Mara Hautea Schnittka, better known by her stage name Julia Montes (born March 19, 1995 in Pandacan, Manila, Philippines) is a Filipina-German actress and commercial model. She is best known for her leading roles in Philippine dramas, such as Mara Clara (2010), as Clara del Valle, Walang Hanggan (2012), as Katerina Alcantara, Muling Buksan Ang Puso (2013), as Sarah Beltran and Ikaw Lamang (2014), as Mona Hidalgo.
Montes was born Mara Hautea Schnittka to a Filipino mother, Gemma Hautea, and a German father, Martin Schnittka, in Pandacan, Manila. Montes' dad left them when she was a baby, and only her deaf mother raised her with the help of her grandmother Flory Hautea. She has relatives in Germany, and one of them is Andrea Schnittka, whom they share a resemblance, and has four siblings. In 2011, Montes finished high school with good grades at the Blessed Hope Christian School.
She began as a commercial model before appearing in various television shows. She was cast in a number of GMA-7 shows such as Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga in 2001 as the daughter of actors Robin Da Rosa and Angelu de Leon and in some episodes of the now defunct drama anthology Magpakailanman. Afterwards, Montes went on to play different roles on other ABS-CBN shows such as Hiram and Maalaala Mo Kaya. She then continued to play different roles in other TV series including Ligaw na Bulaklak and I Love Betty La Fea before landing a permanent spot on Goin' Bulilit. In 2008, Montes, as Abby, starred in an MMK episode titled as Card, a story of a girl who is longing for the love of her parents while under the care of her own yaya. As a teen star, Montes starred in the youth-oriented show Your Song Presents: Gimik 2010 playing the role of Mara. She also appeared in Katorse led by actress Erich Gonzales in 2009.
n 2010, Montes' biggest and breakthrough role came when she got the role of Clara del Valle/ Clara David in the remake of the longest-running hit soap opera Mara Clara alongside her co-star and off-screen best friend Kathryn Bernardo. Montes' notable portrayal as the main bida-kontrabida of the series showcased her caliber as a renowned actress, designating her as one of the industry's most promising stars and eventually landed her lead roles in movies and teleseryes.
Montes began dating actor Enchong Dee in 2012, but the two later broke-up in the same year. Montes was also frequently romantically linked to actor Coco Martin during the airing of her hit soaps Walang Hanggan and Ikaw Lamang.