Amongst the best-selling recording artists of all time and an inspiration to millions of budding artists, Whitney Houston achieved stardom with her eponymous debut album. The success of her later albums consolidated her position and earned her a spot in the Guinness World Records as the most awarded female artist of all time. She struggled with drug abuse and troubled marriage and died of drowning in her hotel's bathtub.
Actress Winona Ryder is known for her roles in successful and critically acclaimed films such as Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted, Little Women and The Age of Innocence. She also starred in the hit show Stranger Things. She has been in the news for her relationships, including that with superstar Johnny Depp and a 2001 arrest for shoplifting.
Winnie Harlow is a Canadian model and spokeswoman on vitiligo. After gaining prominence as one of the contestants of America's Next Top Model in 2014, Harlow went on to model for clothing brands. An inspiration to people living with vitiligo, Winnie Harlow was honored with the Role Model award at the Portuguese GQ Men of The Year event in 2015.
Wynonna Judd is an American country music singer. One of the most decorated female country singers of her generation, Judd was honored with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame for her contribution to music. Also a philanthropist, Judd joined hands with Habitat for Humanity and helped raise more than $90 million to aid victims of natural disasters.
Accomplished American comedian, actress, singer and Broadway star, Whoopi Goldberg is amongst the select few who have won all the four awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Moreover, she is also a political activist, author and talk show host. Her notable work include films Ghost, Sister Act and The Color Purple; Broadway show Thoroughly Modern Millie and talk show The View.
Wendie Malick is an American actress known for playing important roles in several television comedies, such as Dream On, Hot in Cleveland, and Just Shoot Me! Also an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party, Wendie Malick often donates to the party's political organizations, causes, and candidates.
The daughter of popular American actors, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Willow Smith has established herself as a singer-songwriter and rapper. Mentored by rapper Jay-Z, Smith became the youngest artist to be signed to the former's label Roc Nation in 2010. In 2019, she came out as bisexual and expressed her desire to be in a polyamorous relationship.
Sprinter Wilma Rudolph made history by becoming the first American female athlete to win three track and field gold medals in a single Olympic game. As a child, she needed orthopedic shoes to help her walk. The sports icon lost her life to cancer but was immortalized through books and movies.
Wu Zetian was a Chinese empress regnant who ruled the Zhou dynasty from 690 to 705. She is the only female monarch in Chinese history. Before ruling the Zhou dynasty, Wu Zetian had served as the de facto ruler of China from 665 to 690. Under her political and military leadership, the Chinese empire expanded beyond its former territorial limits.
Willa Holland is an American model and actress known for playing important roles in TV series like Gossip Girl and Arrow. She started her career as a model, working for brands like Guess, Gap, and Ralph Lauren. She then went on to establish herself as an actress, winning the Boston International Film Festival Award for her performance in the movie Tiger Eyes.
Wanda Nara is the wife of Argentine footballer Mauro Icardi. She previously came under the spotlight for cheating on her former husband, footballer Maxi Lopez. She has been a performer on revues such as Humor en Custodia and shows such as Tiki Taka - Il calcio è il nostro gioco.
Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental, social, and political activist. She achieved popularity after becoming the first African woman to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. She is credited with founding a non-governmental organization called The Green Belt Movement (GBM), which focuses on women's rights and environmental conservation.
Wanda Sykes is an American actress, writer, and comedian. In 2004, Sykes was named in Entertainment Weekly magazine's list of 25 funniest people in America. Also known for her role as an activist, Sykes has been emceeing fundraisers and hosting events to tackle issues concerning same-sex marriages. She is also an ardent supporter of the Ruth Ellis Center.
Wendy Richard is best remembered as Shirley Brahms from Are You Being Served? and as Pauline Fowler from EastEnders, and won the British Soap Award for Special Achievement for the latter. She died of breast cancer at 65 but documented the final months of her life in a BBC documentary.
Chinese-Australian YouTuber Wengie has earned a phenomenally huge fan base on YouTube with her DIY, beauty, fashion, and prank videos. She has also experimented with music, releasing tracks such as Baby Believe Me. She also manages a channel that is exclusively dedicated to content related to her two cats.
Wendy Crewson is a Canadian actress best known for playing Dr. Leslie Abbott in the 1991 American drama film The Doctor. Crewson has also been an important TV actress, earning two Canadian Screen Awards and six Gemini Awards so far. In 2016, she was honored with the prestigious Earle Grey Award for her significant body of work.
Chinese-born American entrepreneur, investor, and movie producer, Wendi Deng Murdoch, is an alumnus of Yale University. She is a co-founder of the online platform Artsy and was an advisor for MySpace's China operation. She was once married to media mogul Rupert Murdoch. She produced the Netflix documentary Sky Ladder that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016.
Wisława Szymborska was a Polish poet, essayist, and translator. In 1996, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for her poetry. Her works have been translated into numerous languages, including English, Arabic, Japanese, Hebrew, and Chinese. She also translated French literature, especially Baroque poetry, into Polish. She actively wrote until her death at the age of 88.
Best remembered for her agency Wilhelmina Models, Dutch model Wilhelmina Cooper was the daughter of a German butcher and took to modeling after moving to the US. Known for her curvy figure and high cheekbones, she graced the cover of Vogue 28 times.
Chinese tennis star Wang Qiang had begun playing tennis at the tender age of 9. She was initially trained in Japan and grew up idolizing Steffi Graf. Best known for her serve and her speed, she became the second-highest-ranked player from her country, after Li Na, when she ranked 12th in singles.
Somali model, writer, and women’s rights activist Waris Dirie is best known for her advocacy against female genital mutilation through the Desert Flower Foundation. Born into a poor nomadic family, she ran away at 13 to avoid marriage and then worked as a maid in London, before gaining a modeling contract.
Born in Scotland, Williamina Fleming moved to the U.S. with her husband, where she began working as a housekeeper for Harvard Observatory director Edward C. Pickering. Pickering secured her a job at the observatory, and Fleming went on to establish a classification and cataloguing system for stars.