Vanessa Marcil is an American actress who is most well known for her portrayal as Brenda Barrett in the medical drama, General Hospital. The youngest of four siblings, she showed an early interest in the performing arts at a young age. When she was eight years old, Marcil began taking part in various children’s playsーby the time she was in sixth grade, she had won a local talent competition with a song that she had written herself. Later deciding that she wanted to pursue an acting career, she starred in several theatrical productions such as Fool and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof prior to joining Indio’s Circle Theatre Acting Company as a teen. Following a few years of college studies, she made her television debut in the series, General Hospital (1992)ーshe was twenty four at the time. Her breakthrough role, it remains to be one of her best known TV portrayals of all time. After a few years on the medical drama, she made her feature film debut in the action thriller, The Rock (1996).
From there, she appeared in a couple of made-for-television movies, To Love, Honor and Deceive (1997) later that same year. Continuing with her work on television, she then secured a main role in the Fox drama, Beverly Hills, 90210 (1998). Joining the cast during the ninth season, the long-running series offered Marcil her yet another opportunity to showcase her talents. Some of the other works that she was involved with during that time include Spin City (2001), NYPD Blue (2003), and Crossing Jordan (2004). In 2003, she landed yet another lead part in the NBC series, Las Vegasーa role which she went on to portray for over a hundred episodes. Since then, Marcil has appeared in a handful of TV films such as The Nanny Express (2009), One Hot Summer (2009), Stranded in Paradise (2014), and more recently, The Convenient Groom (2016).
Known for both her beauty and acting skills, Marcil’s breakthrough role in General Hospital has garnered her multiple awards during the late 90’s and early 2000’s including three Soap Opera Digest Awards (e.g. Outstanding Lead Actress, Hottest Female Star, Favourite Return) and a Daytime Emmy Award (e.g. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series). A veteran actress of over twenty years, she has also been a featured guest on numerous talk shows such as Last Call with Carson Daly (2004), Ellen: The Ellen Degeners Show (2006), The Wendy Williams Show (2010), and The Doctors (2011). In 2015, she also starred in the reality series, Queen of Drama alongside Donna Mills, Jason-Shane Scott and Chrystee Pharris.
So what has the California-born actress been up to as of late? Is she still active within the entertainment industry? If so, what are some of the latest roles that she has picked up? What happened to Vanessa Marcil? Where is she now in 2018?
Vanessa Marcil’s Childhood and Eventual Breakthrough in the Show Business
Born on October 15, 1968, in Indio, California, Vanessa Marcil (Birth Name: Sally Vanessa Ortiz) is the daughter of Patricia Marcil, a herbalist, and Peter Ortiz, a contractor. The youngest of four children, she has two older sisters named Sherry and Tina and an older brother named Sam; she is of Mexican, Italian, Portuguese and French descent.
Growing up, she had always had her eyes set on performingーat the age of eight, she began participating in a number of children’s plays. By the time she was in sixth grade, she had brought home the winner’s title at a local talent competition with a song that she had written herself. Deciding that acting was something that she wanted to pursue in life, she later joined the Circle Theatre Acting Company in Indio with whom she took part in several on-stage productions.
Following her graduation from Indio High School, she went to Palm Spring’s College of the Desert, where she studied law. Prior to finishing her studies however, she dropped out of her classes to pursue first loveーacting. As fate would have it, it didn’t take long for the aspiring actress to land a role on television. In fact, her small screen debut also served as her breakthrough role. At the age of twenty four, she was cast as a main character in the critically acclaimed, long-running medical drama, General Hospital (1992).
The brainchild of Doris and Frank Hursley, the series originally premiered on the ABC Network in April of 1963ーit is also the longest-running soap opera as per the Guinness World Records. One of the most popular television series of all time, it centred around the happenings of Port Charlesーan upstate city in New York that is home to one of the country’s busiest hospital. Nominated for a Golden Globe Award, the show starred Marcil as Brenda Barrettーa character who made her debut on the series in the fall of 1992. A main cast member, she remained on the show for six years prior to leaving in 1998.
A number one hit, General Hospital became the highest rated series in daytime history in November of 1981ーhaving garnered over 17 million viewers. Recognized with a dozen Daytime Emmy Awards for the “Outstanding Drama Series” category, it is still on air to this day. Since Marcil departed the series in 1998, she has returned a few timesーtwice as a main role in 2002 and 2010, and once as a guest star in 2013. Regarded as her major breakthrough, it earned her much recognition as an up-and-coming actress during the late 1990’s.
Vanessa Marcil’s Early Acting Career in the 1990’s and early 2000’s
After her initial departure from the medical drama, Marcil was cast as a lead character in the Fox series, Beverly Hills, 90210 (1998). Created by E. Duke Vincent, Aaron Spelling and Darren Star, it chronicled the lives of a group of close friends in the upscale community of Beverly Hillsーas they go through high school, university, and eventually the real world. Joining the show in its ninth season, the actress made her debut as Gina Kincaidーa former figure skating champion with a traumatic pastーin the seventh episode entitled, “You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello”. Later reprising her role in the show’s tenth season, Marcil ultimately starred in a total of 37 episodes.
Originally debuted on the small screen on October 7, 1990, Beverly Hills, 90210 garnered an average of fourteen million viewers during its first season; at the peak of its popularity in season four, it attracted well over 21 million viewers. Although the ratings eventually started to decline with the departure of a few main cast members, it still managed to maintain over 10 million viewers from season five to season eight; by the end of the series however, it only had a rating of 5.9%. Nonetheless, it received much positive acclaimーfor instance, it has been named as “One of the Top TV Shows in the Past 25 Years” by Entertainment Weekly.
After a few guest appearances in Spin City (2001), and NYPD Blue (2003), the actress was offered a main role in the NBC series, Las Vegas (2003). Created by Gary Scott Thompson, it revolved around those working at the fictitious Montecito Resort & Casino. Focusing on various issues (e.g. casino security, restaurant management, etc) that arise within the working environment, it starred Marcil as Samantha Jane Marquezーa Casino Host who is portrayed as a ruthless business woman whose sole interest is to attract high rollers to play at the casino. Despite the initial image however, it is later revealed that she is in fact, “much like everyone else”. Introduced in the series’ pilot, her character appeared throughout the series from season one until season fiveーaltogether, Marcil appeared in over 100 episodes.
Upon its debut on September 22, 2003 on NBC, Las Vegas proved to be a hit amongst television viewersーits first season ranked number 27 and garnered close to twelve million audience members. Despite its slow start, it has received numerous positive reviewsーmany of which have lauded it of its superior acting and captivating story lines. Filmed in Culver City, California, the award-winning show eventually earned the actress a Women’s Image Network Award nomination for “Best Actress in a Drama Series” in 2005.
Vanessa Marcil’s Later Acting Career
Starting from the late 2000’s, Marcil began taking part in a number of Hallmark television filmsーthe first one being The Nanny Express in 2009. Directed by Bradford May, it revolved around a young nanny by the name of Kate who is hired to look after two siblings, Emily and Ben after they’ve scared off the previous sitters whom their father had recruited.
Playing opposite of actor Dean Stockwell, Marcil portrayed none other than Kate, the film’s main protagonist. Other members of the cast include Brennan Elliott, Natalie Dreyfuss, Uriah Shelton and Stacy Keach. Despite its limited budget of $2.2 million, The Nanny Express performed reasonably well; upon its premiere on January 9, 2009, it garnered 3.6 million viewers, making it the highest-rated cable movie of the week.
After a second Hallmark film in 2014, she starred as a relationship expert in the romantic comedy film, The Convenient Groom (2016). Marcil’s third TV movie with the Hallmark Channel, it was directed by David Winning and based on a book by Denise Hunter. Released on June 18, 2016, it centred around Dr. Kate Lawrence (played by Marcil), a marriage counselor who finds herself left at the altar by her fiancé after having highly publicized her own engagement. Wanting to save face, she enlists the help of her childhood friend, Lucas Wright, whom steps in as the groom of her weddingーunbeknownst to her, her saviour has actually had a crush on her for quite some time. In spite of its interesting premise, The Convenient Groom generally received mixed reviews. While some viewers recognized its potential, most agreed that the TV movie left a lot to be desired.
While Marcil is mostly known for her work on television, she has appeared in several films over the yearsーfollowing her debut in The Rock (1996), she was involved with 976-WISH (1997), Nice Guys Sleep Alone (1999), and This Space Between Us (2000). Later in 2002, she worked with director Terry Cunningham in the movie, Storm Watch alongside Bai Ling and Adrian Paul.
What’s Vanessa Marcil Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
These past few months, the brunette has been working on an upcoming thriller film by the title of Deadly Devotion (2017). Written by Missy Cox and directed by Craig Goldstein, it will also feature Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Lisa Long, Elizabeth Bond and Eric Scott Woods. A Cartel Pictures Production, it is currently scheduled to be released on March 1, 2017 in the United States.
Aside from that, it doesn’t look like the actress has many projects lined upーas of yet anyways. Having said that, there has been some rumours about Marcil returning to General Hospital. Will she be making a return on the medical drama? Your guess is as best as ours! Stay tuned, we’ll be sure to let you know if she ever decides to go back on the show.
If you’d like to stay up-to-date and connected with the celebrity star, you can do so by following Vanessa Marcil on social mediaーyou can find her on Twitter at @VanessaMarcilM.