General Hospital Marks 30 Years Since This Legendary Character Debuted

"General Hospital" has had a lot of interesting characters over the years, but one of the most unforgettable was played by Vanessa Marcil. 

Marcil has had an interesting career. Her feature film debut was in "The Rock" in 1992 where she played Carla Pestalozzi, the girlfriend of Nicholas Cage's character Stanley Goodspeed. As seen in this YouTube clip, she was also in Prince's short film, "The Undertaker" playing the part of The Groupie. She appeared in the video for Prince's song "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" and, according to Soap Hub, was also his inspiration for it.


In 1997 she played a recurring role in the Steven Spielberg-produced crime drama "High Incident," and then went on to join the cast of the highly popular series "Beverly Hills, 90210" as Gina Kincaid, playing the role from 1998 to 2000. She joined the cast of "Las Vegas" in 2003 playing the role of Sam Marquez opposite Josh Duhamel and the legendary James Caan, staying with the show for the five years of its run. Marcil has also appeared on such shows as "Spin City," "NYPD Blue," "Crossing Jordan," "Lipstick Jungle," and "Without a Trace" (via IMDb).

But it was her role as Brenda Barrett on "General Hospital" — where she and Maurice Benard's Sonny Corinthos became a super couple — that put her on the map, and this year marks a milestone for Marcil.


Vanessa Marcil and her character Brenda Barrett share a milestone

Soaps She Knows reported that actress Vanessa Marcil started playing Brenda Barrett on "General Hospital" 30 years ago in 1992. This was her first major acting job and she quickly became a fan favorite. Brenda has had quite a turbulent life including being kidnapped, developing a painkiller dependency, enduring several injuries, and killing at least two people. At various points, Brenda was married to Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), Jasper Jacks (Ingo Rademacher), and Jason Morgan (Steve Burton). Brenda and Lois Cerullo (Rena Sofer) started a record company called L&B Records and was the original face of Deception Cosmetics, according to Soap Central.


On Maurice Benard's YouTube show, "State of Mind," he interviewed "General Hospital" casting director Mark Teschner who said that when Marcil first tested for the role of Brenda with Benard, he could feel her complexity and presence and knew that she had the potential to be a big hit. However, Teschner explained that Marcil was intimidated by the other women at the casting call and almost left thinking she wasn't good-looking enough to be on the show. Ultimately, Teschner coaxed her in and she went on to become a soap star.

Marcil certainly is a big hit with "GH" fans around the world –- the same fans who hold out hope that Brenda will return to the show one day.