9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Marisol Nichols

Marisol Nichols is an American actress who became famous in 2017 after landing a role on the Fox hit series, 24, playing Special Agent Nadia Yassir. Born in Chicago, Illinois on November 2, 1973, Nichols was exposed to the dark side of life at a very tender age.

This hardship bred rebellion and it wasn’t long before she began engaging in the most self-destructive habits you could ever think of. Thankfully, she had an epiphany and decided to clean up her life, hence her interest in acting.

Marisol made her television debut in 1996 in the series Due South and Beverly Hills, 90210. Her movie debut was a big one as she starred as Audrey Griswold in the 1999 Chevy Chase movie, Vegas Vacation.

Since then, she has been unstoppable, starring in some of the country’s most popular television series. If you have ever found yourself wondering who the lovely ‘Nadia Yassir’ was in real life, then here are facts about her that you might not have previously known.

Key Takeaways
  • Marisol debuted on the big screen in the fourth installment of the Chevy Chase Vacation series, Vegas Vacation, released in 1997.
  • For her amazing portrayal of the character Victoria Santiago on Showtime’s Resurrection Blvd, she earned a Golden Eagle Award for Most Promising Actress.
  • The actress became a Scientologist in the 1990s after her chiropractor introduced it to her. She is also a spokesperson of Criminon, a program promoted by the Church of Scientology International for rehabilitating prisoners.
  • Before she landed the role of CTU Chief of Staff Nadia Yassir on the Fox thriller series 24, she had auditioned for three other roles.

1. Marisol Nichols Isn’t Just a Pretty Face In 24, She Is Also A Humanitarian Who Does Some Serious Undercover Work Off-Screen

Much like her character in 24, Marisol doesn’t like to leave anything to chance. She is not the type to sit passively while bad things happen around her and so she decided to offer some much-needed help. In 2014, she created a non-profit called ‘Foundation for a Slavery-Free World’, a foundation created for the purpose of joining the fight against sex and human trafficking.

As an undercover agent, Marisol puts in her best to eradicate child trafficking, going as far as posing as a sex trafficker and sometimes as the victim. She goes further to help the police nab some of the most dangerous sex offenders, especially pedophiles, by putting her acting talents to work. To avoid being recognized, she changes her appearance, employing the services of a professional makeup artist who goes full-on in changing her look.

Also, having a wide vocal range, Marisol pretends to be a 12-year-old when speaking to the pedophiles on the phone as the police listen. According to her, “as soon as they talk to the girl, they’re like, “I’m there. I’m in.” And law enforcement is on the other end waiting for them. It’s fantastic.

You end up saving children that didn’t even know they need to be saved because these guys are taken off the street,” she told Variety in a 2019 interview. She also revealed that it is the most rewarding thing she has ever been able to do.

Even though she still raises awareness, the actress wanted to do much more hence, the idea of going undercover. It’s not every day we meet an actress who actually does the dirty work, someone who cares so much that she would put her life on the line in order to eradicate a terrible societal evil.

Marisol doesn’t work alone though and has recently teamed up with the US Army veteran, Colin Wayne, to create an avenue for people to donate towards the eradication of child sex trafficking in America.

2. The Actress Started Doing Really Hard Drugs at 11 and Took To Acting As An Escape From Being A Drug Addict

Yes, it’s shocking, but it’s true. When Marisol was younger, she experienced quite a lot. First, she came from an unstable home. Her biological parents had broken up and her mom had remarried. However, Marisol never quite felt at home in Chicago.

She began to keep bad friends and unfortunately, she was gang-raped by a few of these friends. That singular incident derailed the track of her life and she pretty much began to take any drug she could lay her hands on, including cocaine and pot.

Marisol might have carried on this way until a chance audition made her see that she had great acting talent. She was cast as the lead in a play organized by her junior college drama group, even when she had no idea she could act.

Marisol Nichols later said that she tried to self-sabotage by rejecting the role but the coaches insisted. This was the beginning of years of trying to break out of drug addiction. She finally succeeded in her mid-twenties, and her acting career has been all the better for it.

3. Marisol Nichols Is Definitely Not A Vegetarian and Does Not Seem Too Finicky About What She Eats

The world as we know it today is constantly judging people for the kinds of food they eat. Many of our favorite actors have gone vegan and their numbers keep increasing. Marisol is one of a kind and doesn’t seem to mind what people might say about her eating habits.

In an interview with Women’s Health Magazine, she cheerfully described her love for chocolates, fizzy drinks, and greasy food. Speaking about her preferred meal types, she explained that she wasn’t a believer in eating tasteless foods as that made it difficult to stick to a particular diet – no matter how healthy the diet might be.

Marisol Nichols believes in steak (this is her favorite food as far as we know), artificial sweeteners, vegetables, coconut, and olive oils as well. Contrary to what you might think, she isn’t unaware of the dangers of unhealthy eating habits, as she does like to eat vegetables and greens too, but never as a main dish. The actress’ eating habits might not earn her a spot in the good books of American vegetarians, but it makes her happy and keeps her looking good too.

4. Her Big Screen Debut Came As An Unexpected Blessing In Disguise

We all know by now that Marisol Nichols landed her debut movie role as Audrey Griswold in the 1997 Chevy Chase movie, Vegas Vacation. What you might not be aware of, however, is that she was not the first choice for the role. She was not the second or third choice either. According to the 49-year-old actress, she wasn’t even surprised when she was rejected for the role because she was Latina, and the family she was meant to play daughter to, were all Caucasian.

She admitted that she felt discouraged because she believed that her ‘exotic’ features might not have been appropriate for the role. Something in her pushed her to keep auditioning anyways, and after one final audition in Texas, she was finally cast for the role. It turns out that the directors’ preferred lead didn’t want the role, and the job was given to Marisol eventually. If this isn’t the definition of absolute determination and doggedness, then we don’t know what it is.

5. Marisol’s Net Worth Is Estimated To The Tune Of $3 Million

If it wasn’t already obvious by now, then you should know that Marisol Nichols is quite rich. Having featured in some of the most popular and successful television series of the decade, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Not only does she earn massively from her television appearances, but she also makes very smart real estate investments.

In 2019, the actress put down over $1.7 million for a house in Los Angeles. No, the property wasn’t for her, it was for re-sale. After carrying out some major renovations, she put the house back up for sale and made a profit of over $700,000. That is the businesswoman in Marisol – the one that has always devised smart and ingenious ways to expand her earnings.

6. Marisol Nichols Has Been Married and Divorced Twice and Both Husbands Were Significantly Younger

Marisol Nichols
Marisol Nichols and Taron Lexon image source

The lovely actress has been in a couple of romantic relationships, but sadly none of them ended too well. She got married to Andrea Sorrentino in November 1999 after they met in Italy while she was filming My Father’s Shoes. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long together as their marriage was officially dissolved shortly after.

Marisol Nichols stayed away from marriage for many years and must have thought she has finally found “The One” in 2008 when she got into her second marriage with South African cinematographer, Taron Lexon. They got married on April 13, 2008, in Los Angeles in the cutest wedding ceremony ever and their union fared a little better and lasted longer than the first. But it still wasn’t Marisol’s happy-ever-after though as they split up in 2018.

By November of the same year, it was reported that the actress had filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Divorce proceedings were eventually finalized in 2020.

Considering the men she has been married to, it appears like the Vegas Vacation actress has a certain preference when it comes to spouses. She seems to have a thing for men who are much younger than she is. Even though they say age is just a number and does not matter when it comes to love, it could be the reason behind her failed marriages. Her first husband Andrea was about 9 years younger than she was.

They got married on November 18, 1999, when Marisol was 29 years old. This means Andrea, her ex-husband, was just 20 years when they got married. In the same vein, her second ex-husband, Taron, is about 11 years younger than she is, putting his age at 27 to Marisol’s 38 at the time of their wedding.

7. The Riverdale Star Is Part Latina and Has A Very Complicated Ancestry

Marisol’s most distinguishing features are her dark heavy brows and dark hair which depict her foreignness. She is half-Latina but also has Russian, Romanian, and Hungarian roots and is as exotic as they come. This ‘exoticness’ has been both a blessing and a curse for the 48-year-old star. Marisol speaks of feeling ‘left out’ as a kid growing up in Chicago because she didn’t quite fit in with the American crowd there.

As a matter of fact, she only truly felt at home with her mother’s people, the Mexicans. In her career, it does appear that her Latin roots have been more of a stepping stone than a barrier, as she has featured in a very wide range of movies. It might also mean that Marisol is so good at what she does that factors like race and ethnicity seem irrelevant in comparison to her talent.

8. Marisol Nichols Is A Mother Of One

The marriage between Marisol Nichols and her second husband, Taron Lexon, produced a daughter named Rain India Lexon, who was born in September 2008. Following their divorce, Marisol asked for joint legal custody and physical custody of their daughter in addition to spousal support.

It’s never easy being an only child as you always feel left out when your friends at school are talking about how awesome or annoying their siblings are. But while some other children might resort to pestering their parents about giving them a brother or sister, Rain already feels that Camila Mendes, who plays the role of Marisol’s daughter in Riverdale, is her sister. As a result, they get along very well since she is also a fan of the teen drama television series.

9. Marisol Frowns At The Language Used On TV To Describe Child Sex Victims

If the actress had the power to stop scripts referring to children paying for sex as child prostitutes, she would do it without thinking twice. Speaking during her 2019 interview with Variety, she explained that even if a child of 12 years pays for sex with someone who is 50 years old, she is still the victim.

As a result, she decided to work towards changing the language used and stop people from referring to these victims as child prostitutes by planning a project that will further shed light on the issue of child sex trafficking.

She told Variety that the project, which she’s dying to get made, involves showing footage of many undercover cops both within the United States and outside. According to her, among her major goals is ensuring that the issue is portrayed correctly.

She went further to disclose that one of the organizations that they have highlighted, known as Rights for Girls, collaborated with the McCain Institute and they were able to get the language changed through the foreign press so that they would no longer describe the kids as “child prostitutes.”

Chidimma Eze
Chidimma is a Mass Communications graduate with about 4 years experience. She has a flair for all things entertainment and when she's not writing, you would most likely find her either spending time with her family, binge-watching whatever television series that holds her interest at the time or silently editing other people’s grammar.

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