An actress whose great intelligence belied her image as a svelte, blond bombshell, British performer Vanessa Branch began life in London and grew up as the daughter of a hotel chef, frequently relocating during her youth. Branch ultimately enrolled in Vermont's Middlebury College, with a dual major in theater and Chinese, and graduated in 1994; on the side, she cultivated musical interests with performances on the viola and the piano. In her professional life, Branch made a strong mark in several arenas: on commercial television, as the sexy Orbit gum spokeswoman (whose mantra was "Fabulous!"); in daytime soaps (cast as the gentle, amiable Paige Collins on ABC's Port Charles); as a guest performer on prime-time series such as Gilmore Girls and Monk; and in features. Big screen projects included a small role in the Denzel Washington medical drama John Q., a glossy turn as Captain Jack Sparrow's girlfriend Giselle in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), and a small-scaled yet pivotal turn as a kindly veterinarian in the modest family-oriented drama All Roads Lead Home (2008). ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Vanessa Branch

USA

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