Vanessa is an American-born actress, known best for her appearances in the TV series “CSI: NY,” “24,” and “Graceland,” among others.
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Vanessa Ferlito hails from Brooklyn, New York City, and was born under the Capricorn zodiac sign on 28 December 1980, which makes her 43 years old as of 2023. Her parents, Alfred A. and Nancy Ferlito, are Italian-American, but her dad died of a heroin overdose when she was two years old – during a previous interview, she admitted that she finds her frequent performances in crime-related TV shows such as “24” and “CSI: NY” a subconscious way of seeking catharsis for her father’s death. Vanessa’s mother remarried, and the couple owned a hair salon in Brooklyn.
Ferlito hasn’t disclosed anything regarding her educational background.
Hobbies and Interests
Ferlito is a huge fan of animals, and is a devoted animal rights advocate. She is an active member of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organization.
The actress is a vegetarian, revealing that she decided to become one after watching the 2003 documentary movie “Earthlings,” which exposes malpractices in meat and animal-dependent industries.
In her spare time, Vanessa likes reading novels and her favorites are “Call from an Angel” by Guillaume Musso, and “Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie.
Ferlito’s acting career has seen her tour many US states and international destinations; she likes spending the summer in Miami and Italy.
— Bilal Mian (@Bilal_Mian) May 16, 2013
Career – TV Appearances
Before she began her acting career, Ferlito worked at a nightclub in New York City, and also modeled for Wilhelmina International Inc., previously called Wilhelmina Models. She made her TV debut in 2001, in David Chase’s crime drama “The Sopranos.” Thereafter, Vanessa landed the role of Claudia Hernandez in the action drama “24,” which stars Kiefer Sutherland as the counter-terrorist agent, Jack Bauer. In every season of “24,” Bauer’s life is covered for 24 successive hours using the real-time narration method – Ferlito appeared in 11 episodes in her one-year stint in the third season of the series.
Ferlito played Detective Aiden Burn in the first and second seasons of the CBS police procedural series “CSI: NY,” which is about the investigations of a team of forensic scientists and New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers identified as Crime Scene Investigators, who work round the clock to solve cases relating to mysterious deaths, disappearances, and other crimes. “CSI: NY” is a direct spin-off from the drama series “CSI: Miami” and an indirect spin-off from the crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Vanessa appeared in 26 episodes from 2004 to 2006.
In 2013, she landed a career-defining role as Charlie DeMarco in Jeff Eastin’s TV drama “Graceland,” which aired on the USA Network; Ferlito appeared in 38 episodes during her two-year run in the show. From 2016-2021, Vanessa played Tammy Gregorio from the third to the seventh season of the police procedural and action crime drama “NCIS: New Orleans,” which aired on CBS.
Vanessa made her film debut as Jordan Nash in the drama “On_Line” in 2002. In 2003, she was selected to star alongside John Leguizamo in his HBO TV film “Undefeated” and her performance saw her nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special. Vanessa appeared in two more films in 2004, including the critically acclaimed and commercially successful superhero movie “Spider-Man 2.” Her appearance in the Sam Raimi-directed film, which had an impressive box office of almost $800 million, increased her fame significantly.
Quentin Tarantino & Vanessa Ferlito on the set of Death Proof, 2007
Vanessa shared the screen with Kurt Russell in the 2007 Quentin Tarantino-written and directed action thriller “Death Proof,” which is about a stuntman (Russell), who kills women using his modified car, which he claims to be ‘death-proof’, and before the decade ended, Vanessa appeared in four more films, including Tyler Perry’s 2009 comedy-drama “Madea Goes to Jail.”
She began the following decade with an appearance in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, and her following roles were in the 2012 Al Pacino-starred black comedy crime film “Stand Up Guys” and most recently in the 2015 crime drama “All Mistakes Buried.”
Ferlito is active on Instagram (@vanessaferlitodaily) with over 20,000 followers.
Ferlito surprised her fans and supporters when she revealed her baby bump on social media in 2007, and in September, gave birth to a son she named Vince, but has never publicly revealed the name of the child’s father. Although she distances herself from topics and discussions relating to her son and dating life in interviews, Ferlito talks boldly about the kind of a mom she is to her son, and previously stated, ‘I’m obsessed with my son. I take parenting to the fullest, I breast-fed until he was two. I’d pump all through the night, and have a driver take it to him when I was working.’
Rumors and Controversy
Vanessa is reportedly married to a man named Dane, who is alleged to be 18 years younger than her – they allegedly exchanged vows in 2019. The Brooklyn native hasn’t confirmed or denied the allegation, and the profession of her mysterious husband remains unknown. It is rumored that Ferlito previously dated the accomplished American film director, Quentin Tarantino; they worked together in the 2007 movie “Grindhouse.” In September 2014, the duo was spotted kissing after a dinner date at a lavish restaurant in Manhattan.
Ferlito portrayed a gay character in “NCIS: New Orleans,” which resulted in many questioning her sexuality. Some claimed that playing the role was her way of coming out as gay, but she’s debunked the claims, clarifying that she is straight.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Ferlito is of Caucasian ethnicity and has brown eyes and long black hair. She has an hourglass figure, weighs approximately 125lbs (57kgs), and is 5ft 6ins (1.68m) tall, with vital statistics of 32-24-33. Moreover, the “Graceland” starlet wears dress and shoe sizes 6(US) and 8(US) respectively.
There are rumors that Ferlito has undergone lip augmentation surgery and rhinoplasty in a bid to make her lips fuller and nose more symmetrical, but she hasn’t addressed the allegations.
Ferlito has become popular and has amassed a good sum from her successful career in the entertainment industry; she’s worth approximately $6 million as of 2023.