Vanessa Marcil was born on October 15, 1968, in Indio, California, USA, to Peter Ortiz, a contractor, and Patricia Marcil Ortiz, an herbalist. She grew up in Palm Desert with her parents and her two older sisters Tina and Sherry and her older brother Sam.
When Vanessa was 8, she started acting in plays and even performed her own song at a 6th grade talent show in which she won. Soon afterward, she began pursuing an acting career and starred in several theatre productions before landing the role of Brenda Barrett on the ABC daytime soap opera "General Hospital" (1963) in 1992. She made her feature film debut in "The Rock" (1996) starring opposite Nicholas Cage as well as starring in a made-for-television movie To Love, Honor and Decieve (TV) in 1996. She stayed with General Hospital (1963) until 1998 and then left to join the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990) as Gina Kincaid, a former ice skater replacing Tiffani Thiessen as the show's vixen.
From August 1989 to January 1993, Vanessa was married to actor Corey Feldman.
She later met Brian Austin Green on the show and they had a son together named Kassius Lijah Marcil-Green (born in March of 2002).
On July 11, 2010, she married actor Carmine Giovinazzo. They divorced in March of 2013.
In April of 2015, Vanessa revealed that she became engaged to a deputy sheriff (whom she refers to as "MC" on social media).
- Was named in honor of actress Vanessa Redgrave.
- Is of Mexican descent (from late father, Peter) and of French, Italian and Portuguese descent from mother, Patricia).
- Attended Indio High School in Indio, California
- Was part of the Circle Theatre Acting Company in Indio.
- Is a vegetarian.
- The role of Gina Kincaid was written specifically for her in mind and created by Aaron Spelling.
- Was offered the role of Nelle Porter on "Ally McBeal," but was forced to turn it down after signing on to be on "Beverly Hills, 90210." The role was then given to actress Portia de Rossi.
- Has naturally curly hair.
- Opened Patricia House in Los Angeles, California which will aid women who can no longer care for their children. She also created a hotline for these women to have their babies placed in good homes.
- Had at least six miscarriages during her life (two of which happened in 2011 during her marriage to Carmine Giovinazzo).
- Attended College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California where she studied law.
- Has a podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud called "LoveStop" with her best friend Suzanne Whang.