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If I told you how I prepared to play the Evil Queen... I'd probably get locked up in an insane asylum.

—Lana Parrilla src

Lana Parrilla is the American actress and director who portrays the Evil QueenRegina Mills, the Evil Queen (serum), Roni and the Evil Queen (Wish Realm) on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Lana Maria Parrilla was born on July 15, 1977, in Brooklyn, New York[1] to an Sicilian mother, who is a painter,[2] and Puerto Rican Sam Parrilla, an ex-Major League baseball player.[3] Due to her parents' early separation,[3] she lived with her mother until she was ten years old, and moved into the household of her father.[4] She grew up encouraged into creativity and pursuing one's dreams. Beginning at a young age, she was constantly making home videos with her family, signaling her desire even then to be an actress. After graduating from high school, Lana moved to Los Angeles to study acting and began honing her craft in local theater productions.

One of Lana's earliest on-camera jobs was an appearance in the Steven Spielberg action pilot Semper Fi before being cast on the ABC hit comedy series Spin City. Known for creating distinctive characters, she has been a regular on such critically acclaimed shows as Boomtown (for which she received the Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress), 24 and Swingtown. She also guest starred on various shows such as NYPD Blue, Six Feet Under and Lost.[5]

While in Israel, she became engaged to her boyfriend Fred Di Blasio on April 28, 2013.[6] Some time before Lana began filming Once Upon a Time's fourth season, the couple secretly wedded.[7] On April 14, 2019, Lana announced she was no longer married.[8]

She made her directorial debut during the seventh season with the episode "Chosen".[9]


  • Lana appears in more episodes than any other cast member.
  • She and Robert Carlyle are the only two cast members to appear as a series regular in every season.
  • She learned to speak Spanish in the city of Granada in 2009. [citation needed]
I’ll never forget the day I walked in to audition as Evil Queen Regina for Eddy and Adam. I was wearing all black (of course) and had this crazy, dreadlock looking wrap draped over my shoulders. I had no idea where this pilot was going to go but I knew it was something special. I walked out of the audition room and down the hall was an old photograph of the OG Evil Queen herself. I knew then, something magical was about to begin. It’s been 7 years now and I couldn’t be prouder of what we all have created. Adam and Eddy had this crazy idea in their minds years ago and it turned into a fantastical phenomenon. This show has touched so many people’s lives, changed them for the better, has inspired us to grow in ways we never could’ve imagined. It’s brought hope, joy, friendships and love to so many. I am lucky and blessed to have been a part of it for 7 years. I want to thank the cast, our incredibly, hard working crew and the writers for your dedication and hard work over the years. Thank you to the studio and network for believing in us, supporting us and giving us a home to tell our stories. But most importantly, I want to thank our fans. We honestly wouldn’t be here without your love, support and loyalty to ONCE. Thank you for standing by us all of these years. We hope we’ve made you proud and that the magic this show has brought in to your lives never dies. Thank you for all you’ve given back to us in return and always remember to keep that magic alive. Signed with love, respect, gratitude and honor, Lana ❤️ #OUAT 🙏[18]


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Very Mean Men Teresa Movie
2000 Spiders Marci Eyre Movie
2001 Replicant Marci Movie - Uncredited role
2003 Frozen Stars Lisa Vasquez Movie
2005 One Last Ride Antoinette Movie
2020 The Tax Collector Favi Movie
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Grown Ups Waitress 2 episodes
2000–2001 Spin City Angie Ordonez 21 episodes
2001 Semper Fi TV movie
2002 JAG Lt. Stephanie Donato 1 episode
2002 The Shield Sedona Tellez 1 episode
2002–2003 Boomtown Teresa Ortiz 24 episodes
Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress (2003)
2004 NYPD Blue Officer Janet Grafton 3 episodes
2004 Six Feet Under Maile 2 episodes
2005 24 Sarah Gavin 12 episodes
2006 Windfall Nina Schaefer 13 episodes
2006 Lost Greta 2 episodes
2008 The Double Life of Eleanor Kendall Nellie TV movie
2008 Swingtown Trina Decker 13 episodes
2010 Miami Medical Dr. Eva Zambrano 13 episodes
2010 Covert Affairs Julia Suarez 1 episode
2010 Medium Lydia Halstrom 1 episode
2010 The Defenders Betty 1 episode
2011 Chase Isabella 1 episode
2011–2018 Once Upon a Time The Evil Queen / Regina Mills / Evil Queen (serum) / Evil Queen (Wish Realm) / Roni Lead role
TV Guide Award for Favorite Villain (2012)
ALMA Award for Outstanding TV Actress in Drama (2012)
NHMC Impact Award (2013)
2021 Why Women Kill Rita Castillo Lead role; season 2


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.



External links


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