Vanessa Marcil (born October 15, 1968) is an American actress known for her roles in the long-running soap opera General Hospital, Gina on Beverly Hills 90210 and the television series Las Vegas.
Marcil, the youngest of four children, was born Sally Vanessa Ortiz
in Indio, California
, the daughter of Patricia (née
Marcil), an herbalist
, and Peter Ortiz, a contractor
and self-made millionaire
. Her parents are separated. Marcil's father is Mexican
and her mother is an American of French
Marcil acted in a number of theatre
productions before landing the role of Brenda Barrett
on the soap opera General Hospital
in 1992. She garnered three Daytime Emmy Award
nominations (1997, 1998 and 2003) for her portrayal, winning in 2003 as Outstanding Supporting Actress
. In February 1998, she was named Outstanding Lead Actress at the Soap Opera Digest Awards
After six years on General Hospital, she left the show in 1998 (returning briefly in '02) to star in the made-for-television movie To Love, Honor and Deceive, and had a recurring guest role on the police drama High Incident produced by Steven Spielberg. Marcil joined the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 in November 1998 as Gina and remained with the show for one-and-a-half seasons. Marcil made her feature film debut in the 1996 film The Rock, in which she starred opposite Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery and Ed Harris. In 1999, she starred in two independent films: Nice Guys Sleep Alone with Sean O'Bryan and This Space Between Us with Jeremy Sisto.
In 2001, Marcil was awarded the Sojourn Service Award and has supported Sojourn Services for Battered Women and their children by hosting charity events and making appearances on Wheel of Fortune, playing for funds for the organization. Through her fundraising efforts, she hopes to increase awareness of domestic violence and inspire battered woman to take control of their lives.
Marcil formerly starred in the NBC television series Las Vegas as Samantha Jane "Sam" Marquez. She has been featured in several Men's magazines, including Stuff, FHM, and Maxim. She was named #19 on Maxim's Hot 100 of 2005 list and was featured on the cover of the issue that included the list, as well as #92 in the 2006 FHM Hot 100 list.
In early 2008, ABC offered Marcil the chance for a return to General Hospital as Brenda Barrett. She has yet to respond to the offer.
Marcil was married to Corey Feldman
from 1989 to 1991. She was engaged to General Hospital
co-star Tyler Christopher
, but the two never married. She dated former Beverly Hills 90210
castmate Brian Austin Green
from 1999 until early 2003 (they were widely reported to have been engaged, but Marcil denied this in an interview with Stuff Magazine
). They have a son, Kassius Lijah Marcil-Green, born on March 30
. She is currently living with her boyfriend Ben Younger
, and her son in Los Angeles, CA
She is good friends with former co-star Ingo Rademacher.