Former ER Actress Vanessa Marquez Is Dead After Confrontation With Police Officers

Vanessa Marquez, known for her recurring role on NBC's hit medical drama ER as nurse Wendy Goldman, is dead after a confrontation with a police officer at her home in Pasadena, California. News of the tragedy was first reported on August 30, and then it was officially confirmed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on August 31. Here's what happened.

South Pasadena police officers were called to Vanessa Marquez's Pasadena home by her landlord, according to a statement from Joe Mendoza of L.A. Sheriff's homicide bureau (via the South Pasadenan). The landlord reported that Marquez was in trouble, and police had been called to Marquez's home in the past for welfare checks. After officers arrived at the scene, Marquez reportedly pulled out a "BB-type" gun, and an officer responded by opening fire. Marquez was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. She was 49 years old at the time of her death.

Vanessa Marquez was described by Joe Mendoza at the homicide bureau as "gravely disabled," dealing with medical problems and seizures. When news of the shooting first broke, the identity of the victim was not revealed, and it was not until August 31 that LA County Sheriff's department confirmed (via tweet) that Vanessa Marquez was the woman who died.

She died after reportedly being shot "at least once in the torso." An LA County mental health clinician was evidently present at the time of the shooting before Marquez "became very uncooperative" and pulled out the BB-type gun. Despite the shooting taking place in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department will be the party investigating the shooting in accordance with routine regarding officer-involved shootings that take place within LA Country.

Although undoubtedly best known for her recurring role as Wendy on ER, Vanessa Marquez also appeared in an episode of Seinfeld, an episode of Melrose Place, and multiple episodes of Malcolm & Eddie on top of a number of TV movie roles. On the big screen, she nabbed roles in Stand and Deliver with Edward James Olmos and Blood In Blood Out. Marquez's most recent credit prior to her death was the 2017 short The Problem with Evolution.

Vanessa Marquez made headlines back in October 2017 thanks to a series of tweets in which she accused former ER costar George Clooney of harassment when they shared the set on NBC's medical drama. According to Marquez, she was blacklisted for a quarter of a century due to speaking up about harassment on set, accusing both Clooney and executive producer John Wells. She went on to suggest that the alleged blacklisting "had to be a group decision," with WB, NBC, and Amblin involved as well.

Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend go out to Vanessa Marquez's loved ones in what must be an incredibly difficult time.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).