Janel Parrish

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Janel Parrish
Janel Parrish 2013 .jpg
Parrish on the Wango Tango red carpet, May 11, 2013
BornJanel Meilani Parrish
(1988-10-30) October 30, 1988 (age 25)
Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer-songwriter, model
Years active1999–present
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Janel Parrish
Janel Parrish 2013 .jpg
Parrish on the Wango Tango red carpet, May 11, 2013
BornJanel Meilani Parrish
(1988-10-30) October 30, 1988 (age 25)
Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer-songwriter, model
Years active1999–present

Janel Meilani Parrish (born October 30, 1988) is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She is best known for playing Mona Vanderwaal on the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars. She is also known for the role of Jade in the 2007 film Bratz: The Movie.[1]

Acting career[edit]

Parrish first achieved fame in Hawaii as the winner of local talent contests. She got her start as a professional entertainer when she was cast as "Young Cosette" in the National Touring Company of Les Misérables, and later portrayed "Young Cosette" in the Broadway production as well; the role showcased both her acting and singing abilities. She subsequently appeared in several community theater productions in Hawaii—most notably as "Scout" in Manoa Valley Theatre's revival of To Kill a Mockingbird in 1998.[2]

Parrish got her first off-stage acting job as a minor role in 1999's four-part miniseries Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke. Shortly after, she appeared in two episodes of Baywatch as a young girl named Hina. In 2000 she was featured in Disney's made-for-TV live-action incarnation of the Pinocchio story entitled Geppetto. She then went on to appear as the character Vanessa in the short-lived sitcom The O'Keefes, as well as appearing in many Disney shows and made-for-TV movies on the Disney channel. Along with appearances on The Bernie Mac Show, Zoey 101 and The O.C..[3]

Parrish performed in Bratz, as one of the main characters, Jade. It is her first role in a theatrical motion picture as well as her first starring role. She also landed a recurring role in the hit NBC series Heroes.[4]

Parrish has a recurring role as Mona Vanderwaal in the hit ABC Family TV series Pretty Little Liars based on the book series by Sara Shepard. Mona is a formerly unpopular girl at Rosewood who longed to be accepted by Alison DiLaurentis's group despite being continuously mocked by her. After Alison's disappearance, Mona befriends Hanna Marin and they undergo an "extreme makeover" together. As a result, they both become popular students. However, Mona is secretly jealous of Hanna's friendship with the other Liars (Spencer, Aria and Emily) which leads her to do drastic things. In March 2012, Parrish was promoted to series regular for the third season.[5] In August 2013, she won the "Choice TV Villain" award at the Teen Choice Awards.[6]

Parrish returned to her theater stage roots in Over the Moon Productions' intimate presentation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening as Anna, and understudying for Lindsay Pearce, former contestant of The Glee Project as Wendla.[7]

Music career[edit]

Parrish began playing piano at the age six. At age 14, on January 3, 2003, she appeared on the 2003 remake of Star Search, performing the song "On My Own". The judges were Naomi Judd, Ben Stein, Carol Leifer, and Jack Osbourne. Stein commented that she had a "lot of talent, but not quite up to the top rank", giving her four stars, along with Osbourne who simply called her performance "good" and also gave her four stars. Leifer remarked that she had a "great Broadway voice" giving her three stars. Finally, Judd was the least generous, stating "You have a future in musicals, but you have some work to do. You've got some practicing to do" and giving her two stars. Parrish was eliminated after this performance in favor of competitor Tiffany Evans who received a perfect five stars from all four judges.[8]

In 2007, Parrish was signed to Geffen Records to produce her first album.[9] Her first single, "Rainy Day", one that she has written, along with its music video, was released on July 7, 2007, and was also featured on the Bratz Motion Picture Soundtrack. She also makes a brief appearance in Prima J's "Rockstar" music video, which is also on the soundtrack. She also made an appearance in NLT's "She Said, I Said" music video. She provided background vocals for the song.[10]

She made her music debut in the Bratz: The Movie credits, with her electro-pop song "Rainy Day".[11]

Personal life[edit]

Parrish was born on October 30, 1988 in Oahu, Hawaii, to Mark Parrish, who is of European descent, and Joanne, who is of Han Chinese ancestry.[12][13] She attended the Moanalua Elementary and Middle Schools.

Parrish is close friends with her Bratz co-star, Skyler Shaye and with her Pretty Little Liars co-star, Brant Daugherty.


1999Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris DukeUnknownUncredited
2007Bratz: The MovieJadeMain role
2009Fired Up!Lana
2009April ShowersVicki
2010Triple DogCecily GerberMain role
2011One Kine DayLeilani
20114 Wedding PlannersHoku
2012Celeste and Jesse ForeverSavannah
2013To Those NightsAudreyShort film
2013The ConcertoLisa Wagner
2013Something WickedRonnieShort film

l 2016 l L. R. J. D. l Lydia (L)

1999BaywatchHina"Aloha Baywatch" (season 10: episode 1)
"Mahalo Hawai'i" (season 10: episode 2)
2004The Bernie Mac ShowLaura"Being Bernie Mac" (season 4: episode 3)
2006Zoey 101Sara"The Silver Hammer Society" (season 3: episode 7)
2006The O.C.Leah"The Summer Bummer" (season 4: episode 6)
2007–2008HeroesMay"The Kindness of Strangers" (season 2: episode 4)
"The Line" (season 2: episode 6)
"One of Us, One of Them" (season 3: episode 3)
2009True Jackson, VPKyla"Flirting with Fame" (season 2: episode 2)
2010–presentPretty Little LiarsMona Vanderwaal/ARecurring role (seasons 1-2); Main role (season 3-present)
Teen Choice Award for best TV Villain 2012
Teen Choice Award for best TV Villain 2013
2013Hawaii Five-0Rebecca Fine"Kapu" (season 3: episode 12)
"Hana I WaʻIa" (season 3: episode 14)


2007Bratz: The MovieRainy DayWriter/Performer
2008Guiding LightWon't Let You GoWriter; uncredited
Guiding LightWon't Let You GoPerformer; Uncredited
2009April ShowersI Won't CryPerformer
The Kings of AppletownI'm ChangingPerformer
2010Triple DogRushPerformer


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