Emmy®-Award winning actress Vanessa Marcil began studying the craft of acting at age five at the Children's Circle acting theatre. A native of Indio, California, Marcil's passion for the theatre led her to stage performances by the time she was in her early teens. Her dedication and determination resulted in work in productions such as Neil Simon’s Fool and the classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She received critical acclaim for her performance in Southern Rapture directed by Academy Award®-nominee Peter Fonda, which co-starred country singer/actor Dwight Yoakum and Golden Globe®-winner Sally Kirkland. The play took center stage at the prestigious Met Theatre in Los Angeles.
Marcil started her TV career playing Brenda Barrett on “General Hospital.” She decided to leave the show in 1998, only to return in 2002 just months after having her son Kassius. During Marcil’s six-month stint, the soap’s ratings skyrocketed to number one. Fueled by the high ratings during her first return to “General Hospital,” NBC president Jeff Zucker sought a prime time series with a role for Marcil in mind. In 2003, she landed the role of Sam Marquez on the NBC drama “Las Vegas” opposite James Caan for six seasons. Other primetime appearances include guest star and recurring roles on “Hawaii 5.O,” “Spin City,” ABC/Steven Spielberg’s series “High Incident,” “Without a Trace,” “Lipstick Jungle,” “NYPD Blue” and many more. Marcil has appeared on “Oprah” numerous times, and was inspired by Oprah Winfrey to start work with AIDS orphans in South Africa.
Marcil displays her thespian versatility in feature films as well. She made her film debut in Hollywood Pictures’ blockbuster “The Rock” as Nicholas Cage’s love interest. She also starred in independent films “The Space Between Us” with Jeremy Sisto and “Nice Guys Sleep Alone” with Sean O’Bryan. In television, Marcil starred in the Hallmark Channel Original Movie “The Nanny Express” and her lead role in the movie “One Hot Summer” helped the movie clinch an Imagen Award nomination for Outstanding Primetime TV Movie.
Vanessa has worked closely with domestic violence shelter Sojourn for over a decade. Her first loves are education, child psychology and racing motorcycles.