Michelle is a proud Chicana born and raised in Hollywood, CA. She grew up next door to an original munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz” and, It was here where she learned about the magic of filmmaking, television, and ultimately, her love for acting. She majored in Theatre, at California State University, Northridge, and quickly started auditioning professionally in her late teens. She booked her first audition she went on and hasn’t looked back since.
Along with her 29-year career in film and television, with more than 170 credits to her name, she is an avid supporter of LGBTQ rights and advocacy. She has used her skills as a writer and producer to create projects such as her short film “
Slip Away” about substance abuse and its effect on a lesbian Latina relationship. By dealing with the very real social and domestic issues of alcoholism and drug abuse, the film empowered gay Latinas to choose themselves over living in situations that too often take away their self-worth and esteem. “Slip Away” went on to screen at numerous film festivals around the world, including OUTFEST - The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film festival, and won
The Q Award at the Fortworth Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival and
The Bronze Award at The Mexico International Film Festival for Best Short Film. She is also the co-creator, producer, and writer of the comedy web series "Failing Upwards", which was chosen by ABC News as "A web series to watch".
Michelle is now in post production on her current project, "
I Just Wish You Told Me", which centers around a woman who, after the unexpected death of her same sex partner, struggles to come to terms with the truth about her lover, and the unforgivable secrets revealed in their thirteen year relationship. Written, produced, and starring Ms. Bonilla, "I Just Wish You Told Me", marks her directorial debut.
Ms. Bonilla, first stepped onto the screen in Above Suspicion, with
Christopher Reeve and
Kim Cattral. Her other film credits include working opposite
Alfre Woodard, Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, Halle Berry,Michael Richards, Jeff Daniels, Charlize Theron, Billy Bob Thorton, Hank Azaria, Jimmy Smitts, Richard Dreyfus, Tom Everett Scott, Anne Heche, Dule Hill, Olympia Dukakis and
Haley Joel Osment. She has also worked with acclaimed directors such as
Jonathan Lynn, Ken Kwapis, Amy Holden Jones, Stephen Gyllenhaal and
Her most recent credits include
NCIS: New Orleans,
Clemency (Grand Jury Prize Winner, Sundance Film Festival 2019 US Dramatic Competition), Pin Up, Criminal Minds, Jane The Virgin, 24: Live Another Day - Solitary, The Bold and The Beautiful, and Days of Our Lives.
And, in the world of voice over, you can hear her recurring as Mrs. Flores in
The Casagrandes, the new spin-off of the Emmy Award Winning Children’s Animated Series,
The Loud House, on Nickelodeon. She is also the voice behind the lead character, Scribe Odessa Valdez, in the critically acclaimed videogame series, "
Fallout 76: Steel Dawn".
Her theatre credits include the critically acclaimed
Dark Rapture by
Eric Overmyer at the prestigious Kalita Humphreys Theatre in Dallas, Texas. In Los Angeles her theatre credits include
As You Like It...Fresh, Wilding, The Circle, The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts; the West Coast Premiere of
Eddie Sanchez's Award Winning,
Borderlands (Co-written by
Dana Stevens) at Second Stage. She is proud to have worked with the world renowned,
Los Angeles Philharmonic, in
The Impressionists at The Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Michelle C. Bonilla is a recipient of the
Inaugural Gift of Life Entertainment Media Award from the National Kidney Foundation presented to the cast of
ER. She is also the winner of
The ALMA (American Latino Media Arts Award) Award for her portrayal in PBS's Award Winning Foto-Novelas Series,
Seeing Through Walls, and is honored to have received the prestigious recognition of being awarded the
Resolution from The City of Los Angeles, Special Honoree -
Latinas In Pride, for her work in the Arts and for promoting and advancing LGBTQ Rights.