María Canals Barrera

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María Canals Barrera
Maria Canals Barrera 2, 2007.jpg
Barrera in 2007
Born María Pilar Canals
(1966-09-28) September 28, 1966 (age 47)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Singer
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) David Barrera
(m. 1999–present; 2 children)
Children 2 daughters

María Canals Barrera (born María Pilar Canals; September 28, 1966) is an American actress, voice actress and singer. She is best known for her roles as Theresa Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place, Connie Torres in Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, and as the voice of Shayera Hol/Hawkgirl in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. She also voiced the character of Sunset in the Disney Channel show, The Proud Family.

Personal life[edit]

Barrera, who speaks Spanish and is of Cuban descent, took drama classes in junior high.[1] She lives with her husband, actor David Barrera, and their two daughters, Bridget and Madeleine in Los Angeles, California, while a large percentage of her extended family lives in Miami, FL.[citation needed]


She has worked extensively in theater in both Miami and Los Angeles. She made her network television debut in the 1993 TV series Key West and has appeared in the WB series Popular as a prostitute by the name of Candybox, as well as such films as America's Sweethearts and The Master of Disguise. She has gained much recognition with comic book fans in recent years for her role as Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol on Bruce Timm's Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series.

She also had a recurring role in Static Shock as Shelly Sandoval, a news reporter, and in Danny Phantom as Danny Fenton/Phantom's high school crush, Paulina. She also performed the voice of Mercedes "Meche" Colomar in the 1998 video game Grim Fandango. Canals also played incidental characters in two episodes on the TV series The Boondocks ("Grandad's Fight" and "Home Alone").

Canals has also starred in the George Lopez TV series playing George's sister-in-law, Claudia. She is the voice of Sunset Boulevardez on The Proud Family. She portrays the main character of Theresa Russo in the hit Disney Channel Original Series Wizards of Waverly Place. She portrayed in the 2008 Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock alongside Demi Lovato in the role of her mother, Connie Torres.

She also co-starred as Theresa Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, a 2009 Disney Channel Original movie based on Wizards of Waverly Place.


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Cop and a Half Mrs. Bobo #2
1993 Harlan & Merleen Carmen
1995 My Family Young Irene
2001 America's Sweethearts Adinah
2002 Bad Boy Woman at bar
2002 The Master of Disguise Sophia
2003 Imagining Argentina Esme Palomares Main Role
2003 Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico Sofia Otero Voice, Straight-to-DVD
2005 The Proud Family Movie Sunset Boulevardez Voice
2008 Camp Rock Connie Torres Disney Channel Original Movie
2009 Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie Theresa Russo Disney Channel Original Movie
2010 Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Connie Torres Disney Channel Original Movie
2011 Larry Crowne Lala Pinedo
2012 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part One Ellen Yindel Voice, Straight-to-DVD
2013 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part Two Ellen Yindel Voice, Straight-to-DVD
2013 Night of the Hipsters Barbara Short film
Year Title Role Notes
1990 21 Jump Street Rosina "La Bizca" (season 4: episode 19)
1991 Super Force Lori Wechsler 2 episodes
1992–94 Marielena Nancy Recurring role
1993 Key West Fig 5 episodes
1994 Viper Carla "Wheels of Fire" (Season 1: episode 9)
1994 Murder, She Wrote Carmen "Wheel of Death" (Season 10: episode 21)
1995 Almost Perfect Carmen "You Like Me, You Really Like Me" (Season 1: episode 6)
1996 Goode Behavior Denise "Goode Feelings" (Season 1: episode 6)
1997–98 The Tony Danza Show Carmen Cruz 14 episodes
1998 Caroline in the City Maria "Caroline and the Toothbrush" (Season 3: episode 17)
1998 Veronica's Closet Dannie "Veronica's a Partner Now" (Season 2: episode 2)
1999 Beggars and Choosers Yolanda Recurring role
2000–03 Static Shock Shelly Sandoval, Hawkgirl Voice, 14 episodes
2000 That's Life  ? "Bad Hair Week" (Season 1: episode 5)
2001 Popular Candy Box "Fire in the Hole" (Season 2: episode 11)
2001 The Brothers García Ms. Azteca "Love Is Very... Confusing" (Season 2: episode 1)
2001–05 The Proud Family Sunset Boulevardez Voice, recurring role
2001–04 Justice League Hawkgirl, Livewire Voice, 43 episodes
2002 American Family Christy 5 episodes
2003 Miss Match Store Manager "Santa, Baby" (Season 1: episode 10)
2004 Curb Your Enthusiasm Dalilah the Hygienist 2 episodes
2004–07 Danny Phantom Paulina Voice, 15 episodes
2005–06 Justice League Unlimited Hawkgirl, Fire Voice, 9 episodes
2005–07 The Boondocks Spanish TV Reporter / Costa Rican Woman Voice, 2 episodes
2006 George Lopez Claudia "A Funeral Brings George to His Niece" (Season 5: episode 14)
2006 Handy Manny Peggy Salazar Voice, "Supremoguy/Tool Talk" (Season 1: episode 9)
2007 The Loop Agent Denise "Yeah, Presents" (Season 2: episode 3)
2007–12 Wizards of Waverly Place Theresa Russo Main Role, Disney Channel Original Series
2009 Special Agent Oso Voice Role "Octo-Puzzle/One Suitcase Is Now Enough" (Season 1: episode 12)
2011 Generator Rex Valentina "Outpost" (Season 2: episode 8)
2012 Pound Puppies Dr. Trudy Voice, 3 episodes
2013 The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex Theresa Russo Disney Channel Special Event
2014 Baby Daddy Carol Beltran "Bonnie's Unreal Estate" (Season 3: episode 4)
2014 Gang Related Marciela Acosta 2 episodes
2014 Members Only Hilda upcoming series
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Grim Fandango Mercedes 'Meche' Colomar Voice
2011 Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds She-Hulk Voice
2011 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 She-Hulk Voice

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1998 ALMA Award[2] "Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series" The Tony Danza Show Nominated
2002 ALMA Award[2] "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Series" The Brothers Garcia Won
2008 ALMA Award[2] "Outstanding Female Performance in a Comedy Television Series" Wizards of Waverly Place Nominated
2008 Imagen Award[2] "Best Supporting Actress- Television" Nominated
2009 Imagen Award[2] "Best Supporting Actress/Television" Nominated
2009 ALMA Award[2] "Actress in Television - Comedy" Nominated
2010 Imagen Award[2] "Best Supporting Actress - Television" Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie Won
2011 Imagen Award[2] "Best Supporting Actress - Television" Wizards of Waverly Place Nominated
2011 ALMA Award[2] "Favorite TV Actress - Supporting Role" Won


  1. ^ "411 Movies Interview: Maria Canals Barrera". 18 October 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Awards for Maria Canals-Barrera". Retrieved 26 December 2012. 

External links[edit]