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Vinessa Shaw

Actor, Model
Vinessa Elizabeth Shaw (born July 19, 1976) is an American film actress and model. Shaw has starred in numerous motion pictures since the early 1990s and has had her most memorable roles in Disney's 1993 Halloween-set film Hocus Pocus, Ladybugs (1992), Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (1999), the 2006 remake of Wes Craven's horror picture The Hills Have Eyes, as well as the romance film Two Lovers (2008), in which she starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow. --- Shaw was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Larry Shaw and actress Susan Damante-Shaw (née Susan Jean Damante). Her family's original surname was "Schwartz", and her ancestry includes Jewish, Italian, Swedish, and Irish. Her name, Vinessa, spelled with an "i" rather than the common "a", was a variation of her grandfather's name, Vincent. Shaw made her first formal performance in a UCLA acting camp short at age 10, and subsequently toured with children's folk singer Peter Alsop at age 11. She also signed on with the Elite Models agency in 1989 at the age of 13 before beginning her acting career, and did a few modeling jobs and commercial work throughout her earlier career. Shaw attended Barnard College in New York, but dropped out to pursue acting. Shaw was attending the college when she was approached by Stanley Kubrick for her role in Eyes Wide Shut. Shaw made her film debut in a little-known-of 1981 slasher film called Home Sweet Home, which dealt with a serial killer at Thanksgiving time. She then landed parts in a handful of television roles. She played a considerably large role in Disney's 1993 Halloween family film Hocus Pocus alongside Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, and a young Thora Birch. Shaw completed roles in various independent films for the remainder of the 1990s. In 1999, she was cast in a small yet significant role by the legendary Stanley Kubrick in his final film Eyes Wide Shut, playing an HIV-positive prostitute who is encountered by Tom Cruise's character. In a 2008 interview, Shaw stated that director Kubrick was "very influential" to her and that he "was the first person who encouraged her to continue acting". Following her role in Eyes Wide Shut, Vinessa played parts in a handful of films including the independent 2000 mystery-drama The Weight of Waterwith Sarah Polley and Sean Penn; the slapstick comedy Corky Romano alongside Chris Kattan; the romantic comedy 40 Days and 40 Nights, playing the fiesty ex-girlfriend of Josh Hartnett; and a very small role in Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda. --- Shaw has been engaged to behind-the-scenes film artist Kristopher Gifford since 2008. Shaw was raised a Buddhist. She embraced the Nichiren Buddhist philosophy during her first year attending college in 1996.

Wikipedia ]

Born
Vinessa Elizabeth Shaw
July 19, 1976 (age 47)
Profession
Actor, Model
Spouse
Kristopher Gifford
Parents
Susan Damante, Larry Shaw
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