Who could have turned a rebellious and free-spirited girl like Regina into The Evil Queen
? Meet Cora, her controlling mother who also happens to be a powerful sorceress. The beautiful young Regina loved nothing more than her loving father, Henry
, her daily horseback ride and the family's stable boy, Daniel. But Cora had other plans for her daughter. When Regina saved a young Snow White
from a runaway horse, Cora seized the opportunity to have the princess' father, King Leopold
, visit their estate. When the king laid eyes on Regina, he knew he should marry her. Regina hesitated, unwilling to marry a man she didn't love, but Cora accepted on her behalf. Regina and Daniel planned to run away together, but young Snow caught them conspiring. Regina made the princess promise never to tell anyone, but Cora used Snow White's grief at losing her own mother to trick the girl into revealing everything. Later that night, Cora ripped Daniel's heart out right before Regina's eyes, leaving her no choice but to marry the King. As she prepared to be married, Regina finally pieced together that everything that had happened had been Cora's plan from the beginning.
Despite losing the love of her life, Regina continued to defy Cora, attempting to run away before her wedding to the King. But Cora's magic was too strong, and she used it to keep Regina in custody. When Regina asked her father, Henry, for advice, he revealed to her that a strange man gave Cora a book of spells which she used to gain her powers. Late that night, Regina stole the book from her mother's room and summoned the man named within: Rumplestiltskin
. He offered Regina a chance to eliminate her controlling mother by pushing her through a looking glass portal. Unable to take any more of Cora's controlling ways, Regina did just that, banishing her mother to another land and eventually taking the spell book for herself.
After The Dark Curse had been cast, Cora somehow found a way to get back to Fairy Tale Land, where Emma
and Mary Margaret
) encountered her in "the pit" within the refugee camp where they were taken by Mulan
Academy Award nominated actress Barbara Hershey is best known for her roles in such films as Black Swan, The Portrait of a Lady, Beaches, Hannah and Her Sisters, Hoosiers, The Natural and The Right Stuff. She has also won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her work in the television film A Killing in a Small Town.