Lana Parrilla

Lana Parrilla

Parrilla at the 2014 Comic-Con in San Diego.
Born Lana Maria Parrilla
(1977-07-15) July 15, 1977
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Fred Di Blasio (m. 2014)
Parent(s) Sam Parrilla
Dolores Dee Azzara
Relatives Candice Azzara (aunt)
Awards Alma Award, Imagen Award

Lana Maria Parrilla (born July 15, 1977) is an American actress. Parrilla is best known for her roles on television and radio. She was a regular cast member in the fifth season of the ABC sitcom Spin City from 2000 to 2001. She later starred in Boomtown (2002-2003), Windfall (2006), Swingtown (2008) and as Doctor Eva Zambrano in the short-lived medical drama Miami Medical (2010). She also played the role of Sarah Gavin during the fourth season of the Fox series 24 in 2005. In 2011, Parrilla began starring as The Evil Queen/Regina Mills in the ABC fantasy drama series, Once Upon a Time. In 2016 Parrilla won a Teen Choice awards for Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fic.

Early life

Parrilla was born in Brooklyn. Her father, Sam Parrilla (1943–94), was a Puerto Rican-born baseball player who played professionally for 11 seasons (1963–73), including one season with the Major League Philadelphia Phillies in 1970 as an outfielder.[1] Her mother is an American painter of Sicilian descent who works in banking. Parrilla has one older sister, Deena, and a nephew named Sammy.[2] She is also the niece of character actress Candice Azzara. Parrilla's parents divorced when she was four years old. She spent her first ten years living with her mother, and then lived with her father. During the time she lived with her father, he was too protective to allow her to attend a performing arts school, which delayed her acting career.[3] Parrilla lived with her father until his murder in 1994, when she was 16 and he was 50. Her father was shot once in the chest by a 15-year-old female assailant at point blank range and later died from the wound.[2][3] After the death of her father, Parrilla moved in with her mother in Burbank, California. Parrilla visited Granada in 2007 to learn Spanish. After high school she moved to Los Angeles and attended Beverly Hills Playhouse to study acting. She also studied voice for ten years. Parrilla then began to be cast in small parts and later on, larger ones.



Parrilla in March 2012

In her early career, Parrilla appeared in several movies, including Very Mean Men (2000), Spiders (2000), Replicant (2001) and Frozen Stars (2003). She made her television debut in 1999, on the UON sitcom Grown Ups. In 2000, she joined the cast of the ABC comedy series Spin City, playing Angie Ordonez for one season. She left the show in 2001. After that she joined Donnie Wahlberg and Neal McDonough in the short lived crime drama Boomtown, for which she received the Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress,[4] for her portrayal of Teresa, a paramedic. Initially a success, Boomtown began to struggle, and Parrilla's character became a police academy rookie, to tie her more closely to the rest of the show. "Boomtown" was cancelled just two episodes into its second season.

Parrilla guest-starred in a number of television dramas, including JAG, Six Feet Under, Covert Affairs, Medium, The Defenders and Chase. She had a recurring role in 2004 as Officer Janet Grafton in NYPD Blue. In 2005, Parrilla took a recurring guest role on the fourth season of the Fox series 24 as Sarah Gavin, a Counter Terrorist Unit agent. After just six episodes, Lana was made a regular cast member; but in the thirteenth episode, her character was written out after she tried to thwart another character's promotion from temporary to permanent CTU head Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth).

In 2006, Parrilla starred in the NBC summer series Windfall alongside Luke Perry, fellow former 24 cast member Sarah Wynter, and Parilla's former Boomtown castmate Jason Gedrick. In 2007, she guest starred as Greta during the third season of ABC's Lost in the episodes "Greatest Hits" and "Through the Looking Glass" In 2008, she had a leading role on the Lifetime movie The Double Life of Eleanor Kendall, in which she played Nellie, a divorcee whose identity has been stolen.[5] Also in 2008, she starred in the CBS summer series Swingtown as Trina Decker, a woman who is part of a Swinging couple. In 2010, Parrilla had a female lead role in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Miami Medical on CBS, which had a short run towards the end of the 2009–10 television season before it was canceled in July 2010.[6] Windfall, Swingtown and Miami Medical were all canceled after 13 episodes.


Parrilla in 2012

In February 2011, she was cast as Mayor Regina Mills/The Evil Queen, in the ABC adventure fantasy drama pilot, Once Upon a Time created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.[7] The series debuted in October 2011.[4] The pilot episode was watched by 12.93 million viewers and achieved an adult 18–49 rating/share of 4.0/10 during the first season, receiving generally favorable reviews from critics.[8]

Parrilla's performance also received positive reviews from critics. In 2012 and 2013, she was regarded as a promising contender for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category,[9][10][11][12][13][14] though she did not receive a nomination. She won the TV Guide Award for Favorite Villain and the ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2012.[15][16] Parrilla also received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress on Television from the 38th Saturn Awards.[17]

Personal life

Parrilla with her husband Fred Di Blasio in 2014

Parrilla became engaged to boyfriend Fred Di Blasio on April 28, 2013, while in Israel.[18] The two were married July 5, 2014, shortly before Parrilla began filming the fourth season of Once Upon a Time. [19] Parrilla confirmed the news on her Twitter account on August 1, 2014.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Very Mean Men Teresa
2000 Spiders Marci Eyre
2003 Frozen Stars Lisa Vasquez
2005 One Last Ride Antoinette
2008 The Double Life of Eleanor Kendall Nellie


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Grown Ups Waitress Episodes: "Truth Be Told", "J Says"
2000 Rude Awakening Nurse Lorna Episode: "Telltale Heart pt.1"
2000–01 Spin City Angie Ordonez Series regular, 21 episodes
2002 JAG Lt. Stephanie Donato Episode: "Head to Toe"
The Shield Sedona Tellez Episode: "Circles"
2002–03 Boomtown Teresa Ortiz Series regular, 24 episodes
2004 NYPD Blue Officer Janet Grafton Recurring role, 3 episodes
Six Feet Under Maile Episodes: "Terror Starts at Home", "The Dare"
2005 24 Sarah Gavin Series regular, 12 episodes
2006 Windfall Nina Schaefer Series regular, 13 episodes
Lost Greta Episodes: "Greatest Hits", "Through the Looking Glass"
2008 Swingtown Trina Decker Series regular, 13 episodes
The Double Life of Eleanor Kendall Nellie Television film
2010 Miami Medical Dr. Eva Zambrano Series regular, 13 episodes
Covert Affairs Julia Suarez Episode: "South Bound Suarez"
Medium Lydia Halstrom Episode: "The Match Game"
The Defenders Betty Episode: "Las Vegas vs. Johnson"
2011 Chase Isabella Episode: "Narco: Part 1"
2011–present Once Upon a Time Regina Mills
The Evil Queen
Main Cast

Awards and nominations

Year Award Nominated work Result
2003 Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress Boomtown Won
2008 ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Television Series Swingtown Nominated
2012 TV Guide Award for Favorite Villain Once Upon a Time Won
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television Once Upon a Time Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Villain Once Upon a Time Nominated
ALMA Award for Outstanding TV Actress - Drama Once Upon a Time Won
2013 NHMC Impact Award Once Upon a Time Won
Teen Choice Awards for Choice TV Villain Once Upon a Time Nominated
Imagen Foundation Award for Best Actress/Television Once Upon a Time Nominated
2016 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Once Upon a Time Won


  1. "Sam Parrilla Statistics and History -". Sports Reference.
  2. 1 2 "Lana Parrilla and her sister Deena".
  3. 1 2 "Biography | Lana Parrilla Daily - Your newest 24/7 Source For All Things Lana Parrilla". Lana Parrilla Daily. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  4. 1 2 BIO:Evil Queen Played by Lana Parrilla
  5. MOVIES The Double Life of Eleanor Kendall
  6. "Miami Medical canceled, no season two | canceled + renewed TV shows". TV Series Finale. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  7. Andreeva, Nellie (2011-02-28). "Several Actors Board Broadcast Pilots". Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  8. "Once Upon a Time - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  9. Paula Hendrickson (2012-06-21). "Lana Parrilla in 'Once Upon a Time': Road to the Emmys 2012: The Supporting Actor & Actress - Chicago Tribune". Variety. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  10. 07/19/2013 2:48 pm EDT (2013-07-19). "Emmy Latino Snubs For Lana Parrilla, Jimmy Smits, and More". Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  11. Marc Cuenco (2013-12-01). "14 Emmy-Worthy GIFs of 'Once Upon a Time' Star Lana Parilla". Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  12. Team TVLine / June 6, 2012, 6:25 AM PDT (2012-06-06). "[PHOTOS] Emmy Nominations 2012 — Awards Show's Supporting Actress In Drama Contenders". TVLine. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  13. Snetiker, Marc (2012-07-18). "2012 Emmy Awards Nominees: Our Predictions! | TV News". Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  14. "Lana Parrilla, Once Upon a Time from Emmy Contenders: Supporting Actress, Drama | E! Online UK". 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  15. "TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites Awards Winners Revealed! - Today's News: Our Take". 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  16. 09/21/2012 10:18 pm (2012-09-21). "ALMA Awards 2012: Winners And Show Highlights (VIDEO, PHOTOS)". Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  17. Goldberg, Matt. "Saturn Award Nominations 2012 | Collider | Page 148931". Collider. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  18. Saad, Nardine (May 7, 2013). "'Once Upon a Time's' Lana Parrilla engaged to Fred Di Blasio". Los Angeles Times.
  19. McRady, Rachel (July 30, 2014). "Lana Parrilla Is Marred: Once Upon a Time Star Secretly Weds". Us Weekly Magazine.
  20. Parrilla, Lana (August 1, 2014). "Well, @fred_diblasio I think this says it all... Signed, #MrsDiBlasio". Twitter.

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