people, it was considered that Williams would more accurately represent WQHT’s younger demographic.
In 1998, she was dismissed from Hot 97
WUSL, a Philadelphia urban station, hired Williams (“Power 99FM”). Kevin Hunter, her husband, became her agent. She was extremely candid on air about her personal life, disclosing her miscarriages, breast augmentation surgery, and prior drug addiction. She contributed to the station’s rise from 14th to second position in the ratings.
Williams during the year 2005
In 2001, Williams returned to New York airwaves when WBLS hired her full-time for a 2–6 p.m. syndication time slot. MC Spice of Boston, a friend of Williams, provided voiceover services for the broadcast, frequently incorporating short rap verses designed expressly for Williams’ show.
According to The New York Times, her show is most effective when its aspects — confessional and snarky — are combined.
In 2008, she was syndicated in a variety of areas, including Redondo Beach, California; Shreveport, Louisiana; Wilmington, Delaware; Toledo, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Emporia, Virginia; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Tyler, Texas; and Alexandria, Louisiana. (Reference needed) In 2009, Williams quit her radio show to concentrate on her television show and spend more time with her family.
Debmar-Mercury offered Williams a six-week trial of her own talk program in 2008. Wendy’s World, a syndicated daytime talk show Williams was set to anchor in the fall of 1997, never aired.
Williams began her daytime talk show The Wendy Williams Show in four cities on July 14, 2008, during the summer of 2008. During the trial run, The New York Times noted that the show introduced the genre of “backtalk show” as a “breakthrough in daytime.”
Fox struck a contract with Debmar-Mercury to air the show nationally on its stations beginning in July 2009, following a successful run. In addition, BET acquired the cable rights to air the program at night.
BET International began broadcasting the show globally in 54 countries in 2010. Williams and Ellen DeGeneres alternate daily as the most popular female host on daytime television, attracting an average of 2.4 million people per day.
Williams and her husband, Kevin Hunter, worked as executive producers for the GSN game show Love Triangle (2011), which Williams hosted.
Williams acted as a judge on the 2011 Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva and as a guest judge on The Face (2013).
As a contestant in the twelfth season of Dancing with the Stars, Williams was teamed with Tony Dovolani; she was eliminated second.
Williams later claimed that the show’s creators presented her as a racially stereotypical angry black woman. Williams appears in Think Like a Man (2012), the film adaptation of Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, and its sequel, Think Like a Man Too (2014).
(2014). It was revealed in 2012 that Williams would form a “production collaboration” with Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones to create films and television programs for multicultural audiences.
These productions will be labeled “Wendy Williams presents,” and their first project will be a Star Jones novel adaptation for VH1.
Wendy Williams Productions will produce unscripted programming, such as reality television and game shows, according to an announcement made in February 2013 by Wendy Williams and her husband and manager, Kevin.
Williams served as the executive producer of Celebrities Undercover (2014).
Aaliyah: The Princess of R & B, a biopic Williams executive produced for Lifetime, debuted on November 15, 2014.
Due to its casting and depiction of Aaliyah’s relationship with R. Kelly, the film sparked controversy and received mostly negative reviews from critics.
Wendy Williams hosted and produced the debut of Death By Gossip with Wendy Williams on the Investigation Discovery channel in September 2015.
Williams was selected as Matron “Mama” Morton in the 2013 production of the Broadway musical Chicago. She began her seven-week term on July 2, 2013 and concluded it on August 11, 2013.
Her preparations for the musical were documented in the Wendy Williams: How You Doin’, Broadway?! docuseries for TV Guide, which was produced by her own production company, Wendy Williams Productions.
Williams in the year 2019
Williams had not missed an episode of her talk show until February 2018, when she took a one-week break; however, on February 21, 2018, she stated that her show would be on vacation for three weeks owing to problems with Graves’ illness and hyperthyroidism.
The Williams-Hunter family said in a January 2019 statement that Williams had been hospitalized owing to complications from Graves’ disease and that her return to the show would be postponed indefinitely as a result.
During her hiatus, guest hosts such as Nick Cannon stood in for Wendy; she returned on March 4, 2019.
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the show suspended live audiences for two tapings in early March 2020; Williams’ staff filled the seats. The show’s production ceased shortly thereafter.
The show reemerged as The Wendy Williams Show @ Home, broadcast via video chat from Williams’ residence, and continued until May 15, when production was again interrupted owing to a Graves’ disease flare-up.
Williams confirmed in July 2020 that her show would return to live studio broadcasting on September 21, 2020.
Williams competed in the fourth season of The Masked Singer as “Lips” in 2020. Due to the weight of the costume, she sat for the majority of the competition.
After her debut appearance, she performed the song “Native New Yorker” by Odyssey and was the first member of Group C to be eliminated and unmasked. Wendy Williams signed a contract with the American cable network Lifetime for a documentary and biopic based on her life titled Wendy Williams: What a Mess! and Wendy Williams: The Movie, respectively.
|The cookout ll||2011|
|Think Like A Man||2012|
|World War Z||2013|
|Think Like A Man Too||2014|
|Mike And Dave Need Wedding Date||2016|
Williams claimed she was raped in college in the 1980s by R & B star Sherrick. After splitting up with her partner in 1991, she underwent an abortion six weeks later.
Williams later wed Bertrand “Bert” Girigorie, her first husband. In her memoirs, she refers to him under a pseudonym and states that they parted after five months and divorced approximately eighteen months later.
Williams met her second husband, Kevin Hunter, in 1994, and they were married on November 30, 1999. Prior to the birth of their son, Kevin Samuel, on August 18, 2000, she experienced many miscarriages.
Williams filed for divorce in April 2019 owing to irreconcilable differences after Hunter fathered a child with his mistress. Despite the fact that the divorce was finalized in January 2020, her legal surname is still Hunter.
Due to her suburban background, Williams considers herself “a multicultural woman who happens to be black.” Although Williams identifies as a Christian, he no longer attends church services. She believes that “God is everywhere” and prays “daily, multiple times per day.”
Williams supports abortion choice. In 2012, she backed Barack Obama for president and advocated an NAACP voter assistance program. That year, Williams participated in PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign, declaring, “We should all attempt to be comfortable in our own skin and let the animals keep theirs.”
She supports the South Carolina State House’s removal of the Confederate battle flag in 2015.
Wellness and aesthetics
Williams has had breast implants since 1994 and has also undergone liposuction and Botox injections.
Williams has been frank about her cocaine dependence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, for which she never sought treatment. Since she fainted on her talk program in October 2017 due to dehydration, she has spoken openly about various health difficulties.
Williams stated in February 2018 that she has Graves’ disease, which causes hyperthyroidism, a condition for which she was diagnosed over two decades earlier. Due to the increased pressure behind her eyes, her eyes occasionally appear prominent.
Williams wears wigs in public due to the thinning of her natural hair caused by her thyroid issue. In December of 2018, she injured her shoulder by accident.
Williams stated in March 2019 that she had been staying in a sober house “for some time” and that she suffers from vertigo.
Later that year, Williams disclosed that she had been diagnosed with lymphedema, a disorder characterized by ankle swelling. In September 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams tested positive for an outbreak infection of the disease.
Wells Fargo, Williams’s bank, blocked her funds and petitioned the New York Supreme Court for a hearing to establish if her health circumstances render her incapable and require a guardian. Her lawyer refutes these claims and asserts that Williams hires “holistic health practitioners.”
Wendy Williams is one of the wealthiest and highest-paid television personalities in the United States, with an estimated net worth of $40 million.