Donna Lynne Champlin is an American actress known primarily for her theater work on Broadway. She was born on January 21, 1971 in Rochester, New York, to a technical writer mother and a scientist father. She participated in various lessons, theatre productions, and national, and international competitions throughout her childhood, in voice, piano, flute, theatre and dance. She attended the University of Oxford earning in 1992 an Advanced Acting Scholar in Shakespeare and Chekhov. She later studied musical theatre at Carnegie Mellon University and graduated with her BFA in 1993. She is married to actor Andrew Arrow with whom she has one child named Charlie. Champlin currently stars on The CW network on the show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" as Paula Proctor. Not long after filming Season OnePilot it was discovered that show creator and star Rachel Bloom is her second cousin.
In an article on "Bust.com", it was mentioned in passing that "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" co-creator Rachel Bloom" is Donna Lynne Champlin's second cousin. They first met in 2005 at a "Sweeney Todd" CD signing for the Broadway revival of that musical. Champlin was a part of the cast playing the part of Pirelli and Bloom was a student at New York university. Champlin recalls:
“I distinctly remember her. A) It was her coat. B) She said something that was so incredibly insightful and intelligent. It made an impression on me. I thought, ‘That orange coat girl is going to do something amazing.’ I had this premonition.”