‘9-1-1’: Vanessa Estelle Williams Joins Fox Drama Series

Vanessa Estelle Williams
AP Images

EXCLUSIVE: Soul Food alumna Vanessa Estelle Williams has joined the Season 5 cast of Fox drama series 9-1-1 in a heavily recurring role.

Williams will play Claudette Collins, a take-control 9-1-1 Call Center veteran who transfers back to the main Los Angeles station and shows the younger ones, including May Grant (Corinne Massiah), “how it’s done.” Claudette is tough but fair, outspoken, and confident as hell.

Williams’ character will be introduced in Monday night’s episode.

Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear, 9-1-1 explores the high-pressure experiences of police officers, firefighters and dispatchers who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking and heart-stopping situations. These emergency responders must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in their own lives.

Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and Jennifer Love Hewitt star. Additionally, Oliver Stark, Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi, Ryan Guzman, Rockmond Dunbar, Massiah, Marcanthonee Jon Reis and Gavin McHugh are featured in series-regular roles.

Williams’ casting follows the temporary exit of Hewitt, who is on maternity leave. In last Monday’s episode, Hewitt’s Maddie Buckley, who works as a call center operator, is suffering from postpartum depression. In the episode, titled “Desperate Measures,” Maddie left her and Chimney’s newborn daughter at the fire station and left town to get the proper help she needs.

9-1-1 is produced by 20th Television in association with Ryan Murphy Television and Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision. Murphy, Falchuk and Minear are also executive producers and writers on the series. Bradley Buecker is an executive producer and director on the series. Alexis Martin Woodall, Bassett, Krause, John J. Gray, Kristen Reidel and Juan Carlos Coto also serve as executive producers.

Williams is maybe best known for her role as Maxine Chadway in Showtime’s drama series Soul Food which aired from 2000-2004. She starred as Anna Marie in the original Candyman film and will soon be seen reprising her role in the sequel Say My Name, directed by Nia DaCosta, written and produced by Jordan Peele. Williams is repped by A3 Artists Agency.

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