Beverly Hills' Beauty
Popular soap opera actress Vanessa Marcil captured the attention of Hollywood while filming the hit ABC series General Hospital (1992-1998). Her spectacular performance as Brenda Barrett in the show handed her the Soap Opera Digest Award for Hottest Female Star in 1997, Outstanding Female Lead Actress in 1998, and a trophy for Favorite Return in 2003. She was also well known for her portrayal as Gina Kincaid in Beverly Hills 90210 and Samantha "Sam" Jane on the stylistic NBC drama Las Vegas.
Off screen, Marcil, who has dogs named Woof and Joey, reportedly opened the Patricia House in Los Angeles to help women who can no longer care for their children. She also planned to sell her own line of baby wear, named Cash, to raise money for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
As for her romantic life, one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People magazine (1996), Marcil was married to actor Corey Feldman, but they divorced in 1993. Her prior relationships were linked to actor Nathon Fillion (broke up in 1996) and General Hospital costar Tyler Christophermet (separated in 1998). Marcil, who has a tattoo of a tribal symbol representing peace and love on her lower back, currently is dating Beverly Hills costar Brian Austin Green. The two became engaged in 2001. Marcil had a son from her relationship with her fiancé.
Childhood and Family:
A mix of French, Italian and Portuguese ancestry, Vanessa Ortiz, who was named after the actress Vanessa Redgrave, was born on October 15, 1969, in Indio, California. The youngest child of Peter Ortiz (contractor) and Patricia Marcil Ortiz (herbalist) spent her time in Anchorage, Alaska with her sisters Tina and Sherry, and brother Sam.
Finding her interest lay with acting, eight-year-old Vanessa started performing in a local theatre after moving back to California.
Additionally, young Vanessa showed her singing talent by performing her own songs at the 6th grade talent show. She won the contest.
Though talented in acting and singing, Vanessa attended the College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California, where she majored in law.
Vanessa, who is a vegetarian, married, then later divorced (1993) actor Corey Feldman. The brown-eyed, brown-haired actress now lives in Los Angeles, California with her son, Kassius Lijah Marcil-Green (born March 30, 2002, father Brian) and her fiancé, actor Brian Austin Green.
Initiating her acting career at a local theater in Palm Desert at the age of eight, Vanessa Marcil then spent her adolescent years performing in stage productions. She worked in numerous plays like Neil Simon's Fools, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Pygmalion, The Miracle Worker and Sweet Bird of Youth. Marcil's work received critical acclaim after her stage performance in Southern Rapture, staring country singer/actor Dwight Yoakum and Golden Globe winner Sally Kirkland.
In 1991, Marcil appeared on screen when she hosted ABC in Concert. Marcil then drew Hollywood attention when she was cast as Brenda Barrett, her first recurring role as an actress, in the popular ABC daytime soap, General Hospital (1992-1998). She won Hottest Female Star at the 1997 Soap Opera Digest Awards and Outstanding Female Lead Actress in 1998 for her spectacular performance in the show. She also received Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1997 and 1998.
While working on General Hospital, Marcil appeared in The Undertaker (1995,V) and starred in the TV movie To Love, Honor and Deceive (1996, portrayed Sydney Carpenter). She also made her debut in box office film with a role in the smash hit The Rock (1996), portraying Nicolas Cage's love interest Carla Pestalozzi. The next year, Marcil went back to perform on TV as a guest in a recurring role in Steven Spielberg 's High Incident. She also landed a lead role in the fantasy film 976-Wish (1997, played Danielle).
In 1998, Marcil decided to leave General Hospital. She appeared in The Superstars before playing the role of Gina Kincaid in the popular Aaron Spelling primetime soap Beverly Hills 90210. She also could be seen as a guest star in the ending season of Spin City and the hit series NWPD Blues. After two years working on Beverly Hills 90210, Marcil left the show to focus on wide screen projects. However, she struggled with parts in B-Movies like Nice Guys Sleep Alone (1999), This Space Between Us (2000, costar Sean O'Bryan and Jeremy Sisto) and Storm Watch (2002).
Marcil eventually came back to TV in 2003. She played the role of Samantha "Sam" Jane on the stylistic NBC drama Las Vegas. She also made a short return to General Hospital (2002-2003), for which she received an award for Favorite Return at the 2003 Soap Opera Digest Awards. In the same year, Marcil could be seen acting on the silver screen in Fish Without a Bicycle (2003).
- Soap Opera Digest: Favorite Return, General Hospital, 2003
- Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Female Lead Actress, General Hospital, 1998
- Soap Opera Digest: Hottest Female Star, General Hospital, 1997