City Settles in Wrongful Death Case of ‘Stand and Deliver’ Actress Vanessa Marquez

Lead Photo: Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
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The city of South Pasadena has settled a lawsuit in the death of actress Vanessa Marquez (Stand and Deliver). In 2018, police officers went to Marquez’s apartment to conduct a wellness check. Marquez was shot and killed when she pointed what turned out to be a BB gun at police.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the city and Marquez’s mother Delia McElfresh reached a settlement of $450,000.

“Any loss of life is tragic,” South Pasadena Mayor Diana Mahmud said in a statement.

During the wellness check, police noticed Marquez was having seizures and seemed to be suffering from mental health issues. Police say Marquez then became uncooperative and allegedly brandished what they thought to be a firearm.

“We believe our officers acted appropriately under a tragic set of circumstances,” said city manager Stephanie DeWolfe in a statement after the shooting in 2018.

Marquez started her career in 1988 when she was cast as bookish high school student Ana Delgado in the film Stand and Deliver, which landed lead actor Edward James Olmos an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of educator Jaime Escalante. In 2011, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

During her career, Marquez also starred in the TV series ER as Nurse Wendy Goldman for three years. A year prior to her death, she accused actor George Clooney of helping to blacklist her from Hollywood after she spoke up about being harassed on the set of the medical drama. Clooney denied the allegations.

“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted,” Clooney said in a statement. “I take her at her word. If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career, then she was lied to. The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”