TVLine has learned exclusively that the onetime series regular is set to return for multiple Season 7 episodes. No further details could be confirmed at this time — including whether she again will be playing Regina’s sister Zelena aka the Wicked Witch.
“I am beyond thrilled to be returning to make magic with my beloved Once Upon a Time family,” Mader, who made her debut on the fantasy series midway through Season 3, tells TVLine. “I’m excited for this next chapter.”
Busting out the Oz empress’ motto-turned-musical episode solo title, she adds/reminds: “Wicked always wins!”
Along with Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore and Emilie de Ravin, Mader was among the half-dozen actors not returning for the Season 7 “reset” as series regulars, while Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle and Colin O’Donoghue stayed on as the Evil Queen, Rumplestiltskin and Captain Hook. (As previously reported, Gilmore, Morrison and de Ravin will make one-off encores in Episodes 1, 2 and 4 of the coming season, which premieres Friday, Oct. 6 at 8/7c.)
New to the mix for the Season 7, meanwhile, are Andrew J. West and Alison Fernandez (playing grown Henry and his daughter Lucy), Gabrielle Anwar (as Lady Tremaine), Dania Ramirez (Cinderella) and Mekia Cox (Tiana), while Adelaide Kane and Rose Reynolds Reynolds will recur as Drizella and Alice.