Shaw completed roles in various independent films for the remainder of the 1990s. Family Life She was born to actress Susan Damante-Shaw and Larry Shaw. Trivia She became a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism during her college years.
Her breakout role was in Disney's 1993 Halloween comedy-fantasy hit film Hocus Pocus. Her family's original surname was "Schwartz", and her ancestry includes Russian Jewish (from her paternal grandfather), Italian (from her maternal grandfather), German, Irish, English, Mexican, and Swedish.
She also was in Ladybugs (1992), Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (1999), the 2006 remake of Wes Craven's horror picture The Hills Have Eyes, and 40 Days and 40 Nights, as Josh Hartnett's character's sadistic ex-girlfriend. Her name, Vinessa, spelled with an "i" rather than the common "a", was a variation of her grandfather's name, Vincent.
Shaw made her first formal performance in a UCLA acting camp short at age 10, and subsequently toured with children's folk singer Peter Alsop at age 11.
At the age of ten, Shaw gave her first formal performance in a UCLA acting camp ‘Short’.
Before beginning her acting career, she did a few commercial ads and modeling jobs.