Lana , 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.
Since 2011 Lana has been playing her best known role as 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. She won the TV Guide Award for Favorite Villain and the ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2012. Parrilla also received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress on Television from the 38th Saturn Awards and in 2016 Lana won a Teen Choice award for Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi for her role.
Lana became part of Face Forward's Celebrity Honorary Committee in 2014 after meeting our co-founders, Deborah and Dr. Alessi. Lana was moved and inspired by the cause. She and her husband Fred returned in 2015 as Gala guests and made a generous personal contribution at the event. Shortly after that Lana decided to help raise money for Face Forward so she created her own amazing #LongLiveHope t-shirt campaign, which ended up raising nearly $60K for our Face Forward patients!
Lana is a rare jewel in the celebrity world, and has graciously used her status as a platform to help make change in the world, not only for our organization, but many others as well. It is refreshing to encounter people like Lana, who want to make a positive change in the world, and are truly seeking nothing in return. Face Forward is truly honored to announce Lana as Face Forward's new Global Ambassador !