Vanessa Bell Calloway


Vanessa Bell Calloway is a stage, screen and television actress who’s earned eight NAACP Image Award nominations.

Best known for her roles in the box office smashes “Coming to America”, “What’s Love Got to Do with,” “Biker Boyz,” “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” “Daylight,” “The Inkwell,” “Crimson Tide,” “The Brothers,” “Cheaper By The Dozen,” “The Temptations” and she voiced the lead female role in the animated feature “Bebe’s Kids”.

Calloway is currently recurring on three television shows, John Well’s top-rated hour drama “Shameless” on Showtime, a new show “The Hand Of God” to premier this summer on Amazon and “Murder In The First” on TNT. Vanessa recently starred in TV ONE’s new movie for television “To Hell and Back”  along with Ernie Hudson. She  has also recurred on TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” as Gail Strummer the arch nemesis of Jada Pinkett Smith’s on “Hawthorne RN”, as judge Campbell on NBC’s “Harry’s Law” and “Go On,” which starred Matthew Perry.

Independent features include “The Under Shepherd” with Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy), The “Last Fall” with Lance Gross (Our Family Wedding), and “The Obama Effect” with Charles Dutton (Roc). Independent features soon to be released include “The Preachers Son”, “The Mistress”, “The Bounce Back”, “Medicine Men” and “Scout”.


A character actress in demand, Calloway has guest starred on CBS’s NCIS and Reckless. ABC’s Castle and Detroit 187,Showtime’s Dexter, GMC’s Between Sisters, BET’s Let’s Stay Together, Cold Case, The Closer, CSI, CSI Miami and The District just to name a few. This summer she will guess star on the BET smash hit “Real Husbands Of Hollywood”.

Vanessa’s stage credits are many. She recently received an NAACP Theater Award for Best Actress for her riveting  and highly acclaimed portrayal of Zora Neale Hurston in “Letters From Zora” which sold out performances at The Pasadena Playhouse on two separate engagements. She also received raved reviews when she performed “Letters From Zora” at The Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick NJ. She was apart of the original Broadway cast of the hit musical Dreamgirls, and she starred in Seven Guitars at The August Wilson 20th Century Theater Festival held at The Kennedy Center, and in the Los Angeles production of The Piano Lesson. Vanessa brought the house down in “The Divorce” written by Donald B. Welch, and starred in the LA stage production of “Crowns” at The Ebony Repertory Theater and The Pasadena Playhouse. She has performed in several other Los Angeles theater productions as well. She recently was reunited with Zora playwright Gabrielle Pina for this special production of “Dreaming Of Harlem Under A High Southern Sky,” which also received raved reviews.

10 thoughts on “Vanessa Bell Calloway

  1. Oh I remember her, she guest starred in an episode of The Parkers as Alaina, a woman that Stanley Oglevee (Dorian Wilson) was dating but she ends up dumping him at the end of the episode. I think the episode’s name was “And The Winner Is”

    • Really? I didn’t see that episode. It’s hrad to keep track of all her appearances. She’s been in over 20 tv shows and sitcoms. I’ve seen her in shows like Cold Case,CSI and The District. And films like Biker Boyz. Here’s a video reel of some her stuff:

      • She got her start on “All My Children” if I’m not mistaken, she played a jump off for a white male senator named Travis

      • Really?? I shouldn’t be too surprised. It seems you have to be down with homosexuality or interracial sex to make it in Hollywood. But for the most part I’ve mostly seen Vanessa with black love interests in films.

  2. She is only 59? Wow amazing!
    Coming to America was one my favourite movies! I still remembered when I saw her coming with that long gold dress and that beautiful Afro hair! I was like” Wow!”
    I missed that kind movies full of these beautiful black women with different shades!
    When Eddie Murphy was a normal black man loved black women!
    Now he loves a vampire witch!

    • Vanessa is proof that black don’t crack!lol The woman is an ageless beauty. Yeah Coming to America is a classic! She was so beautiful in that film. Murphy?? Don’t get me started with that

      • I do re-call that Vanessa Bell-Calloway was a serious actress who played many “character” roles and that Vanessa was not noted to be a part of the “In-crowd” or Freakwood(Hollywood) scene. She has always been humble enough to be noted, yet assertive enough to be verbal that black actresses deserve recognition as much as any other actress, regardless of color.

        But, that’s Freakwood for you. If you sell out, you are accepted. If you keep your dignity then you’re looked at as an oddity.

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