Vanessa Marcil is an American actor, best known for her role in the soap opera ‘General Hospital’ and the series ‘Beverly Hills, 90210.’ She was born and raised in Indio, California, and began acting in school plays when she was 8 years old. Following her high-school graduation, she did theater for some time before she made her TV debut in 1992, with a role in the long-running soap opera ‘General Hospital.’ After this initial career break, she appeared in a key role in the TV film titled ‘To Love, Honor and Deceive.’ In 1998, she received yet another huge break when she was signed to play ‘Gina Kincaid,’ one of the lead roles, in the teen drama series ‘Beverly Hills, 90210.’ Throughout her acting career, she has appeared only in a handful of films, such as ‘The Rock,’ ‘Nice Guys Sleep Alone,’ and ‘This Space Between Us.’ At the same time, her TV career flourished with lead roles in series such as ‘Las Vegas.’ She reprised her role of ‘Brenda Barrett’ in ‘General Hospital’ in the 2000s and the 2010s. Her performance in the soap opera fetched her three ‘Soap Opera Digest’ awards and a ‘Daytime Emmy’ award.
Childhood & Early Life
Vanessa Marcil was born Sally Vanessa Ortiz, on October 15, 1968, in Indio, California, to Patricia and Peter Ortiz. She was the youngest of the four children in one of the richest families in the Palm Desert area. She grew up with two older sisters and a brother.
Her father, Peter, was a self-made millionaire, who worked as a contractor. Her mother, Patricia, worked as an herbalist. Vanessa has Mexican roots from her father’s side and French and Italian origins from her mother’s side.
While she was growing up in Indio, Vanessa had no interest in becoming an actor. She joined theater just for fun at the age of 8 while she was in school. She also performed a song, which she had herself written for a sixth-grade talent show in her school. She aced the talent show.
She did not score good grades in school. At the age of 11, she started partying, drinking alcohol, and rebelling against her parents. She also quit school. Somehow, she joined the ‘Indio High School’ later and graduated.
Following her high-school graduation, she became active in theate. She also resumed her education, enrolling at the ‘College of the Desert.’ She started appearing in more plays and also began auditioning for film and TV roles.
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In 1992, she made her TV debut as ‘Brenda Barrett’ in the long-running American soap opera ‘General Hospital.’ It was a huge break for her, since ‘General Hospital’ was one of the most-watched American soap operas of the time. Earning one of the main roles in it was no small achievement.
After 1998, she bid farewell to the show. ‘Brenda,’ however, became a recurring character that would made comebacks in later years.
Her 6-year stint with ‘General Hospital’ (from 1992 to 1998) proved to be a boon for her acting career. During this period, she earned two nominations for the ‘Soap Opera Digest Awards’ and two ‘Daytime Emmy’ nominations for her performance. She also won two ‘Soap Opera Digest Awards,’ one each in 1997 and 1998.
She made her film debut with a supporting role in the 1996 action thriller film ‘The Rock.’ The film starred actors such as Bruce Willis and Sean Connery and was a massive critical and commercial success, eventually becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year. However, her film career did not go as planned. The reason for this was said to be her being typecast as a result of her success in the soap opera ‘General Hospital.’ In 1997, she appeared in a major role in a small film titled ‘976-Wish.’ She then appeared in another small film, ‘Nice Guys Sleep Alone.’
In 1996, she played the lead role in a TV film titled ‘To Love, Honor and Deceive.’ She then played a guest role in the series ‘High Incident.’
Once her stint with ‘General Hospital’ ended, she was immediately hired to play another main role, in the series ‘Beverly Hills, 90210.’ The series had been running since the early 1990s, and her character, ‘Gina Kincaid,’ was introduced in the ninth season. In the last two seasons, ‘Gina’ became a main character.
Vanessa received huge appreciation for her role in this teen drama series. It was one of the most successful American series of the decade.
In the early 2000s, Vanessa appeared in guest roles in series such as ‘Spin City’ and ‘NYPD Blue.’ At the same time, her film career had practically halted. In the early 2000s, she appeared in two films, namely, ‘This Space Between Us’ and ‘Storm Watch.’
In 2003, she earned the lead role in the series titled ‘Las Vegas,’ which featured her as ‘Sam Marquez.’ The series received huge critical and commercial acclaim and ran for five seasons, with Vanessa appearing in all five seasons, covering 106 episodes.
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She also reprised her role in ‘General Hospital’ in 2002, for a brief period. She was awarded with a ‘Soap Opera Digest Award’ for ‘Favorite Return’ in 2003.
In 2004, she appeared in a single episode of the series ‘Crossing Jordan.’ She then appeared in a three-episode role in the series ‘Lipstick Jungle.’
In the late 2000s, she reprised her role of ‘Brenda Barett’ in ‘General Hospital.’
She played a lead role in the ‘Hallmark’ TV film titled ‘The Nanny Express’ in 2009. She then appeared in another lead role, in the TV film titled ‘One Hot Summer.’
In 2010, she played a lead role in the crime-drama web series titled ‘The Bannen Way.’ The award-winning web series ran for a season, covering 16 episodes, and featured Vanessa as ‘Madison.’
In 2014, she was seen playing a lead role in the ‘Hallmark’ TV film ‘Stranded in Paradise.’ In the more recent years, she has played key roles in TV films such as ‘The Wrong Mother’ and ‘Bad Tutor.’
Family & Personal Life
Vanessa Marcil married actor Corey Feldman in 1989. They divorced in 1993.
Vanessa dated actor Brian Austin Green in the late 1990s and had a son with him, Kassius Lijah, in 2002.
She then married actor Carmine Giovinazzo in 2010. The next year, Vanessa announced that she was having a baby. However, she suffered a miscarriage, which was her second in the same year. Her marriage ended in a divorce in 2013.
She then announced her engagement to a deputy sheriff she mentioned as “MC” on her social-media accounts. In January 2018, she announced that she had had yet another miscarriage, her seventh in a row.
In May 2019, she was diagnosed with thyroid disease.