Krista Elyse Hidalgo Cariño Sullivan (born 3 May 1991), better known by her stage name Bela Padilla, is a Filipino-British actress, film producer, screenwriter, occasional host and model.
Early life and education
Padilla (born Krista Elyse Hidalgo Cariño Sullivan) was born to Cornelius Gary Sullivan and wife Margarette ("Meg"). Her mother is a maternal cousin to Robin Padilla. Her father was divorced from his first wife. She has three elder half-siblings in England from her father's first family while she also has an elder brother from both of her parents. She first attended a Montessori education-style international school in Forbes Park, Makati, before attending the foreigners class of Colegio San Agustin – Makati. Padilla took up journalism as an elective in senior high school.
Padilla's maternal grandmother is the sister of Eva Cariño-Padilla, wife of actor-director and former Camarines Norte governor Roy Padilla, Sr.. She is niece, of second degree consanguinity, to actors Rommel Padilla, Robin Padilla and BB Gandanghari, and second cousin to RJ and Daniel Padilla (sons of Rommel) and Queenie and Kylie Padilla (daughters of Robin).
Padilla was discovered by ABS-CBN talent scout Jet Valle after the latter saw her on one of her field trips and introduced her to ABS-CBN via Star Magic Batch 15 and adopted the stage name Krista Valle. The same year she got her first TV role in the teen drama Star Magic Presents: Abt Ur Luv Ur Lyf 2. She later changed her stage name to her real name Krista Sullivan when she started working as a freelance actress. In 2009, she played a minor role in the TV series Totoy Bato. She then became a cast regular on the third season of Lokomoko High in TV5.
In 2010, she left Star Magic, replaced her manager with Claire dela Fuente and moved to GMA-7. Along with the move, she also finally changed her stage name to Bela Padilla.
In 2011, Bela was awarded the Miss Friendship and the Media's Darling awards in the Asian Super Model Contest that was held in Guilin and Nanning in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, on 6 and 7 September.
In March 2012, Padilla was at the center of a controversy when her FHM Philippines magazine cover was withdrawn due to accusations of racism.
In 2015, Padilla returned to ABS-CBN and appeared in the teleserye FPJ's: Ang Probinsyano, based on the Fernando Poe Jr. film of the same name, co-starring Coco Martin, Maja Salvador and Susan Roces.