Maria Canals Barrera Biography

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.

Personal life

Canals Barrera was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents of Catalan ancestry. Interested in acting from a young age, she began taking drama classes in junior high. Awarded a scholarship to University of Miami's drama school, she graduated from there with Bachelor of Fine Arts. She speaks fluent Spanish.

Barrera lives with her husband actor David Barrera and their two daughters, Bridget and Maddie in Los Angeles, California. A large percentage of her family lives in Miami, FL. She has a niece, Andria Canals and a nephew, Ricky Canals, both attended Dade Christian School in Miami Lakes, Florida.

Career

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 Show playing George's sister-in-law. She is the voice of Sunset Boulevardez on The Proud Family. Her most recent project is portraying Theresa Russo on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place.

Awards

In 2002, won an American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) award for Best Supporting Actress for the TV series The Brothers Garcia.

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