About Vanessa Marquez

Vanessa Marquez

The Life and Career of Vanessa Marquez

Vanessa Marquez was a talented actress known for the movie Stand and Deliver (1988) and the television series ER. Vanessa Rosalia Marquez was born on December 21 1968 in Los Angeles County and grew up in Montebello, California. She graduated from Schurr High School in 1986 and attended California State University, Los Angeles.

Vanessa Marquez made her film debut playing Ana Delgado in the movie Stand and Deliver in 1988. She made her stage debut the following year in Thomas Babe's play Demon Wine at the Los Angeles Theatre Centre, appearing alongside such heavyweights as Tom Waits, Bill Pullman, and Carol Wayne.

Over the next several years Vanessa Marquez had a recurring role on Wiseguy and was a cast member of the TV show Culture Clash. She guest starred on such TV shows as Seinfeld, Melrose Place, and Nurses. Vanessa appeared in such films as Night Children (1989), Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992), Blood In, Blood Out (1993), Twenty Bucks (1993), and Father Hood (1993). Vanessa Marquez appeared on stage in such plays as August 29, Women and Wallace, and The Street of the Sun

It was in 1994 that she began playing Nurse Wendy Goldman for three seasons on the hit TV show ER. Vanessa Marquez would later appear in the television movies All Lies End in Murder (1997) and Fire and Ice (2001), and guest starred on the TV series Malcolm & Eddie. Vanessa appeared on stage in the play Anna in the Tropics at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in 2010, playing the role of Marela.

Vanessa Marquez was a Chicana or Mexican American. Her maternal grandfather was born in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Her maternal grandmother was born in Hermosillo, Sonora. Vanessa's grandparents married in Nogales, Sonora and later moved to Nogales, Arizona, which is where Vanessa's mother was born. Vanessa was very proud of her heritage, and referred to herself as "Mexican American."

Sadly, Vanessa Marquez was shot in the back and killed by officers of the South Pasadena Police Department on August 30 2018. Vanessa Marquez's mother, Delia McElfresh, later reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit with the City of South Pasadena.

Vanessa Marquez remains a beloved actress. There was even a campaign to have her included in the on-air In Memoriam on the Oscars telecast. A petition to do so reached over 12,000 signatures.

Vanessa Marquez at  the NBC All-Star Reception at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena on  January 9 1995.

While to many Vanessa Marquez was a famous actress, for me she was both my best friend and the love of my life. We met on Twitter as part of the original members of  #TCMParty, the group of Turner Classic Movies fans who live tweet films on the channel using that hashtag. We bonded and soon became friends. Eventually I fell in love with her. We interacted on multiple social media services, texted each other, and talked on the phone. Meaning as much to me as she did,

I have written multiple blog posts about Vanessa Marquez since her untimely death and others in which I make reference to her. Here is a listing of every single blog post in which I mention my beloved Vanessa. Below that is a filmography of her work in film and television.

A head shot of Vanessa Marquez from 1996

Blog Posts about Vanessa Marquez

"Vanessa Marquez and R2-D2", May 4 2024

"Nurses, 'The One After the Earthquake", March 21 2024

"The 35th Anniversary of the TV Debut of Stand and Deliver (1988)", March 15 2024

"Google Search Has the Wrong Photo of Vanessa Marquez in the Cast Section of Her Movies", February 21 2024

"The 30th Anniversary of State of Emergency (1994)", February 12 2024

"The 55th Birthday of My Dearest Vanessa Marquez", December 21 2023

"Vanessa Marquez on DVD", November 17 2023

"The 5th Anniversary of the Death of Vanessa Marquez", August 30 2023

"The 30th Anniversary of Father Hood (1993)", August 27 2023

"Why Vanessa Marquez Deserves a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame", August 16 2023

"The 30th Anniversary of the TV show Culture Clash", July 31 2023

"The 30th Anniversary of Blood In Blood Out", April 30 2023

"The Flaming Hot...Five Reasons Why Tag", February 13 2023

"Stand and Deliver (1988) at the 2023 TCM Classic Film Festival", January 25 2022

"The 30th Anniversary of Twenty Bucks (1993)", January 22 2023

"The 54th Birthday of Vanessa Marquez", December 21 2022

"Seinfeld: 'The Cheever Letters'", October 22 2022

"The Lasting Influence of Vanessa Marquez", August 30 2022

"Vanessa Marquez Sings 'Fly Me to the Moon'", July 29 2022

"Wendy Goldman on ER", April 24 2022

"All Lies End in Murder (1997)", February 22 2022

"The 53rd Birthday of My Dearest Vanessa Marquez", December 21 2021

"The 30th Anniversary of the TV Movie Locked Up: A Mother's Rage", October 29 2021

"The Media and Vanessa Marquez", August 30 2021

"Vanessa Marquez 3rd Angelversary", August 4 20201

"Vanessa Marquez on Culture Clash", June 26 2021

"Stand and Deliver Reunion Panel on the Midnight's Edge YouTube Channel", June 10 2021

"The 20th Anniversary of the BET Movie Fire & Ice (2001)", April 7 2021

"Good Riddance, 2020", December 31 2020

"The 52nd Birthday of Vanessa Marquez, December 21 2020

"A Letter to Vanessa Marquez", August 30 2020

"Justice for Vanessa Marquez", July 30 2020

"Lawsuit for Shooting Death of Vanessa Marquez", June 25 2020

"In Defence of Vanessa Marquez", March 6 2020

"Farewell to 2019", December 31 2019

"The 51st Birthday of My Beloved Vanessa Marquez", December 21 2019

"Turner Classic Movies in St. Louis", October 10 2019

"ER Turns 25", September 19 2019

"One Year Later", August 30 2019

"The Wizard of Oz and Its Impact on People", August 23 2019

 "Vanessa Marquez on Streaming Media", August 7 2019

"Gone to California", July 28 2019

"The Fiftieth Anniversary of Judy Garland's Death", June 22 2019

"IMDB Has Two Errors on Vanessa Marquez's Profile Page", June 9 2019

"The 15th Anniversary of A Shroud of Thoughts", June 4 2019

"The Best Posts from June 4 2018 to June 3 2019", June 3 2019

"Star Wars Day", May 4 2019

"The 25th Anniversary of Turner Classic Movies", April 15 2019

"ER 'Night Shift'", March 23 2019

"Charles de Lauzirika's In Memoriam Video" March 3 2019

"Why I Am Angry About the In Memoriam Segment During the Oscars Telecast", February 25 2019

"Ten Years on Twitter", February 22 2019

"A Few Updates", February 8 2019

"The Truth About Vanessa Marquez", January 28 2019

"2018: The Worst Year of My Life", December 31 2018

"The 50th Birthday of My Dearest Vanessa Marquez", December 21 2018

"TCM Remembers 2018", December 14 2018

"Mourning Vanessa Marquez", November 8 2018

"Petition: Add Vanessa Marquez to the 'In Memoriam' Segments of the SAG Awards and Oscars Televised Shows", October 8 2018

"Stand and Deliver Turned 30", October 5 2018

"Vanessa Marquez Should Be Included in This Year's TCM Remembers", September 27 2018

"The Friends of Vanessa Marquez Memorial", September 22 2018

"Fundraiser for the Friends of Vanessa Marquez Memorial", September 14 2018

"My Beloved Vanessa Marquez", August 31 2018

"Please Help Fellow Classic Film Fan Vanessa Marquez", May 11 2014

A head shot of Vanessa Marquez from 1991

A Filmography of Vanessa Marquez

Below is a filmography of Vanessa Marquez's work.

Stand and Deliver (1988)....Ana Delgado
Night Children (1990)....Runt
Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992)....Terry
Twenty Bucks (1993)....Melanie
Blood In Blood Out (1993)....Montana's Daughter
Father Hood (1993)....Delores
Hit Me (1997)....Housekeeper (uncredited)

To My Daughter (TV Movie--1990)...Student #1
Wiseguy...Consuelo Burns
     "Point of No Return" (unaired--1990)
     "Changing Houses" (unaired--1990)
Sweet 15
(TV Movie--1990)....Lupe
Locked Up: A Mother's Rage (TV Movie 1992)....Yo-Yo
Tequila and Bonetti
     "Brooklyn and the Beast" (April 17 1992)....Lupe
    "The Cheever Letters" (October 28 1992)....Receptionist
Culture Clash
    Series Regular (1993)
State of Emergency (TV Movie--1994)....Violetta
"The One After the Earthquake" (April 16 1994)....Angelica
ER...Nurse Wendy Goldman
     "24 Hours (the pilot)" (September 19 1994)
     "Day One" (September 22 1994)
     "Going Home" (September 29 1994)
     "Into That Goodnight" (October 13 1994)
     "Chicago Heat" (October 20 1994)
     "Blizzard" (December 8 1994)
     "Luck of the Draw" (January 12 1995)
     " Make of Two Hearts" (February 9 1995)
     "House of Cards" (April 6 1995)
     "Men Plan, God Laughs" (April 27 1995)
     "Love Among the Ruins" (May 4 1995)
     "Motherhood" (May 11 1995)
     "Every Old is New Again" (May 18 1995)
     "Welcome Back, Carter!" (September 21 1995)
     "Do One, Teach One, Kill One" (October 5 1995)
     "Days Like This" (November 2 1995)
     "Hell and High Water" (November 9 1995)
     "It's Not Easy Being Greene" (February 1 1996)
     "Baby Shower" (February 15 1996)
     "The Healers" (February 22 1996)
     "John Carter, M.D." (May 16 1996)
     "Last Call" (October 17 1996)
     "No Brain, No Gain" (November 14 1996)
     "Night Shift" (January 16 1997)
     "Whose Appy Now?" (February 6 1997)
     "Faith" (February 20 1997)
     "Calling Dr. Hathaway" (April 24 1997)
Melrose Place
     "The Doctor Who Rocks the Cradle" (November 28 1994)....Linda Cortez
All Lies End in Murder (TV Movie--1997)....Yvonne Valesquez
Malcolm & Eddie....Janice Ramos
     "The Fool Monty" (April 27 1999)
     "As You Strike It" (May 11 1999)
     "Worst Impressions" (October 4 1999)
Fire & Ice (TV Movie--2001)....Wanda Hernandez

Highlights from Vanessa Marquez's Career

For those of you interested in Vanessa Marquez's work as an actress, here is a collection of clips from her career she posted to her YouTube channel years ago.

Vanessa Marquez at the NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Theatre on April 6 1996.