Laura Marano (born November 29, 1995) is an American actress and singer who stars in the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally as Ally Dawson. Marano was one of the five original classmates in Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?. She starred in Without a Trace for three seasons and also Back to You, in both instances playing the daughter of the main characters. Her older sister Vanessa Marano is also an actress. Marano stars in the indie film, A Sort of Homecoming. Marano also stars in the 2015 Disney Channel Original Movie Bad Hair Day along with Good Luck Charlie actress Leigh-Allyn Baker.

Early life:

Marano was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of college professor Damiano Marano and former actress Ellen Marano. Her father is of Italian descent. Her mother, Ellen, is the owner of Agoura Children's Theatre. Marano revealed that she doesn't go to school on the set of Austin & Ally. Instead, she attended a regular high school: "I go to an actual high school and my friends and everybody there have been so supportive ... It's nice when I'm not working to go to that school and be surrounded by really supportive friends." She is also the younger sister of Vanessa Marano, who stars on ABC Family's Switched at Birth.

Career:

Acting:

Marano's first acting role was when she was five years old. Since then, she worked for multiple productions at the Stage Door Theater. She has appeared in numerous commercials and had small roles on Ghost Whisperer, Medical Investigation, Huff and Joan of Arcadia. Her bigger roles in television have been in Without a Trace and other shows. She played the child role of Keira Knightley's character in the film The Jacket and had a small flashback role in the film Superbad. She was a regular cast member on the FOX game show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and played the role of Gracie Carr on FOX's sitcom Back to You.

Marano has since appeared in several episodes of The Sarah Silverman Program. Initially she was cast in the pilot episode, "Batteries", as the child version of Sarah Silverman, and the writers liked her so much they brought her back for a larger role as a girl Sarah coaches to win a beauty pageant ("Not Without My Daughter"). On the DVD commentary track, co-star Brian Posehn notes that Marano knew everyone else's lines better than they did. She also appeared in Dexter as the child version of Debra Morgan. She also played the child version of a character played by Diana Scarwid, Alice Shaw, sister of Angela Petrelli, on Heroes. Marano is best known for her role as Ally Dawson on the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally. In 2015 Marano starred in Disney Channel's Original Movie, "Bad Hair Day."

Music:

In 2013, Marano recorded four solo songs and one duet with Ross Lynch for the soundtrack album Austin & Ally: Turn It Up. "Me and You" debuted within the U.S. Billboard Kid Digital Songs chart at number thirteen before rising to the sixth spot, spending eleven weeks on the chart. "Redial" debuted at number nineteen before peaking at number eighteen, spending four weeks on the chart. Also in 2013, Marano recorded a duet with her Austin & Ally co-star Ross Lynch entitled "I Love Christmas" for Disney Channel's third holiday compilation album, Holidays Unwrapped. On November 25, 2013, the song was released as a promotional single. On December 14, "I Love Christmas" debuted within the U.S. Billboard Holiday Digital Songs chart peaking at number fifty. Marano sings, dances, and writes songs. She hopes to perform in stage musicals in the future. In 2014, Marano appeared in a music video produced for British pop-rock group The Vamps and Demi Lovato called "Somebody To You". In February 2014, Marano recorded "The Me That You Don't See" for the album Disney Channel Play It Loud; the song peaked at number eighteen within the U.S. Billboard Kid Digital Songs chart.

In March 2015, Marano stated that she had signed a record deal with Universal's Big Machine Records.

Philanthropy:

In August 2013, Marano has been named the 2013 UNICEF's Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Ambassador, which encouraged children to raise money on Halloween to help children around the world. About the campaign, Laura said "I'm so excited to celebrate Halloween this year by encouraging kids to support UNICEF's lifesaving work. The Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign is a fun, easy way for kids to learn about world issues and to help other kids who are less fortunate."

In August 2014, Marano was ambassador for the Disney and Birds Eye Vegetables campaign 'Step up to the plate'. The campaign's goal is to encourage children in the United States to explore healthy foods such as vegetables.

Filmography:

Film roles

Year

Title

Role

Notes

2003

Finding Nemo

Various roles

2005

The Jacket

Young Jackie

2006

Ice Age: The Meltdown

Various roles

2007

Goldfish

Suzy

Short film

2007

Superbad

Young Becca

2015

A Sort of Homecoming

Young Amy

2015

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Hotel Babysitter

Television roles

Year

Title

Role

Notes

2003-06

Without a Trace

Kate Malone

Recurring role (Seasons 2-4)

2004

Joan of Arcadia

Emily

"Night without Stars" (Season 1, Episode 15)

2005

Medical Investigation

Brooke Beck

"Tribe" (Season 1, Episode 13)

2005-08

X's, TheThe X's

Scout Y

Main role; Voice

2006

Ghost Whisperer

Audrey

"Friendly Neighborhood Ghost" (Season 1, Episode 13)

2006

Huff

Amelia

"Black Shadows" (Season 2, Episode 12)

2006

Dexter

Young Debra

"Let's Give the Boy a Hand" (Season 1, Episode 4),

"Father Knows Best" (Season 1, Episode 9)

2007

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader

Herself / Judge / Mentor

Season 1

2007-08

Back to You

Gracie Carr

Main role

2007-10

The Sarah Silverman Program

Heather Silverman /,

Young Sarah Silverman

Recurring role

2008

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan

Mei Mei

"Kai-Lan's Trip to China - Part 1" (Season 1, Episode 119),

"Kai-Lan's Trip to China - Part 2" (Season 1, Episode 120)

2008

Gary Unmarried

Louise Brooks

"Pilot" (Season 1, Episode 1),

"Gary Gets Boundaries" (Season 1, Episode 2)

2009

Heroes

Young Alice Shaw

"1961" (Season 3, Episode 23)

2009

Little Monk

Cousin Lauren

"Little Monk and the Monk Cousin" (Season 1, Episode 5)

2010

True Jackson, VP

Molly

"Little Buddies" (Season 2, Episode 7)

2010

Telepathic

Marsha

Unsold Nickelodeon series pilot

2010

FlashForward

Young Tracy

"Blowback" (Season 1, Episode 13)

2010

Childrens Hospital

Haley

"Frankfurthers. Allman Brothers. Death, Frankfurters" (Season 2, Episode 7)

2011-16

Austin & Ally

Ally Dawson

Lead role

2012

Austin & Jessie & Ally All Star New Year

Ally Dawson

Special episode

2014

Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja

Rachel

Voice; 4 episodes (Season 2)

2014

Fish Hooks

Girl Hamster #2

Voice; "Algae Day" (Season 3, Episode 14)

2014

Liv and Maddie

Fangs

"Howl-A-Rooney" (Season 1, Episode 16)

2015

Bad Hair Day

Monica Reeves

Disney Channel Original Movie

2015

Girl Meets World

Ally Dawson

"Girl Meets World of Terror 2" (Season 2, Episode 18)