Who's That Girl Roll Call

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009





Real name: Denise Matthews
Measurements: 34-24-34

Height: 5'5"
Date of birth: 1/04/1959
Eye color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Ethnicity: African American/German
Job: actress, model


Vanity was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of a German mother and a black father. She is the sister of Canadian model Patricia Matthews. Growing up in Niagara Falls, Matthews came from what she described in interviews as a "broken home". Her parents divorced when she was young, and her mother plunged into alcoholism and depression. Matthews' father was very abusive towards her and her sisters. As a child, along with her sisters and step siblings, she regularly moved back and forth between her father and stepmother, mother and grandparents.

With Diana Ross as an idol, Matthews dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. She first began doing local beauty pageants before moving to Toronto, where she modeled.

At the age of 18, Matthews moved to New York to further her career. She signed with Zoli Model Agency. Since she wasn't very tall, her modeling career was limited to commercials and photoshoots (she didn't do runway work). Matthews became the face for Pearldrops toothpaste, before completing another modeling stint in Japan. In late 1979, Matthews played a bit part in the horror movie Terror Train, which was filmed in Montreal, Canada, and starred Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson, David Copperfield, and Hart Bochner. Matthews went back to Toronto to film the B-movie Tanya's Island. At this time, Matthews billed herself as D.D. Winters.

In 1982, she met Prince at a backstage party at the American Music Awards, where she was working as a model for the night. Prince re-named her Vanity, stating he saw his female reflection when he looked at her. Other versions of the story suggest that Prince coined the name "Vagina" initially, but she refused and renamed herself "Vanity" instead. Later that same year, she became the lead singer of the group Vanity 6. Their trademark was explicit sexuality in their lyrics, performances, and attire (extending even to the group's name, with 6 alluding to the number of breasts in the group). The group's biggest hit, "Nasty Girl", reached #1 on Hot Dance Club Play and was produced by Prince. In late 1982, Vanity 6's album and songs started becoming popular, and they went on the 1999 tour with Prince and The Time until spring 1983.

After one album, Vanity decided to leave her role in Vanity 6 and the proposed film Purple Rain in 1983. Additionally, several songs for Vanity 6's proposed second album were recorded. They were later released in bootleg style. The press reported there were a few reasons why she left Prince's camp: from wanting more money for the film than Prince was willing to pay her, to the break up of their relationship, as well as fighting over her newly acquired crack cocaine habit. She signed a lucrative record deal with Motown Records in 1984 and recorded two albums, Wild Animal and Skin On Skin. Long versions of the singles "Pretty Mess" paired with "Mechanical Emotion" (which featured Morris Day on backing vocals), originally on Wild Animal were released on a 12" by Motown. Her solo albums were moderate successes, with her biggest hit coming from "Under the Influence", off of her 1986 album Skin On Skin. Not long after Vanity's second album was released, she was dropped from Motown before signing with A&M Records. In 1988, under the production of friend/former The Time member Jesse Johnson she recorded songs for the Action Jackson soundtrack. That year Vanity also worked on a third album with famous Janet Jackson producers (and 2 more of Vanity's old peers from her days with Prince/former Time band members) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, as well as Tony LeMans, but the album was either never completed, or never released. This ended Vanity's work as a recording artist.

She also starred in a handful of movies, including The Last Dragon, the gritty 52 Pick-Up and the 1988 action thriller Action Jackson, in which she starred opposite Carl Weathers, and Sharon Stone. In the movie Vanity gets coked out and sleeps with Craig T. Nelson.

Vanity also played a villain torturing Nancy Allen's character in 1990's amnesia-plot TV movie Memories of Murder; the film has appeared on the Lifetime channel. She guest starred in an episode of Miami Vice in its third season; she posed for Playboy in 1985 and in 1988; and, in 1992, she appeared in an episode of Highlander: The Series opposite Adrian Paul.

As Vanity, she was romantically linked with Prince, Adam Ant, Micki Free, André Cymone and Billy Idol during the 1980s. Additionally, Matthews was engaged to Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx in 1987, and joked during interviews that she would then again become Vanity 6 (Sixx). They never married, however. Matthews was a contributor to Sixx's book, released in 2007, called The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, in which Sixx gives detailed accounts of his drug-filled year in 1987, which includes numerous and often bizarre incidents with Vanity, who was heavily addicted to crack cocaine. She was also rumored to have dated Rick James before Prince in the early '80's, singer James DeBarge, as well as Purple Rain director Albert Magnoli, and Michael Bolton during the early '90's.

Like many of Prince's former band mates, including Prince himself, Vanity, later in life made radical changes in her lifestyle mostly due to religion. She gave up her stage name "Vanity" and became a born-again Christian in 1994, the year she almost died from the effects of smoking crack cocaine. According to Matthews, after being rushed to the hospital, doctors said she had 3 days left to live and she was on life support. She told everyone in interviews that Jesus spoke to her during this time and saved her if she promised to give up her Vanity persona.

In 1995, Matthews was quoted "When I came to the Lord Jesus Christ, I threw out about 1,000 tapes of mine—every interview, every tape, every video. Everything." (Totally Awesome 80's by Matthew Rettenmund, page 57). In interviews she gave during this period, Matthews expressed embarrassment and shame about her "sinful" life as Vanity—from her crack cocaine addiction to her lifestyle and wardrobe choices. Soon after, she broke off all ties to Hollywood and her former life.

After needing a kidney transplant in 1997, Matthews decided to fully devote her life and work to evangelism. An evangelist and born-again Christian, she now travels to speak at churches across the United States (and sometimes other countries) and currently resides in Fremont, California.

Due to the detrimental effects on her health stemming from her use of crack cocaine for over a decade during her days as Vanity, Matthews must now perform dialysis at home multiple times a day.

Fun Facts

Prince wanted to call her Vagina instead of Vanity

Also performed as a singer under the name D.D. Matthews

Once engaged to Nikki Sixx


vanity17.jpg vanity14.jpg vanity4.jpg vanity9.jpg vanity11.jpg vanity8.jpg vanity6.jpg vanity10.jpg vanity5.jpg vanity15.jpg vanity13.jpg vanity18.jpg vanity7.jpg vanity2.jpg


Vanity Six - 02 - Wet Dream Vanity 6 - Nastygirl Vanity Six - 05 - If A Girl Answers (Don't Hang Up) Vanity 6: Drive me wild (video clip)

Denise Katrina Matthews (vanity) - far away eyes - Soul train( From Action Jackson Movie (1988)) Action Jackson (1988) Part 6 of 9

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Sharing favorite celebrity girls. Focus on both well known and unknown beauties in movies, television, internet, magazines, music, and porn.