V’s Biography




Birth Name: Denise Katrina Matthews
Alternate Names: Vanity 6 | Denise Matthews-Smith | D.D. Winters
Height : 5′ 6″
Date of Birth: January 4th, 1959 – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death: February 15th, 2016, Fremont, California, USA (kidney failure)
Star Sign: Capricorn
Spouse(s):Anthony Smith: March 26th, 1995 – 1996) (divorced)

IMDB User’s Quoted Info below:

Vanity was a glamorous Canadian model and lead singer of the all-girl group “Vanity 6”. She specialized in playing sultry female characters often in trouble with the law. Vanity was born Denise Katrina Matthews in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Helga Senyk and James Levia Matthews. She was of African-American and German descent.Vanity first appeared on screen in the biographical tale of writer Jack London titled Klondike Fever (1980), before venturing into more gritty territory such as the slasher film Terror Train (1980), the very odd chick flick Tanya’s Island (1980), a B-grade martial arts film entitled The Last Dragon (1985) and the totally weird Never Too Young to Die (1986). However, her best two performances were as the naive stripper assisting blackmail victim Roy Scheider in the under-rated thriller 52 Pick-Up (1986) and as a seductive, smart-talking nightclub singer teaming up with cop Carl Weathers to defeat murderous car tycoon Craig T. Nelson in the violent Action Jackson (1988).

Unfortunately, the remainder of Vanity’s film work was of the “straight-to-video” variety and she only scored minor roles in several low-budget thrillers such as Neon City (1991) and Da Vinci’s War (1993). In late 1995, Vanity turned her back on Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and dedicated her life to the Christian faith. Vanity, who suffered from sclerosis encapsulating peritonitis, died on February 15, 2016 in Fremont, California.

IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44 at hotmail.com (qv’s & corrections by A. Nonymous)


  • She was Prince’s protégé and was in the band “Vanity 6” in which she played a hooker on stage (the band was originally named “Hookers”).
  • Daughter of a German mother, Helga Senyk, and an African-American father, James Levia Matthews.
  • After leaving Hollywood she dedicated most of her life to her church.
  • Prince originally wanted her stage/band name to be “Vagina” but she refused and they settled upon “Vanity”.
    (my notes: Prince chose the name “Vanity” because he thought she was the female reflection of him)
  • Was supposed to play the female lead opposite Prince in Purple Rain (1984).
    (my notes: In an audio interview with a radio station Denise stated that she originally wrote Prince’s part of the script and Prince wrote her part of the script for the Purple Rain movie)
  • Also a singer and surrealist painter.
  • An ex-model
  • She is the sister of model Patricia Matthews.
  • As a singer has performed under the name D.D. Winters in Canada, Denise Matthews in Los Angeles, and Denise Sonic in Tokyo.
  • Was once engaged to Nikki Sixx.
  • Hired as Director of Public Relations for Genesis Technology Group. (“Inside Lines” column, Computerworld) [1996]
  • Was heavily involved in Christian Ministry as an Evangelist. [2004]
  • Died approximately 67 days before the death of her longtime mentor and former boyfriend Prince.

Personal Quotes:

(interview, 1995)

When I came to the Lord Jesus Christ, I threw out about 1,000 tapes of mine–every interview, every tape, every video. Everything.

Some information on this page was obtained from and credited to: IMDB, Youtube user(s), and Wikipedia