The talk show host, Wendy Williams was Thursday honored with a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. She received the 2,677th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Wendy thanked her family, fans and her “loyal, hard-working staff” at “The Wendy Williams Show,” as well as Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein of Debmar-Mercury, which distributes the program. She also named some of her greatest talk-show inspirations, such as Mike Douglas and Dinah Shore.
“If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry, so I’ll keep it light and laughter-y,” Williams said as she took the podium to accept her honor, choking back tears all the same. “Jack and Elvis and Mitch and people have said throughout the day … I’m successful because I’ve done things my way. No, not exactly. It’s because I’m a good listener to advice, and if I don’t like the advice, then I do things my way.
“I did not know I would be a talk-show host, but I liked the chit-chat — I’ve always liked the chit-chat,” she said. “When they told me, ‘It’s going to be a live talk show,’ I was frightened — frightened. Doing it by myself, I had no problem with because most of my career I’ve been by myself. Even in a room full of a thousand people, I always feel like the person who doesn’t belong.”
Williams also said the honor means a lot to her 19-year-old son, Kevin, whom she shares with estranged husband Kevin Hunter.
“My son is here with me … he’s only 19, he’s only known me as Mom with the microphone, and then Mom in the headlines, and Mom saying out-of-order stuff,” she explained. “So, this star means everything. Because now he’s got something to look at and say, ‘My mom did it.'”
The 55-year-old performer started her 30-year-plus career as a radio emcee, working for various stations before landing her own show on New York’s WBLS and establishing her snarky voice through candid interviews with high-profile guests.
Wendy was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009. She has written a New York Times best-selling autobiography and six other books, and has created product lines including a fashion line, a jewelry collection and a wig line.
She later brought her trademark unfiltered, opinionated personality to TV, where she has hosted her hit daytime talk show for 11 years. On her 50th birthday, the council of Asbury Park, New Jersey renamed the street on which she grew up Wendy Williams Way.
Wendy made headlines earlier this year when she opened up to her viewers about her marriage, struggles with addiction and time living in a sober house.
“The elephant in the room is that I’ve been having a very, very tough year, but slowly but surely I’m climbing out of the pit, and this is one of those monumental days that makes me say, ‘If you don’t believe in yourself, who’s going to believe in you?’” she said, tearing up as attendees shouted messages of encouragement. “Sometimes life is a very, very lonely path, and you’ve just got to make some hard decisions.”
Her statement prompted an outpouring of love and support from her fans and contemporaries.