Lana Parrilla grew up in a Brooklyn household where creativity and pursuing one's dreams was definitely encouraged. 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, Parrilla moved to Los Angeles to study acting and began honing her craft in local theatre productions.
One of Parrilla'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 NYPD Blue, Six Feet Under and Lost.