Who is Francia Raisa? Here's where you've seen her before

Yes, Francia Raisa is Selena Gomez's best friend, but chances are you recognized her from your TV lineup

Singer Selena Gomez (L) and actress Francia Raisa arrive at Billboard Women In Music 2017 at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 30, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
(Image credit: Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty)

Francia Raisa is the hot topic of conversation ahead of the new Selena Gomez documentary, My Mind & Me

Raisa and Gomez are best friends with a long history, but you've likely seen the former before in a few of your favorite sitcoms, too. Fans cannot get enough of the dynamic duo, but let's get to know Francia Raisa when she's not side-by-side with her superstar BFF.

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Who is Francia Raisa? Get to know the star

In 2005, then-17-year-old Francia Raisa made her first big break into acting, landing a sitcom role as Adrian in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, later followed by Ana in Grown-ish and, most recently, Valentina in How I Met Your Father, to name just a few.

But what let her into the limelight were her moves.

"I was a dancer when I got discovered, and I started working immediately," Raisa said, according to IMDB (opens in new tab). "I started being in commercials and doing guest star roles. My first big thing, which happened maybe six months after being discovered, was Bring It On: All or Nothing."

The Mexican-American performer is no secret to entertainment, as her father is famed Los Angeles radio announcer, Renán Almendariz Coello (El Cucuy). In addition to acting, Raisa is a well-known advocate for women's rights, though she plays a staunch Republican in Grown-ish. Ultimately, this role allowed her to be accepting of all viewpoints. 

"It's been tough in some situations, but I'm glad that I was able to do this," she told Complex (opens in new tab). "Especially in this last year, although I did lose some friends, I didn't lose a lot of friends, which could have happened because I was able to understand and respect different opinions."

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Francia Raisa and Selena Gomez's friendship:

The two best friends first crossed paths in 2007 at a Disney/ABC Family children’s hospital visit. From there, the rest is history. But what brought them even closer together was Selena Gomez's health conditions. When the Only Murders in the Building star was diagnosed with lupus and needed a kidney transplant, Raisa didn't think twice about helping her friend.

"The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me," Gomez told People (opens in new tab). "She [Francia] volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean, that’s unbelievable. That’s not real."

This huge decision did not come without its challenges, particularly for the active Raisa who was accustomed to working out and caring for her dog—she was unable to do more than walk for about two months. But, despite hardships, the decision was a no-brainer for the Grown-ish star. 

"Selena is a great girl, and she also has a big heart, as does Francia. I’m very proud of both of them,” Raisa’s mother, Virginia Almendarez, said to Telemundo, per People. "Francia has a huge heart because not anyone would just let go of one of their organs to give it to someone else."

A bit of controversy erupted (where else?) online when Gomez was joking about her wine intake on social media, and fans claimed she was being reckless after her transplant. Despite what onlookers were conjuring up in their minds, the two are as close as ever and won the fickle internet back with their "He's a 10" TikTok video from summer 2022. 

@selenagomez (opens in new tab)

But everyone is a 10, remember that fact while viewing

♬ original sound - Selena Gomez (opens in new tab)

We can certainly expect more from these two buds going forward, of course. While Raisa is expanding her professional portfolio, making appearances on shows like Guy's Ultimate Game Night, and having an empowering impact on the LatinX community, Gomez is continuing the mental health conversation with her candid documentary, My Mind & Me.

Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me premieres on Apple TV+ on November 4.

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)