I hate to see people crying. It reminds me how little I actually care about others.
Renee Faulkner (previously Perry) is one of the main protagonists and titular characters of Desperate Housewives. A narcissistic diva from Manhattan, Renee is a sexy and sophisticated party-girl by nature who became disenchanted with her humdrum lifestyle and decided to move to Wisteria Lane, in close proximity to her sorority sister from college, Lynette. Renee ruffles the other housewives' feathers with her aggressive behavior but eventually develops close friendships with her neighbors.
At a young age, Renee's mother killed herself. She had tried it once before, but Renee had found her just in time and managed to save her. One morning she saw the same, empty look in mother's eyes, but her mother assured her that she was fine and Renee went to school. When she came home, her mother had killed herself and left a note saying "I'm Sorry". Afterwards, Renee became 'daddy's little nightmare'. ("What's to Discuss, Old Friend?"/"Who Can Say What's True?")
After her mother's death, Renee was bounced around charities such as soup kitchens, which led to her hating going to places like that later on in life because they remind her of her past. ("Making the Connection")
At some point during Renee's childhood, when at the circus, she had some sort of episode with a little person that made her fear dwarves for the rest of her life. She does not like to talk about the incident. ("The Thing That Counts is What's Inside")
Sometime in college, at Northwestern University, she met Lynette Lindquist. The two were roommates and soon became best friends. Some years later, Lynette became engaged with Tom. However, the two briefly broke up, and whilst she was over at her mother's, Renee slept with Tom, and developed things for him that went asleep for twenty years until she got closer to him. ("Remember Paul?"/"Where Do I Belong?")
Later in her life, Renee married famous Yankee player Doug Perry, and the two moved to New York together. Somewhere down the line, Doug cheated on Renee with his agent's assistant, Tina. Then, they had a separation, before divorce proceedings' beginning. They were married eight years. It was at this moment Renee decided to go to Wisteria Lane, where live her old friend, Lynette. ("Remember Paul?"/"Who Can Say What's True?")
Renee comes off a little stuck-up when your first meet her, which is a real time-saver
Renee arrives on Wisteria Lane to see Lynette as a worn out housewife whereas she is looking extremely glamorous. Lynette explains to her children that Renee is her old friend from college who married a famous baseball player. The two exchange banter and soon Renee makes it personal when she implies that Lynette did not succeed, Lynette later confronts her and asks her why she visited just to mock her, Renee soon reveals that Doug is divorcing her because he slept with his agent's assistant. ("Remember Paul?")
Renee soon starts spending way too much time with Tom and Lynette grows suspicious that she is trying to wreck her marriage, Renee reveals to Lynette that Tom does not feel she listens to him enough. Lynette confronts Renee about it when she see's Tom and her having dinner together, Renee denies it and tells Lynette that there is a man in the other room whose wife isn't willing to help him. Renee later buys and moves into Edie's old house and Tom tells her that Lynette must never find out what happened between the two of them years before. ("You Must Meet My Wife")
Renee invites Bree out clubbing as she spots similarities between them, they are both recently divorced, Bree reluctantly accepts. At the bar, Renee hits on Keith whom Bree is interested in. She takes him home and Bree brakes her sprinklers with a golfclub and calls Keith over, Bree and Renee begin war. ("Truly Content") Renee finds out that Bree is a grandmother from Lynette and calls over Danielle and Benjamin to "cheer Bree up" to make Bree seem old to Keith. Lynette tells Bree that Renee has a fear of Little people and whilst on a date with Keith, Renee is startled by one and starts screaming, Keith dumps her for Bree. ("The Thing That Counts is What's Inside")
Renee and Doug are officially divorced, which Renee received twelve million dollars. This evening, at her house, Renee bonds with Gabrielle as they are both known for their looks on the lane. Gaby reveals she had a nose job and Renee reveals that she slept with Doug's divorce lawyer to get a better settlement from him. When Doug wants Renee back, Gaby tells her she thinks it's a bad idea. This frustrates Renee to the point of her telling the girls about Gaby's nose job. Angered by Renee's betrayal, Gaby tells Doug about Renee sleeping with his lawyer; seemingly ruining the relationship. Renee and Gaby then have a fight, during the fight Renee punches and injures Gaby's nose. Later, Renee receives a call from Doug and he asks to call it even as they both slept with someone. However, after realizing Doug isn't good enough for her, she turns him down. She and Gaby later apologize to each other and become friends again. ("Let Me Entertain You")
Renee hosts the neighborhood Halloween party and dresses as Marilyn Monroe, she tells them that no children are allowed to come. Renee reveals to Bree that Keith might be a "little crazy". ("Excited and Scared")
Renee wants to start a new interior design business with Lynette, after a little persuasion, she accepts. They hire Susan as a nanny however Susan thinks that she was wanted to join the business, she is disappointed. When Lynette and Renee are talking with a client, Susan offers her ideas, Renee is mad at her as she thinks she made her look incompetent. ("A Humiliating Business") Renee invites Lynette to Thanksgiving and Lynette accepts, as she has already invited Susan to her house, she asks if she can come too, Renee says yes but isn't happy about it. She later answers the door to Tom Scavo wearing nothing but a towel, he blushes and she laughs saying that he's seen under the towel before, she says she is not hitting on him and asks how she looks, he says she looks incredible. She later reveals that she feels lonely when she is surrounded by so many couples and tells Tom that Lynette "knows how to pick 'em". ("Sorry Grateful")
Susan takes Renee out for dinner and Renee begins talking about the love of her life who she let slip through her fingers, when drunkenly stumbling home, Renee reveals to Susan that this man is Tom Scavo. ("Pleasant Little Kingdom") Susan confronts her later and tells Tom that he should tell Renee to move off the lane as it's bad for Lynette. Tom tells her and Renee is distraught at Susan. The two argue, and after the riot breaks out, they are so busy doing so that Susan sinks into the crowd and gets her kidneys trampled. Renee and Tom find her after the riot and call for help. ("Down the Block There's a Riot")
Renee takes Lynette out for dinner and tackles with whether or not to tell her that she slept with Tom, she eventually starts crying and comes clean, Lynette begins to exact her revenge upon him. ("Assassins") Renee realises that Lynette is punishing Tom buy pulling many harmful pranks upon him, Lynette asks her not to say anything to him. Renee appears in the back of Tom's car and tells him that Lynette is very angry and that he should be careful. They later make up. ("Where Do I Belong?")
Renee is mad at Bob and Lee when she finds out that they hired another interior designer for their daughter's future bedroom. They agree to hire her and in doing so, she reveals a deep down desire of hers to have a child, she decorates Jenny's room exactly how she wanted her daughter's room to be if she ever had one. She is the first to meet Jenny when Bob and Lee introduce her and they tell her that when Jenny ever needs a woman to talk to, Renee can fill the slot. ("I'm Still Here")
Renee tells Susan, along with Lee, that Monroe is a creepy stalker and that she should not receive a kidney from that man as he is expecting more from her in return. ("Flashback") When Susan starts using her dialysis as an excuse to get things, Renee takes her to a fancy restaurant that she had been meaning to try out but couldn't get a reservation. Whilst at the restaurant, Susan collapses and Renee asks someone to call 911. ("Farewell Letter")
Renee again expresses her desire to have children, this time to Lynette, and tells her that she's thinking of adopting, Lynette suggests that she instead babysit Paige for the night as a trial-run, Renee agrees. Whilst out on a date, Lynette and Tom see Renee on a date at the same restaurant, she had brought the baby along with her. Then, Renee gives the baby to a waitress, for she cares for her. Shocked, Lynette recovers Paige and gives money to the waitress, for she says to Renee she gives the baby to a cook. Alarmed, Renee looks for Paige in all the restaurant, glaring : "Did you see a baby?!". When she found Lynette, Tom and Paige, Renee is really sorry. The tomorrow, she offers a big crystal star to Paige. Lynette notices the star is heavy and pointed, so too dangerous for a baby. Renee understands she isn't ready to become a mother, and Lynette agrees. ("Searching")
After Beth's suicide, Renee still plans to throw her party, however none of the neighbors agree to come because of the recent tragedy, Gaby (the co-host) notices Renee's disdain towards Beth and suicide in general and Renee tells Gaby that when she was young, her mother killed herself. ("Everything's Different, Nothing's Changed")
When Lynette becomes rich, Renee teaches her how to shop by going out and buying very over-priced clothing. When she sees the dinner Lynette has prepared later, but Tom has to work, she tells her that this is what all of the purchases truly cost; Renee mentions that she will have to get used to being treated like a second-class citizen now that Tom is a big-shot. ("Moments in the Woods") Renee comes over and discovers that Tom and Lynette are in the middle of a fight. Tom yells at Lynette that she embarrassed him, adding that for years he took a back seat to her career but she can't do the same for him. When he storms off, Lynette tells Renee that the conference was awful because the plus ones were treated like second class citizens. Renee admits that she will just have to get used to it. ("The Lies Ill-Concealed")
Renee and Lynette design Tom's office however Lynette wants to design it differently to how Tom wants it, Renee changes Lynette's design to Tom's under her nose and Tom is thankful that at least one of them understood him. ("I'll Swallow Poison on Sunday") Renee thinks it's a bad idea that Bree is going on a date with Chuck without knowing anything about him beforehand, she convinces Bree to find out more. Renee does all of the research on him and hands it to Bree, she finds out that he is still married. ("Then I Really Got Scared")
Renee helps Bree and goes to Chuck's ex-wife's shop in order to make her happy with purchases and sign the divorce papers. Renee reveals to the girls after receiving a text from Doug that he has been hassling her. She assumes it is because he wants to get back together with her, however, Bob reveals to her that Doug is actually marring Tina as he is a sports fan. Renee then has a very brief, albeit, very full, relationship with her bartender, Edgar. She is the first to find out that Tom and Lynette are separated, to which she offers her consolment. ("Come on Over for Dinner")
Renee Perry waited many months for a proposal, and for many months she had been disappointed. There had been a cozy evening by the fire that didn’t go the way she had hoped. A romantic moment in Wisteria Park that wasn’t so romantic after all. And a beautiful picnic by a lake that turned out to be nothing more than a picnic. So, when disappointment struck again, Renee decided to speak up.
|Mary Alice Young|
Ben Faulkner arrives on the lane and he is Renee's first order of business. She immediately hits on him however, he strangely turns her down, which Renee is not used to. ("Secrets That I Never Want to Know")
She eventually wears him down, however, and he agrees upon a date after she pretends to be nice to Karen after she finds out that he likes old people from Mike. When they do go on the date, Renee is disgusted when she finds out that they were to be spending time at a soup kitchen for the elderly. Once she finds out he's tricking her for his won amusement, she is distraught. She then tells him that she hates places like that because it reminds her of her childhood, he tells her that he went through the same thing and the two bond over it. ("Making the Connection")
Lee asks Renee if she will take his new daughter, Jenny, out shopping for bras as he doesn't like to deal with feminine issues such as that. She agrees, though reluctant, and Jenny and Renee end up bonding. Jenny starts spending more time with Renee and Lee grows jealous. Jenny then reveals that it would be nice to have a mom, much to his dismay, Renee later assures him that it is merely a phase and that he and Bob are doing an amazing job with her. ("Watch While I Revise the World")
Renee expresses her suspicion to Lynette that Tom is seeing another woman because he is working out more. She agrees to go with Lynette to the work out class of Tom's suspected girlfriend, they both hate the class. Lynette finds out that Tom is actually dating the girl's mother. ("School of Hard Knocks") After seeing Lynette's sad online dating video, she takes Lynette to a singles bar so that she can score a guy. ("The Art of Making Art")
Renee is cold towards Ben since he's been cancelling their dates, he then agrees that he will see her soon. She tells Lynette that she wants the night to be special as it will be the first time she and Ben have sex, so she got Chinese love fluid for the occasion. This does not turn out well when Renee receives a temperature, a rash and severe swelling on the face, she scares all the children of the neighborhood. At the hospital, Ben takes her to the emergency room and discovers what she did, the two become closer for the experience. ("Witch's Lament")
Renee helps Lynette realise that Jane is stealing her husband AND her daughter, Penny. ("Always in Control") Renee is present when Cindy tells Lynette that by changing herself, it saved her marriage whilst at a meeting with Perry-Scavo Designs, Lynette decides that she should try and change for Tom, Renee thinks that it is a bad idea. ("Suspicion Song")
After Bree starts drinking again, Ben acts as a shoulder to cry on, however Renee sees them and assumes that they're having an affair. He assures her that he is not however her confidence is later skaen by Chuck when he asks to question Ben's girlfriend, Bree. She sees Bree drunkenly drive off and decides to follow her, thinking that she is off to meet Ben. ("Putting It Together") Renee barges into the motel room, convinced Bree is there to see Ben, however she soon realises that Bree was about to commit suicide. After this, she moves in with Bree and Bree tells her that she is not her true friend. Renee later expresses that she will not go through another suicide to which she tells Bree about her mother, the two then become friends. ("What's to Discuss, Old Friend?")
After being ignored by Ben on the phone, Renee is annoyed, she can tell that Bree is lonely so she takes her out drinking so that she can meet someone new, she is unaware that Bree is an alcoholic at this point. She helps Bree uncover that she enjoys the bar scene and starts her off on her road of slut-hood. Mike reveals to Ben that Renee got twelve million in her divorce, Ben is interested as he is having money troubles at this point ("Who Can Say What's True?") Renee sets Lynette up with her hairdresser, Frank, the date goes awfully and Frank takes his revenge on Renee by giving her a huge perm. Ben proposes to Renee and she accepts, however he admits that he wants to marry her for her money and she dumps him and storms out angrily. Ben takes money from a loan shark and specifically tells him to leave Renee out of it. ("What's the Good of Being Good?") She consoles Lynette who cried during sex with Frank and reveals that she took Bree out drinking, which prompts the others to help Bree. ("Is This What You Call Love?")
After Ben has a stress-related attack, Renee pays off the loan shark for him, he makes it very clear that he knows where she lives and she looks at him worriedly. ("Get Out of My Life") The loan shark the shows up at her house and demands more money from her, she stands up to him. He goes to her house later and starts to trash the place, Mike catches him and beats him up, the loan shark tells him that he should have killed him. ("She Needs Me") Mike starts watching out for Renee, much to Susan's worry. Renee assures her that he is a good man and later Mike is the victim of a drive-by shooting due to Donny's revenge. ("You Take for Granted") Renee is reluctant to attend Mike's funeral as she is afraid of being blamed for his death, however Bree convinces her to go. She sings "Amazing Grace", beautifully, at the ceremony. ("Women and Death")
Renee has now been waiting a while for Ben to propose to her and he finally does. He gets arrested right after popping the question as the police had found Alejandro's body at his construction site, she puts on the ring before he leaves. The next day, after informing her sister, she tells the residents of Wisteria Lane of her engagement but is confused on why everyone keeps fixating upon the body and not her. ("Any Moment") Later, at her Bree-planned bridal shower, Bree is arrested. Gaby planned to spice it up with a male stripper but the arrest put a damper upon things. Renee finds it odd that this body is causing so many arrests. ("With So Little to Be Sure Of")
Renee finds out that Ben is on the witness list for Bree’s trial. When Renee realises Ben is keeping a secret about the dead body, she walks out on Ben. She refuses to be married to someone who keeps secrets from her. Later that evening, Ben tells Renee he can’t tell her because he doesn’t want to put her at risk. She agrees to wait until after the wedding to find out what the secret is. ("Lost My Power") Renee shows her bridesmaid dress designs to Lynette and Lee and Lee thinks it is ugly and worries it'll steal focus, Renee then shows him the design for her wedding dress and tells him that Santa in a thong riding a unicorn wouldn't be able to steal focus from her. ("The People Will Hear")
Ben is on the stand, during the trial. He refuses to answer the prosecution’s questions about how he was protecting Bree (as mentioned in the phone call taped by the police), so the judge holds him in contempt. Renee goes to visit him and she tells Ben that she remembers something about the night of the murder. The prosecutor overhears the whole thing and threatens to deport Ben if Renee doesn’t tell her everything she knows. During the trial, the prosecutor questions Renee and she tells the court that she saw Bree come home the night of the murder very late covered in mud and leaves and carrying a shovel. Later, Karen asks Trip to send her on the stand, for discredit Renee because she was very drunk that night. However, Karen reveals she is Ramon's murderer. After the end of the trial, Bree forgives Renee. ("Give Me the Blame")
Renee is taking Bridezilla to a whole new level, yelling at everyone and being very bitchy on the way to her wedding. Renee is really late, for her wedding. As Susan, Gaby and Julie are taking her to the wedding, Julie’s water breaks in the limo and ruins Renee’s dress and shoes. They make a pit stop at Gaby’s department store for a new dress, and Susan and Julie take off with the limo to go to the hospital. Gaby and Renee steal a dress and shoes and run to the ceremony. When they arrive, Renee is angry with everyone, but when Ben arrives, he says Renee is the most beautiful person that he saw in his life. Renee cries in Ben's arms, and they go together to the ceremony. Finally, Renee marries Ben. ("Finishing the Hat")
Renee shares many characteristics with Edie Britt. Renee is smart, sassy, attractive and, intelligent. A party girl by nature, Renee also has a sensitive side, which she has revealed to Lynette several times. And she'll do anything to get a man.
When the character was originally introduced, she is portrayed as a spoiled rich woman, appearing vain and insensitive. Renee ruffles the other women's feathers with her passive-aggressive behavior at first but eventually develops close friendships with her neighbours. Renee is shown to have a lot of hate for children at first but is later shown to have a soft side for kids, even revealing she once dreamt about having children herself. Renee is Lynette's old college friend and when she arrived in Fairview, she and Lynette become close friends again. It is later revealed that Renee slept with Lynette's husband 20 years ago but Lynette forgives Renee and their friendship remains strong.
- For a complete list of Renee's relationships during the show, see Renee's relationships and Renee's family.
Behind Closed Doors
Following the eventual cancellation of Vanessa Williams' previous show Ugly Betty, where she starred as series villain Wilhelmina Slater, it was rumoured that there were continuing negotiations between Williams and Marc Cherry concerning whether she would join the cast of Desperate Housewives or not. Reports continued that a new character was to be introduced, filling in Edie's boots, as Wisteria Lane's new vixan and trouble-maker. These rumours proved to be true, and it was quickly announced that Williams would join the show during its seventh season as Renee Perry, Lynette's college room mate, a vain and shallow New Yorker who has become disenchanted with her humdrum lifestyle.
Many fans and critics anticipated Williams' arrival on the show. But when the character finally made her debut appearance in the Season 7 premiere, Remember Paul?, the character and Williams' performance received mixed reviews. Entertainment Weekly praised her performance, stating that she brought back a "brand of bitchery" that had been missing from the series since Edie Britt's death in Season 5, and compared the character to Wilhelmina Slater from Ugly Betty. The Star Tribune commented that Williams gave a repeat performance of Wilhelmina. However, Us Weekly gave the character a negative review concluding that it was "rather underwhelming".
When the character's multi-arc ongoing storyline involing Tom was revealed, critics began to warm to the character, praising the drama that surrounded her secret.
- Renee is one of only six main characters (along with Ana, Angie, Ben, Chuck, and Dave) who only appeared in the post-time jump era of the series.
- The character was originally named Renee Filmore-Jones.
- Renee is the only titular housewife who was never a mother.
- Following the casting announcement, Williams admitted to having been a fan of the series during its first year, but stopped watching because of the racially insensitive second season mystery storyline. It focused on Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard), the series' first black main character. Williams explained to Entertainment Weekly, "[Betty] had her son in chains in the basement. It was like, 'Really? Do we have to go there with our first Black character?' I honestly fell off the show after that. I think it was just so implausible and just an image that Black folks don't want to see: their child chained and shackled in the basement."
- Renee has nanosophobia-fear of dwarves.
- Renee was added to the show not only as Edie Britt's replacement but also because three other secondary housewives have left in the past two seasons and Renee was added to be a fifth housewife. Edie Britt (seasons 1-5), Katherine Mayfair (seasons 4-6), and Angie Bolen (season 6).
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.