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Vanessa Williams has accomplished a lot in her three-decade career. The former Miss America released 8 CD’s, including one that went triple platinum and starred in several feature films and TV shows including hits like “Dangerous Housewives” and “Ugly Betty.” But Williams’ most important role yet may be as a spokesperson for Bayer’s “Handbags and Hearts” campaign.

The campaign encourages women to do something very simple – keep aspirin in their handbags in the event of a heart attack. As heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country it makes sense to be prepared, especially when it involves doing something so easy.

‘This campaign encourages women to put aspirin in their handbags every day to prevent some heart attacks,” Williams told The Tom Joyner Morning Show. “If you have a heart attack or feel the symptoms, you should pop aspirin and obviously call 911, but taking asprin immediately can reduce the risk of death and reduce damage to the heart muscle, which is fantastic. For every person who takes the pledge to carry aspirin in their handbag, Bayer will donate up to $200,000 to Women Heart, which is the national coalition for women with heart disease, to help raise awareness.”

Williams is currently on Broadway doing 8 shows a week with Tony winner Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding, jr. in the latest adaptation of “The Trip to Bountiful.” The play stars Tyson as a woman who wants to return to see her childhood home against the wishes of her son and daughter-in-law played by Gooding and Williams respectively.

“Cicely Tyson is Mother Watts and is just tearing it up every night, hasn’t missed a show yet and is remarkable at 80 plus, which is incredible. The two of us are kind of getting on each other’s nerves when the play starts. It’s one of those things that everybody can relate to. In terms of Jessie Mae and Ludie, they’ve been married for 15 years and have had their mother in the next room their entire marriage. Close quarters and family relations, you know how that goes.”

Williams, now 50, says she owes her youthful appearance and on-stage stamina to exercise.

“Hey I am on that treadmill every day. If I’m not on that treadmill, I am in the gym. I just started doing this heavy bag MMA class. You gotta mix it up and keep it moving, I’m telling ya.”

How to Know If Your’re Having a Heart Attack:

She also attributes her ageless beauty to this must-have list of six products:

A Good Heart: Vanessa Williams Wants Your Heart To Stay Healthy  was originally published on

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