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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.[1] Interested in acting from a young age, she began taking drama classes in junior high.[2] 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.[1]


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. She portrayed Theresa Russo on Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place.From 2007 to 2012, Canals-Barrera co-starred as Theresa Russo, the mother of lead character Alex Russo (played by Selena Gomez), in the Disney Channel family sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place. She also co-starred in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, a 2009 Disney Channel Original movie based on series. Canals-Barrera also appeared in the  Disney Channel Original Movies Camp Rock(2008) and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010) as Connie Torres, the mother of Demi Lovato's character. In 2011, she appeared opposite Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in the romantic comedy film Larry Crowne.

In 2014, Canals-Barrera was cast as Hilda, the house manager of the country club where most of the action takes place, in the ABC soapy comedy-drama series Members Only created by Susannah Grant.However, it got cancelled by the network before its premiere. Later in that year she joined the cast of ABC comedy series Cristela, as Cristela Alonzo's character sister.

On August 27, 2018, it was revealed by TVLine that Canals-Barrera was cast as the mother of Fernando Hernandez-Guerrero-Fernandez-Guerrero on the Netflix series Fuller House.


In 2002, won an American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) award for Best Supporting Actress for the TV series The Brothers Garcia.[3]

Filmography and TV roles

Year Film Role Notes
1993 Cop and a Half Mrs. Bobo #2
1995 My Family Young Irene
2001 America's Sweethearts Zeta-Jones' assistant
2002 The Master of Disguise Sophia
Bad Boy Woman at Bar
2003 Imagining Argentina Esme Palomares
2011 Larry Crowne Lala Pinedo class="wikitable sortable"
2012 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 Ellen Yindel (voice) Direct to video
2013 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2
2013 Night of the Hipsters Barbara Short film
2016 God's Not Dead 2 Catherine Thawley
2017 Teen Titans: The Judas Contract Bianca Reyes, Titan's Computer (Voice) Direct to video
2019 Sweet Inspirations Bonnie

|- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! colspan="4" style="background: LightSteelBlue;"|Television Films |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! Year ! Title ! Role ! Notes |- |1993 |Harlan & Merleen |Carmen | |- |2005 |The Proud Family Movie |Sunset Boulevardez |rowspan=5 |Disney Channel Original Movie |- |2008 |Camp Rock |Connie Torres |- |2009 |Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie |Theresa Russo |- |2010 |Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam |Connie Torres |- |{| class="wikitable sortable" |2011 |Generator Rex |Valentina |Episode: "Outpost" |- |2012 |Pound Puppies |Dr. Trudy (voice) |3 episodes |- |2013 |The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex |Theresa Russo |Television special |- |2014 |Baby Daddy |Carol Beltran |Episode: "Bonnie's Unreal Estate" |- |2014 |Gang Related |Marciela Acosta |2 episodes |- |2014–15 |Cristela |Daniela |Main role, 22 episodes |- |2015 |Members Only |Hilda |Main role; unaired television series |- |2016 |Ultimate Spider-Man |Rio Morales (voice) |3 episodes |- |2016 |A Bronx Life |Angela |Television film |- |2016 |Last Man Standing |Sheryl |Episode: "Where There's Smoke, There's Ire" |- |2016 |The Big Bang Theory |Issabella |Episode: "The Brain Bowl Incubation" |- |2017 |Vixen: The Movie |Dr. Vargas (voice) |Television film |- |2017 |Triangle |Alice | |- |2018 |The Wedding Do Over |Irene Anderson |Television film |- |2018 |Knight Squad |Saffron |Episode: "Parent Teacher Knight" |- |2018 |Young & Hungry |Marisol |Episode: "Young & Mexico, Part 1" |- |2018 |Fuller House |Nadia |Episode: "Perfect Sons" |}

|- |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! colspan="4" style="background: LightSteelBlue;"|Straight-to-DVD |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! Year ! Title ! Role ! Notes |- |2003 |Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico |Sofia |Voice |- |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! colspan="4" style="background: LightSteelBlue;"|Television |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! Year ! Title ! Role ! Notes |- |1992-1994 |Marielena |Nancy |rowspan=3 | recurring role |- |1997-1998 |The Tony Danza Show |Carmen Cruz |- |2000-2004 |Static Shock |Shelly Sandoval |- |2001-2004 |Justice League |Hawkgirl, Livewire |Main role |- |2001-2005 |The Proud Family |Sunset Boulevardez |recurring role |- |2004-2006 |Justice League Unlimited |Hawkgirl, Fire |Main role |- |2004-2007 |Danny Phantom |Paulina |recurring role |- |2007-2012 |Wizards of Waverly Place |Theresa Russo |Main role |- |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! colspan="4" style="background: LightSteelBlue;"|Television guest appearances |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! Year ! Title ! Role ! Notes |- |1990 |21 Jump Street |Rosina |rowspan=8 | 1 episode |- |1991 |Key West |Fig |- |rowspan=2 | 1994 |Murder, She Wrote |Carmen |- |Viper |Carla |- |1995 |Almost Perfect |Carmen |- |1996 |Goode Behavior |Denise |- |rowspan=2 | 1998 |Veronica's Closet |? |- |Caroline in the City |Maria |- |1999 |Beggars and Choosers |Yolanda |multiple episodes |- |2000 |That's Life |? |rowspan=5 | 1 episode |- |rowspan=2 | 2001 |The Brothers García |Ms. Azteca |- |Popular |Candy Box |- |2003 |Miss Match |Store Manager |- |2004 |Curb Your Enthusiasm |Delilah - Hygienist |- |2005 |The Boondocks |Spanish TV Reporter |2 episodes |- |rowspan = 2|2006 |George Lopez |Claudia |rowspan=3 | 1 episode |- |Handy Manny |Peggy Salazar |- |2007 |The Loop |Agent Denise |- |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! colspan="4" style="background: LightSteelBlue;"|Video Games |- bgcolor="#CCCCCC" align="center" ! Year ! Title ! Role ! Notes |- |1998 |Grim Fandango |Mercedes "Meche" Colomar |Voice |- |2010 |DC Universe Online |Hawkgirl |Voice |{| class="wikitable sortable" |2011 |Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds | rowspan="2" |She-Hulk |- |2011 |Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 |- |2015 |Infinite Crisis |Hawkgirl |}


External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:IMDb name

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