Child actress Laura Marano first culled recognition from television viewers via her portrayal of Kate Malone, pint-sized daughter of FBI agent Jack Malone (Anthony LaPaglia), on the detective series Without a Trace -- a role she held opposite her sister, Vanessa Marano (the two played siblings). Additional accomplishments included a small role in the futuristic psychological thriller The Jacket (2005), starring Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley, voice work on the popular CG-animated feature Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), and a couple apperances on the serial-killer drama Dexter as the younger version (in flashbacks) of the titular character's sister, Debra. In 2007, Marano played a young version of Sarah Silverman on her self-titled Comedy Central series, took part in the game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, and then went on to play Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer's child, Gracie Carr, on the local-news sitcom Back to You. That series only lasted a year, but Marano soon found work voicing Mei Mei for the animated Nickelodeon series Ni Hao, Kai-lan. Over the coming years, Marano would continue to act on screen, appearing on The Sarah Silverman Program and Austin & Ally.