Francia Raisa Almendarez (born July 26, 1988) is an American actress. Raisa is known for her roles in Bring It On: All or Nothing, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Grown-ish.
Early life and education
Raisa was born and raised in Los Angeles, California to mother Virginia Almendárez (née Pelayo) and father Renán Almendárez Coello, an American radio personality. She is of Mexican and Honduran descent. She has two younger sisters. A few years after Raisa was born, her father started using his new Latin radio personality, “El Cucuy”.
Raisa attended Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, California, where she was a cheerleader.
Raisa began to take acting jobs in her junior year of high school, modeling for print ads and appearing in commercials. She guest-starred in the sitcoms American Family: Journey of Dreams and Over There. A month into her senior year, she booked one of her first lead roles, starring opposite Hayden Panettiere in Bring It On: All or Nothing. She co-starred in the Nickelodeon movie Shredderman Rules, where she portrayed Isabel, and in The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream and The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice as Alejandra Delgado. She played the role of Adrian Lee in the hit ABC Family drama, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, from its beginning in July 2008, until the series finale in early June 2013.
Raisa appeared in Lil’ Romeo’s music video “My Girlfriend” as Tamy in 2004 and in Iyaz’s music video “So Big”.
In 2009, Raisa guest-starred on the USA network’s TV series In Plain Sight and co-starred in a short film directed by David Henrie called Boo, which aired on YouTube.
Raisa appeared in a music video for pop duo Savvy & Mandy and guest starred in the second season of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
In 2013, Raisa starred in the Christmas-themed movie Christmas Bounty alongside Mike “The Miz” Mizanin.
In early 2018, Raisa will star in the Freeform show, Grown-ish, executive produced by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.
In the summer of 2017, Raisa donated one of her kidneys to her friend, actress and singer Selena Gomez, who suffers from lupus.