11
Jun
10

Friday Fine & Fabulous @ Fifty: Victoria Rowell

Who doesn’t LOVE this Soap Opera Icon?

The fine and fabulous 51-year-old Victoria Rowell has always been special to me.  Not only because of her obvious good looks but because of her personal life story which is so profoundly deep.

Born in Portland, Maine to her biological English Mother  (a descendant of the Mayflower) and of an African-American father she knows very little about – Victoria’s beginnings were tragic.  Her mother suffered from schizophrenia – and when it was time to give birth to Victoria she took a taxi to the hospital, leaving her son and two small daughters at home unattended.  Victoria was just 16 days old when social services swooped in, removing her and her siblings from the home.

Because of the guidance of foster parents, Rowell started taking ballet lessons which led to a scholarship from the Ford Foundation for her to study at the Cambridge School of Ballet.  Afterwards she received scholarships to study at the American School of Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.  She moved on to Julliard before taking guest teaching posts throughout New England.

Rowell became an in-demand model (both runway and catalog).  Acting lessons proved successful as it helped land her a small role on the Cosby show which helped launch a lucrative career on the soap “The Young and the Restless,” where she starred as Drucilla for an on-and-off period of fifteen years.

The fact that in 2006 she appeared in Logo’s “Noah’s Arc,” as Vonda, a married woman who was having a down-low affair with another woman – only warmed my heart THAT MUCH MORE for Rowell.

But its her work in foster care which really turns me on about Rowell.  She founded the Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan which provides all types of support and assistance to foster children, especially those seeking a career in the arts.  In 2006 she wrote a book about her experience in the foster care system “The Woman that Raised Me,” where she discusses all the women who took care of her and her sisters throughout her life.  And in 2008 she was the first recipient of the  Gift of Adoption Celebration of Adoption Award – an award given to an individual or group who are helping unite children with their forever families.  Not only does that make Rowell a Queen in my book, but she is hella- intellectually sexy to be the face of such very important causes:  Foster care and Adoption.  We need more like her.

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