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2019 Queen Azalea Briana Venskus

The North Carolina Azalea Festival's 2019 Queen Azalea is Briana Venskus, an actress and production assistant with a career in film production. She has spent 10 years building her career in film, while also becoming a strong voice for the LGBTQ community in the film industry. She grew up in Wilmington, NC and attended The University of North Carolina School of the Arts where her interest in drama soared to new heights. Venskus’ interest in acting continued as she moved to Los Angeles, California and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from the California Institute of the Arts in 2009. While attending the Institute, she made her first screen debut in 2007’s Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. During her time as an actress, Venskus also began her career in film production working behind the scenes as a production assistant on TV shows such as Dexter, True Blood, Bones, Happy Endings, and the widely known 2009 film, The Fast & the Furious. She continued to make appearances on screen with small or uncredited roles before playing her first major role as Precious in 2014’s Let's Be Cops, which also starred Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. from the popular TV series New Girl. Since then, she has played many recognizable roles in hit TV shows like Nashville and the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie. If you are familiar with AMC’s The Walking Dead, you will recognize Venskus as Beatrice, who appeared on the show from 2016 to 2018. She is also one of the few actresses to play notable roles in both DC and Marvel Cinematic universes. Marvel fans will recognize her as Agent Piper in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., while fans of DC Comics remember her as Agent Vasquez in the CW series Supergirl. Venskus continues to gain popularity in the film industry and make a name for herself in production