Lana Parrilla, whose mother is a painter/artist and whose dad was a professional baseball player, says she grew up in a household where creativity and pursuing one's dreams were definitely encouraged. Her grandfather played the banjo, and her aunt, Candice Azzara, was an actress who inspired her from an early age.
After graduating from high school, Parrilla moved to Los Angeles to study acting and pursue a professional career. She made her film debut in the sci-fi horror film Spiders, then went on to land a guest role on the television series Grown-Ups. She appeared in the Steven Spielberg action series pilot Semper Fi, before being cast in the recurring role of Angie Ordonez on Spin City opposite Charlie Sheen during the 2000-0l season.
Her year on Spin City led to other starring roles on popular show such as 24 and Boomtown and in 2008 she led the cast of CBS's sexy new drama Swingtown.
In 2010, Parrilla starred in the short-running Miami Medical, and from 2011 she has been playing Regina Mills in ABC's fantasy show Once Upon a Time. Parrilla's character is the mayor of a small town in Maine, and in flashbacks to her life prior to entering our world, we also see her journey from a young innocent woman into the evil Queen.