Parrish on the Wango Tango red carpet, May 11, 2013
|Birth name||Janel Meilani Parrish|
October 30, 1988 |
Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.
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.
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. 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.. 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.
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. In August 2013, she won the "Choice TV Villain" award at the Teen Choice Awards.
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.
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.
In 2007, Parrish was signed to Geffen Records to produce her first album. 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. She made her music debut in the Bratz: The Movie credits, with her electro-pop song "Rainy Day".
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. She attended the Moanalua Elementary and Middle Schools.
|1999||Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke||TV Movie|
|2007||Bratz: The Movie||Jade|
|2010||Triple Dog||Cecily Gerber||Direct to-DVD|
|2011||One Kine Day||Leilani|
|4 Wedding Planners||Hoku|
|2012||Celeste and Jesse Forever||Savannah|
|2013||To Those Nights||Audrey||Short film|
|The Concerto||Lisa Wagner||Post-production|
|Something Wicked||Ronnie||Short film|
|2014||High School Exorcism||Lauren Brady||Post-production|
|2003||The O'Keefes||Vanessa||Episode: "Party"|
|2004||The Bernie Mac Show||Laura||Episode: "Being Bernie Mac"|
|2006||Zoey 101||Sara||Episode: "The Silver Hammer Society"|
|The O.C.||Leah||Episode: "The Summer Bummer"|
|2009||True Jackson, VP||Kyla||Episode: "Flirting with Fame"|
|2010–present||Pretty Little Liars||Mona Vanderwaal / A||Season 1-2 (Recurring)
Season 3-Present (Main role)
|2013||Hawaii Five-0||Rebecca Fine||Episode: "Kapu"|
|2014||Drop Dead Diva||Chelsea Jones||Episode: "Cheers & Jeers" |
|2007||Bratz: The Movie||Rainy Day||Writer/Performer|
|2008||Guiding Light||Won't Let You Go||Writer; uncredited|
|Guiding Light||Won't Let You Go||Performer; Uncredited|
|2009||April Showers||I Won't Cry||Performer|
|The Kings of Appletown||I'm Changing||Performer|
Awards and nominations
|2012||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Villain||Pretty Little Liars||Won|
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Villain||Pretty Little Liars||Won|
- Ng, Philiana (2012-03-19). "'Pretty Little Liars': Janel Parrish Upped to Series Regular for Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
- Lipton, Brian Scott (2012-02-17) Lindsay Pearce to Star in Over the Moon Productions' Spring Awakening. Theatermania.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-19.
- Tiffany Evans & Janel Parrish. CBS
- Janel Parrish Interview. Popculturemadness.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-19.
- Berger, John A. (1996-09-17). "Les Miz kids having time of their lives". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
- Lee, Diane S.W. (2007-07-25). "Former Hawaii girl to star in 'Bratz' movie". Honolulu Advertiser.
- Matt Webb Mitovich (May 18, 2012). "Teen Choice Nominations: Vampire Diaries and Idol Lead Pack, Linda Hunt Eyes Repeat Win". TVLine.com. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Ng, Philiana (May 22, 2013). "Teen Choice Awards: 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Leads First Wave of Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
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