Of Italian and Puerto Rican descent, Lana Parrilla spent her childhood in Brooklyn, New York. At a young age, she made numerous home videos with her family and especially with her aunt, who is a working actress. Lana’s family supported her natural inclination to perform, however with her determination no one was going to stand in the way of her passion. Parrilla graduated from high school and shortly thereafter moved to Los Angeles to study her craft and began to appear in local theatre productions.
One of Parrilla’s earliest on-camera jobs was an appearance in the Steven Spielberg movie of the week, “Semper Fi”. Thereafter, she joined the cast as a regular on the hit comedy series “Spin City”. Parrilla has been a regular on many critically acclaimed shows such as “Boomtown”, where she played a young paramedic, “24”, as a counter-terrorist agent, and “Swingtown”, as a sexually progressive woman in the 1970s, to name a few. Parrilla has also recurred on such memorable series as “NYPD Blue”, “Six Feet Under” and “Lost.”
Currently, Parrilla relishes her current character, Regina Mills/Evil Queen on the hit show “Once Upon A Time”. For her work on “Once Upon A Time” she has received the NHMC Impact Award, an ALMA Award for Outstanding TV Actress, and was voted by fans as TV Guide’s Best Villain for 2 out of the 3 years the show has aired. In 2003, Parrilla received an Imagen Award for her work on ”Boomtown”.
When not on location, Parrilla enjoys spending time with her family in Los Angeles and New York and loves to travel the world. She has volunteered in community projects throughout Sri Lanka, Haiti, Canada and at home in the US.