Known As: Vanessa
Birth Name: Vanessa Ortiz
Birthday: October 15, 1969
Birth Place: Palm Desert, California, USA
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Height: 168 cm (5'4'')
Hair Colour: Dark Brown
Claim to fame: as Brenda Barrett on soap "General Hospital"
Ancestry: Her father is Portuguese and her mother is French
Vanessa Marcil, named
after the actress Vanessa Redgrave, was born in Indio, CA, on
October 15, 1969. The youngest of four children, Marcil moved
with the rest of her family to Anchorage, Alaska. By age 8,
Marcil began acting in a local theater in Palm Desert, after
she and her familly returned to California.
Although she was
acting at an early age, Marcil studied law after graduating
from high school. She finally decided to pursue a career in
acting and took her theatrical talents to the stage in performances
such as Neil Simon's Fools; Pygmalion; The Miracle Worker; Southern
Rapture, co-starring country music singer Dwight Yoakam and
Sally Kirkland, and under the direction of Peter Fonda; and
Sweet Bird of Youth, to name a few. While in college, she starred
in the fantasy film 976-Wish.
As of September 18,
1992, the television viewing audience welcomed Brenda Barrett,
the character portrayed by Marcil on the popular ABC daytime
soap, General Hospital. Marcil described her charcter as the
"black sheep of the Barrett family", as she portrayed
the alluring and independent woman who had female audience members
endlessly discussing her relationships with her husband and
former lover. Her stint as Brenda Barrett lasted six years and
was her first recurring role as an actress. Her portrayal as
Brenda was also highly recognized as Hottest Female Star Award
at the 1997 Soap Opera Awards, an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting
Actress in 1997 and 1998, and Outstanding Lead Actress in 1998,
are among the honors Marcil has won.
While working on
General Hospital, one can also add a recurring guest role on
ABC's primetime cop show High Incident, and host of the ABC
late-night In Concert series to her repertoire of jobs on the
small screen. She also had a lead role in the 1996 ABC made-for-TV
movie, To Love, Honor and Deceive.
It was not only the
television audience who noticed this stunning beauty. She was
featured as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People"
in People magazine's 1995 edition and was honored by her friend,
the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. The song, "The Most
Beautiful Girl in the World" was written for her and she
starred in the hit video of the same name.
In 1996, Marcil played
the role of Nicholas Cage's girlfriend in the blockbuster hit
After leaving General
Hospital in August 1998, Marcil joined the cast of the popular
Spelling primetime soap Beverly Hills, 90210, replacing Tiffani
Amber Thiessen as the show's vixen. As Gina Kincaid, a role
highly contrasting that of Brenda Barrett, Marcil would stir
trouble in the lives of the beautiful 90210ers. She left Beverly
Hills, 90210 in the middle of its final season to pursue other
In addition to acting,
Marcil also lends her help and support to others by volunteering
for various charities. Some more fun facts about Marcil: she
has a tattoo on her lower back; she considers herself a tomboy
and is a huge sports fan; she would rather wear vintage clothing
than designer labels; she is an active runner and bodybuilder;
she lives with her two lucky dogs, Woof and Joey.