Vanessa Marcil was born on October 15, 1968, in Indio, California, 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 (born October 20, 1959) and Sherry (born September 7, 1962) and her older brother Sam (born November 16, 1958).She is writing a book about her life which will be released in the near future.Although she did make a guest appearance in April 2013 to commemorate the show's 50th anniversary.Then in 2014, she starred in the Hallmark channel movie, Stranded in Paradise alongside James Denton.When Vanessa was 8 she started acting in plays and even performed her own song at a sixth-grade talent show, which she won.
In 2009, she starred in the Hallmark channel movie The Nanny Express as well as in the Lifetime movie One Hot Summer.
In 2010, she was in the web series The Bannen Way and in August 2010 after a seven year absence, she made her return to General Hospital remaining on the show for a year before her departure from the show in July 2011.
Vanessa later joined the cast of the NBC drama Las Vegas as Sam Marquez, a casino host where she remained on the show for five seasons until 2008.
That same year she became the host of Lifetime's reality show Blush: The Search for America's Greatest Makeup Artist as well as making a three episode guest appearance on the NBC show Lipstick Jungle.
She made her feature film debut in The Rock opposite Nicolas Cage and starred in a made-for-television movie, To Love, Honor and Deceive, in 1996.
She stayed with General Hospital until 1998 and then left to join the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 as Gina Kincaid, a former ice skater replacing Tiffani Thiessen as the show's vixen.