Vanessa del Rio

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Vanessa del Rio
Vanessa del Rio 1.jpg
Born Ana Maria Sanchez
(1952-03-31) March 31, 1952 (age 64)
Harlem, New York, U.S.
Other names Ursula Pasarell, Nessa, Diane Richards, Violet Reason, Ursula Passarell, Vanessa delRio
Ethnicity Afro-Latina
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) [1]

Vanessa del Rio (born March 31, 1952) is a retired American 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 left a job as a computer programmer 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] Prior to adult films, she also worked as a streetwalker and call girl.[5][6]


Del Rio began appearing in adult films in 1974. In the span of about 25 years, del Rio has appeared in over 100 pornographic films and in several music videos, notably "Get Money" by Junior M.A.F.I.A.,[7] 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] she returned shortly thereafter, and continued her porn career until 1999. Afterwards, she remains somewhat active in the adult entertainment industry through her Web site 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.[8]

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.[9][10]

A feature film based on del Rio's life is expected to begin production in 2013.[11] Actress Zulay Henao will portray del Rio in the biopic.


Selected television appearances[edit]



  1. ^ Sophie (May–June 1997). "Interview with Vanessa del Rio". Mentertainment magazine. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  2. ^ George Gurley (2007-11-20). "Don't Blame It on Rio". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  3. ^ a b c Siobhan O'Connor (2007-09-11). "Out With a Bang". King magazine. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  4. ^ Morales, Robert (1995). "Del Rio of Dreams". Vibe (Dec-Jan): 117. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "Her Name Is Rio". PAPERMAG. June 14, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ Jeff Winbush. "The Diva of Sex: The Vanessa del Rio Interview". G21. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  8. ^ "Summary for NYPD Blue episode "Head Case"". Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Vanessa del Rio". Taschen. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  10. ^ Dian Hanson (2007). Vanessa del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior. Germany: Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-2230-2. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Bob (September 21, 2012). "New Vanessa del Rio Feature Film in the Works". XBIZ. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b Peter van Aarle (1997-06-07). "Historical "Best Porn Movie" Winners". Retrieved 2007-09-22. 

External links[edit]