Melissa Barrera was a Mexican actress and singer who made a name for herself in the telenovela scene before breaking through to international TV audiences. Born on July 4, 1990 in Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Barrera first became interested in performing while attending the American School Foundation of Monterey, where she performed in school musical productions of "Grease," "Footloose," and "Aida." While studying acting at NYU, Barrera made her film debut in "L For Leisure" (2010). In 2011, she appeared on the Mexican reality competition series "La Academia" (TV Azteca, 2002-), where she wowed the judges with her singing skills. This lead to Barrera's participation in two telenovelas, "La mujer de Judas" (TV Azteca, 2012-2013) and "La otra cara del alma" (Azteca Trece, 2012-2013). In 2014, she obtained her first telenovela starring role, in "Siempre tuya Acapulco" (TV Azteca, 2014), and then went on to star in "Tantor amor" (TV Azteca, 2015), the final telenovela produced by Azteca. Barrera next appeared in a number of Spanish-language films, including "Manual de principiantes para ser presidente" (2016), "El Hotel" (2016), "Sacúdete Las Penas" (2017), and "Prima" (2017). English language television next came calling, when Barrera was cast as a co-lead on the drama series "Vida" (Starz, 2018-).