Who are Troian Bellisario’s parents? Her upbringing detailed

Troian’s acting debut came in the 1988 film Last Rites, courtesy of Donald Paul Bellisario, her father and the director of the film. Two years later, she appeared in an episode of Quantum Leap, another of her father’s projects. As time passed, she stepped off her father’s shadow, appearing in short films like Intersect, Archer House, and Unspoken

Her breakthrough came when she was cast as Spencer Hastings in Pretty Little Liars. More about Troian Bellisario’s parents below.

Troian Bellisario was born on 28th October 1995 to Deborah Pratt and Donald Paul Bellisario. Troian is African-American and Creole through her mother, and her father is of Italian and Serbian ancestry. The actress grew up alongside his younger brother Nicholas, who arrived in 1991. 

Troian has three half-sisters, one half-brother, and two stepbrothers from her father’s other marriages. Donald had divorced twice before marrying Deborah Pratt in 1984. Paul and Deborah divorced shortly after Nicholas’ birth, with Paul going on to marry Vivienne Murray in November 1998.

Thanks to Deborah and Donald, Troian grew up on production sets. A producer and an actor, Deborah worked on Quantum Leap, Happy Days, Airwolf, and Benson. Donald, a celebrated writer and producer, worked on Magnum P.I., Tales of the Gold Monkey, and Last Rites. He’s currently a writer and director of the long-running series NCIS.

In some way, Troian’s career was chosen for her. She told Interview Magazine: Growing up on a set, I felt like that was a microcosm that I would always be in. I didn’t know if I was going to be at video village with you or my mom or my dad, or if I was going to be in the writers room, or if I was going to be in costume or set design or hair and makeup, [but] it was the world I knew best.”

The acting bug also rubbed off on her siblings, most of whom are involved in film and television. 

Troian has opened up about suffering from an eating disorder during high school. According to The Mirror, Troian’s eating disorder partly stemmed from her desire to please her parents. She explained:

“I was the youngest daughter, the perfect little girl. My school was a very intense college prep school. So it was about wanting to please my father and mother and wanting to be perfect to everybody.”

“I just thought if I ever expressed to [my parents] any sadness or anger or anything that’s going on with me, they would disown me. I kept a lot of it bottled up inside, and it turned into self-destructive behavior.”

Troian’s parents supported her when she opened up about the disorder and sought help. However, Troian’s mother never fully comprehended Troian’s struggles until she wrote the script for Feed, a film loosely based on Bellisario’s experiences with an eating disorder, She told Entertainment Tonight

“She [Deborah] spoke to me about it and said, ‘I love you and I loved you through your illness, but I didn’t understand it until I read the script.’ Even though this is not my story, it’s very personal. And she suffered through it in her own way next to me.”

“For her to say to me I understood it for the first time after reading your script – that to me was what made it worth everything.”