Vanessa Marcil is all too accustomed to adoring fans. "I really can't go anywhere anymore with out being recognized."
So it doesn't really surprise the sexy star of the ABC soap "General Hospital" and host of "ABC's In Concert" when male fans clamor for her attention. But on a recent New York publicity jaunt, Marcil was in the lobby of the Marriott Marquis hotel when she heard the ardent shouts of "a woman who had to be in her 60s. She was waiting in the lobby and was screaming for me."
That's why Marcil doesn't categorize her fans: "It's not like just women watch the soap and guys [watch] 'In Concert,' " she says the day after the Marquis scream fest and back at her Los Angeles area home. "Both shows are watched by men and women of all ages."
"In Concert," now in its fifth season and shown late Friday in Los Angeles, features performers such as Hole and Green Day, which appeal to Generation X, but the show has also profiled Elton John and Frank Sinatra. "There's something for everyone," Marcil says.
Marcil, 25, a San Diego native, lived in Anchorage, Alaska, before her family settled in Palm Desert. She got her first job in community theater at 8 and worked in productions through high school.
"But by the time I got to college [at College of the Desert], I stopped acting for awhile, and even thought about studying law," Marcil says. Not for long. She moved to Los Angeles in 1992 and won a role in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the Flight Theater.
"My [current] manager and other managers saw me and wanted to sign me," she recalls. "I hadn't thought about doing any film or television, since I just love theater." Within three weeks of signing with her manager, Marcil had the role of Brenda on "General Hospital."
While Marcil says she was never a soap addict, she cites a two-year period in her life, from 10 to 12, when she watched one regularly: "General Hospital."
"I ran home to watch the Luke and Laura story. I actually met Tony Geary [Luke] at a publicity thing, where we waited in line forever. When I got to the front of the line, I just burst into tears. My mother took a bunch of pictures, but people were so crazy for Luke and Laura, someone stole them at the developers! We laugh and say it would be really funny to have pictures of 'Brenda' at 10 with 'Luke'."
Marcil was featured in the "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" video made by The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. "I don't have a real favorite kind of music," she says. "I can like a CD of the sound of rain on a sidewalk one day and then the Chili Peppers the next, but Prince is probably my all-time favorite."
After many recurring hosting stints in early 1994 with "In Concert," Marcil was hired on officially last September.
For an aspiring singer, "In Concert" may be a perfect hosting gig, but you won't hear her crooning on the late-night show. "That would be too incestuous," she says with a giggle.
In Marcil's day job--"five days a week," she reminds us--she portrays the resident lost soul who currently happens "to be addicted to Sonny, a mob leader." Brenda's not quite yet "Married to the Mob," but may be on her way there.
"I think she's so obsessed with him, even as she realizes it's a real 'Godfather' kind of thing, she won't be able to give him up," the actress predicts.
What Marcil won't give up is her intensely busy work schedule. On any given day, she says, "I can be on the 'GH' set at 7 a.m. and work until 10 p.m. and then get to the 'In Concert' set at 11 p.m. and not get home until at 1:30 a.m., when I have to go over the 'GH' script for the next day and that same early morning call."
Such a schedule keeps Marcil, who's single, "kinda in the dark" about how much of her work is seen. "When we go out," she says, "it always amazes me how popular the shows are. It's very flattering to be recognized for your work that way."
"ABC's In Concert" airs late Fridays at 2:05 a.m. on KABC. "General Hospital" airs weekdays at 2 p.m. on ABC.