Laura Marano (born November 29, 1995) is an American actress and singer. She starred in Without a Trace for three seasons and also Back to You, in both instances playing the daughter of the main characters. She stars in the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally as Ally Dawson. Her older sister Vanessa Marano is also an actress. Marano will be starring as a lead role in the new film, A Sort of Homecoming. Marano will also be starring in a 2015 Disney Channel Original Movie Bad Hair Day along with Good Luck Charlie actress Leigh Allyn Baker.
Marano 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 attends 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."
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 has also been heard in the animated films Finding Nemo and Ice Age: The Meltdown. 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 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.
In later 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 2013 November 25, 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 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 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 is to raise the amount of children who eat vegetables in the United States.