Once Upon a Time Scoop: Barbara Hershey Cast as Evil Queen's Mother

Academy Award nominee Barbara Hershey has landed a mother of a role on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, as the very woman who brought the Evil Queen into this world — or, to be more precise, into the fairytale world, TVLine has learned.

Hershey, who is also an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for her role in the 1990 TV-movie A Killing in a Small Town, will first appear as the queen’s mum, Cora, later this season, with the option of also having a short arc in Season 2 (if/when the fantastical drama conjures up a renewal this spring).

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Hershey’s Oscar nod came for her supporting role in 1996’s The Portrait of a Lady. Much more recently, she has appeared on the big screen in Black Swan (where she played Natalie Portman’s mother) and last spring’s horror-thriller Insidious. Her long film resume also includes The Last Temptation of Christ (as Mary Magdalene), Hannah and Her Sisters and Beaches, to name but a few.

Watch TVLine’s Spoiler Alert! Web Series Premiere for Once Upon a Time Scoop

The actress’ most recent TV credits include a 2010 installment of the British series Agatha Christie’s Poirot and the short-lived WB family drama The Mountain.

Once fans, what do you think of this casting? Magically delicious?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. dee123 says:

    Not who i wanted, but could of done a hell of a lot worse.

    Did like her in the very underrated film Lantana.

  2. Mellie says:

    Perfect casting. Perfect.

  3. Eliza says:

    Ooh. I think this is great casting.

  4. brutony says:

    Looks aLOT like Lana. Barbara is STILL hawt, too!

  5. Deb says:

    Ohhh, not someone I would have even thought of but an excellent choice! I adore this show so much. They’ve managed to reel me in with so few an episodes. This is an excellent casting choice. I can’t wait to see Barbara and the magnificent Lana Parrilla square off!

  6. onfor says:

    Oh! That’s a prefetct

  7. scooterbeanbag says:

    Solid choice. They’ve been doing a really good job with guest stars on this show. Cannot wait to see mah Claire on the next episode!

  8. Guy says:

    Perfect casting. Just perfect.

  9. scorpo says:

    This is how you cast a mother. For an example of how not to cast a mother see Shirley Maclaine’s casting for Downton Abbey

    • Toto says:

      I view your post as a lesson. Never credit anything scorpo says ever again. Shirley McLaine is a brilliant choice to play Cora’s mother and a worthy adversary for Maggie Smith’s Violet.

    • Ben says:

      Watch Downton Abbey season 3, and THEN say that comment. You’ve got no idea how that will turn out.

  10. William Joseph Reynolds says:

    I’m old enough to remember Barbara Hershey when she was in ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ (My birthday is on Shakespeare’s birthday, so, i’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Ms. Hershey)

  11. Jenny says:

    You know, when you said Lena Olin I thought Barbara Hershey. Interesting choice.

  12. Ben says:

    I’m not sure I’m familiar with Barbara Hershey, but the photo shows enough resemblence to make it believable that they are related, which is a good thing.

  13. Paul says:

    They couldn’t have cast this more perfectly. Barbara will no doubt bring multi-dimensions to her character as she has with all her roles. Television desperately needs talent of her caliber. Cheers Barbara! Congrats on your latest venture!

  14. Julie says:

    I’ll admit that I have no idea who she is (in 1990 I was only 2) BUT they do look alike and OUAT has never disappoint me with their castings so far so I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring to the plate (and then see if her role would be worth stretching to another season).
    The only casting I’ve been unsure so far is Emily as Beauty, but I so cannot wait to see what she’ll bring to the character when the new episode will come out!! (Not saying I don’t approve of her; just stating that she was the only character casting I was unsure of but that I have a feeling she’ll do great still :) )