Is Vanessa Williams on Chicago PD?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 30: Vanessa Williams attends The Sheen Center For Thought & Culture on July 30, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 30: Vanessa Williams attends The Sheen Center For Thought & Culture on July 30, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images) /

Chicago PD has a stellar acting ensemble. While there’s been some casting changes over the show’s eight seasons, there’s no doubt that the chemistry between stars, and high caliber acting, are some of its strongest qualities.

That said, there has been some confusion as to the involvement of one star in particular: Vanessa Williams. The entertainer has been a force in Hollywood for over three decades, scoring hit films, songs, and TV shows, but there are some viewers who think that Williams is a recurring presence on Chicago PD. In reality, she has never appeared on an episode.

Because of this head-scratching mix up, we decided to investigate Williams’ ties to Chicago PD, and determine how it originated.

Chicago PD cast 2021

Based on the current Chicago PD roster, it’s likely that Williams is sometimes confused with series star Nicole Ari Parker. Williams is known for her beauty and striking blue eyes, while Parker is best known for her beauty and green eyes.

Both actresses’ rose to prominence in the early1990s, and both have had tremendous success in fields outside of film and television. Williams is perhaps best known for her pop music, and Parker is currently signed to M88 and its sister company, UNCMMN, as a model.

This is not the first time the similarities between Williams and Parker have been mentioned. The stars appeared on BET’s Celebrity Doppelgangers list in 2016, with the site pointing out that both of them have African American and Native American ancestry. That being said, Parker told Dallas Black she didn’t know the specifics of her mother’s background, and therefore does not actively claim the Native American part of her heritage.

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Parker has been a force on Chicago PD since joining the series in 2020. Her role as Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller has brought a fresh element to the team, and teased out different aspects of Hank Voight’s personality. The chemistry between Miller and Voight (Jason Beghe) has proven so strong, in fact, that showrunner Rich Eid had to officially clarify that there will be no romantic subplot between them.

Williams, meanwhile, has been a constant on high profile television. She had leading roles in the hit shows Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, and has continued to dazzle with guest spots on varied titles like The Mindy Project, The Good Wife, and Kenan. Williams has yet to step into the One Chicago universe, but she would certainly be a welcome addition if she ever did.

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