Vanessa del Rio

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Vanessa del Rio
Vanessa del Rio 1.jpg
Ana Maria Sanchez

(1952-03-31) March 31, 1952 (age 67)
Other namesUrsula Pasarell, Nessa, Diane Richards, Violet Reason, Ursula Passarell, Vanessa delRio
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) [1][unreliable source?]

Vanessa del Rio (born March 31, 1952) is an American retired pornographic actress.

Early years[edit]

Vanessa del Rio was born Ana Maria Sanchez[2] and raised in Harlem, New York, the daughter of immigrants from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Her mother would take her to see movies of Isabel Sarli whom Vanessa credits as a big influence in her life.[3] She describes her mother as "a women in her early 20s and became "a waitress, then barmaid, then go-go dancer" becoming a porn actress because "they paid $150 a day, which was exactly my half of the rent".[4][5] Prior to adult films, she also worked as a streetwalker and call girl.[6][7]


For her stage name, she took the name "Vanessa" from a childhood friend and "Del Rio" from actress Dolores del Río at the suggestion of another friend who was a movie buff.[8]

Del Rio began appearing in adult films in 1974. In the span of about 12 years, del Rio has appeared in about 100 pornographic films.[4] and in several music videos, notably "Get Money" by Junior M.A.F.I.A.,[9] who also refer to her in their song "I Need You Tonight." She is known for having a particularly large clitoris.[3]

Though del Rio retired from adult films in 1986, in part due to the AIDS scare prevalent at the time,[3][4] after a stint as a bodybuilder she returned to feature dancing and doing magazine layouts.[4] Afterwards, she remains somewhat active in the adult entertainment industry through her website and by making special appearances at award shows and conventions. During and after her porn career, she appeared on many TV shows as herself, including a 1996 episode of NYPD Blue.[10] In 2008, she made a cameo opposite Bernie Mac in the film Soul Men.[11]

Popular culture[edit]

In 2007, the German art book publisher Taschen released a deluxe, heavily illustrated biography, Vanessa del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior.[12][13]

A feature film, "The Latin from Manhattan", based on del Rio's life began production in 2019, was written and directed by Thomas Mignone and is starring Vivian Lamolli as del Rio.[14][15][16]


Selected television appearances[edit]



  1. ^ Sophie (May–June 1997). "Interview with Vanessa del Rio". Mentertainment magazine. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  2. ^ George Gurley (November 20, 2007). "Don't blame it on Rio". The New York Observer. Archived from the original on November 24, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Siobhan O'Connor (September 11, 2007). "Out With a Bang". King magazine. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d Morales, Robert (1995). "Del Rio of Dreams". Vibe (Dec–Jan): 117.
  5. ^ Frolick, Joe (January 17, 1983). "Porn star: Industry changing for the better". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  6. ^ "An Interview With Vanessa del Rio: Legendary Porn Star Talks Changing New York, Subway Perverts, And A Madam In The Governor's Mansion". Huffington Post. July 5, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  7. ^ "Her Name Is Rio". PAPERMAG. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  8. ^ Perez, Rob (January 28, 2008). "Vanessa del Rio Did it...Her Way". Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Jeff Winbush. "The Diva of Sex: The Vanessa del Rio Interview". G21. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
  10. ^ "Summary for NYPD Blue episode "Head Case"". Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  11. ^ Adler, Shawn (October 22, 2008). "Sam Jackson Recalls Bernie Mac's Porn Star Fantasy". MTV. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  12. ^ "Vanessa del Rio". Taschen. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
  13. ^ Dian Hanson (2007). Vanessa del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior. Germany: Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-2230-2.
  14. ^ Johnson, Bob (September 21, 2012). "New Vanessa del Rio Feature Film in the Works". XBIZ. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
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  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b Peter van Aarle (June 7, 1997). "Historical "Best Porn Movie" Winners". Retrieved September 22, 2007.
  19. ^ "25th Annual AVN Awards Show". Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  20. ^ "XRCO Hall of Fame listing". Retrieved February 20, 2018.

External links[edit]