Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Modern Family: Who Did Vanessa Williams Play On The Show?

"Modern Family" has a ton of main characters to focus on, which isn't too surprising, seeing as the program documents the happenings within three separate households. However, despite having its plate full in terms of main characters, the longtime ABC hit manages to squeeze in some notable guest stars from time to time. Nathan Lane, Adam DeVine, Kevin Hart, and more pop up on the show to give a given episode a little extra oomph. Even actor, singer, and dancer Vanessa Williams landed a one-off spot on the beloved sitcom.

Williams makes her one and only "Modern Family" appearance in the episode titled "The Long Goodbye" from Season 9. She plays a wealthy woman named Rhonda, who seemingly befriends Haley Dunphy (Sarah Hyland) while she works at a country club. Haley begins to think that Rhonda is her one-way ticket to evading low-pay, tedious labor for the rest of her life, but this turns out to not be the case at all. After hinting that she could score Haley a gig far better than the one she has at the country club, she goes back on her word and leaves the eldest Dunphy sibling in the dust.

Throughout the episode, Williams plays the posh, somewhat arrogant Rhonda to perfection, likely calling on her experience as a similar character on another iconic ABC television series to do so.

Rhonda bears some similarities to Williams' Desperate Housewives character

Before making her "Modern Family" debut via "The Long Goodbye," Vanessa Williams amassed a solid body of TV work that dates back to the 1970s. She appeared on the likes of "The Love Boat," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and "Ally McBeal," to name a mere few, though most of these were little more than one-time guest spots. Focusing on her more long-term endeavors, one of her most prominent is "Desperate Housewives," where she takes on the role of Renee Perry throughout Season 7 and Season 8.

Renee first appears in the Season 7 premiere, "Remember Paul?", and she instantly makes a splash. As a rich, passive-aggressive woman who's always doing what she can to be the life of the party, she naturally rubs those around her the wrong way. She eventually somewhat grows beyond her vain and self-centered qualities as time goes on, but they remain elements of her character throughout her entire tenure. Bearing this in mind, it's not hard to draw comparisons between Renee and Rhonda based on their selfish attitudes and well-to-do lifestyles.

Though her work on "Modern Family" isn't nearly as well-known as her "Desperate Housewives" efforts, Vanessa Williams — seemingly channeling Renee Perry once again — proved a solid one-off addition to the sitcom's cast.