05/08/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT
SHE WAS CAST IN THE 1994 MUSIC video, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," by no less an authority on pulchritude than the former Prince, and yet Vanessa Marcil makes the compliment seem inadequate. Her raven hair and perfectly placed beauty marks recall "a young Liz Taylor," says her hairdresser, Jonathan Antin. But it is Marcil's complexion that takes other people's breath away. "She has about the most gorgeous skin I've ever seen," Kathie Lee Gifford marveled last March, when the 5'4" actress appeared on Live!
Marcil, 25, prefers to downplay her assets, suggesting that she's less likely to dress in "makeup and heels" than "jeans and combat boots." With her genetic good luck, Marcil would appear radiant in a potato sack. Her French mother and Portuguese father blessed her with "versatile looks," she says, "so I can play lots of different parts." Right now she's raising temperatures on General Hospital as the nasty Brenda Barrett, as well as serving as host of ABC's Friday late-night In Concert. She also manages to squeeze in as many as six sessions a week with a personal trainer. A lifetime vegetarian, she claims she never diets.
Happily single, Marcil shrugs off the Beautiful Girl label. "I'm not ready to be a woman yet," she says. "I'd like it if my body were more boyish. Maybe I'll like my curves when I'm older, but right now they kind of make me squirm." She's not the only one.