Vanessa Williams (Soul Food) has officially joined the day time soap, Days of Our Lives.  Williams’ will portray Valerie Grant, a character portrayed by Tina Andrews from 1975-77, and Diane Sommerfield from 1981-82. In the 1970’s the character was one half of the soap’s first interracial couple, but the two were forced to split up due to real-life racism during the time. Valerie is now a well-respected cardiologist, who returns to Salem to attend to her old friend, and old flame, Abe Carver (James Reynolds).

Williams’ has had an extensive acting career over the past two decades.  Most recently, she had a recurring role on CW’s The Flash, a lead role on TV One’s The Secret She Kept, as well as a recurring guest arc in the upcoming Freeform series Famous in Love starring Bella Thorne.

Williams will first appear in the October 25 episode of Days of Our Lives.

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