Tennis legend, author and champion for social equality Billie Jean King has been cast to play herself on “Ugly Betty.” In the episode titled “Curveball,” King plays Victoria Hartley’s (Christine Baranski) instructor at an exclusive tennis club where Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) tries to score match point with the high society matriarch. The episode will air THURSDAY, MAY 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
King, whose tremendous career has included 39 Grand Slam tennis championship wins, a record 20 titles at Wimbledon, countless honors — including being named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine — and recognition for her leadership in fighting for gender equality in the world of sports, has inspired millions of women on and off the court. ABC documented the tennis great’s historic 1973 tennis match with middle-aged champion Bobby Riggs in the Emmy-nominated TV movie, “When Billie Beat Bobby.”
“Ugly Betty” stars America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade, Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, Ana Ortiz as Hilda, Tony Plana as Ignacio, Ashley Jensen as Christina, Becki Newton as Amanda, Mark Indelicato as Justin, Michael Urie as Marc and Judith Light as Claire Meade.
Executive producers are Silvio Horta (“Urban Legend”), Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award winner Salma Hayek, Jose Tamez, Richard Heus, Ben Silverman, Teri Weinberg, Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally. Co-executive producers are Sheila Lawrence, Victor Nelli Jr., Henry Alonso Myers, Bill Wrubel and Chris Black.
“Ugly Betty,” a production of ABC Studios, airs Thursdays from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET, on the ABC Television Network.