|“||I am really looking forward to being a role model for girls.||”|
— Janel Parrish
Janel Parrish is an American actress, singer/songwriter and pianist. She is best known for playing Jade in the 2007 film Bratz: The Movie and her regular role as Mona Vanderwaal on the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars and a main character on it's spin-off, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. She also placed third overall in the nineteenth season of Dancing with the Stars in 2014.
Life and CareerShe got her start as a professional entertainer when she was cast as Young Cosette in the National Touring Company of Les Miserables, and later portrayed the same character 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 Mocking Bird 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 Pinoccio 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.. One of her recent acting roles has been the theatrical Bratz motion picture, 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 began playing piano at age six. At age 14, on January 3, 2003, she appeared on the 2003 remake of Star Search, performing the song "On My Own".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.
Parrish was cast in a recurring as Mona Vanderwaal in the hit ABC Family TV series Pretty Little Liars based on the book series by Sara Shepard. She originally auditioned for of Spencer before being offered the role of Mona. In March 2012, Parrish was promoted to series regular for the third season onward.
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.
In 2014, she became a contestant on the nineteenth season of Dancing With the Stars, partnered with professional Val Chmerkoviskiy . She made it into the finals and placed third overall.
She also starred in the TV movie High School Possession as Lauren Brady.
In 2017, it was announced that Janel would reprise her role as Mona Vanderwaal in the Pretty Little Liars spin-off, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. She would serve as a main character, instead of a series regular.