Donna Lynne Champlin

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Donna Lynne Champlin
Donna Lynne Champlin 2018.jpg
Donna Lynne Champlin, headshot by Paul Smith Photography, 2018
Born (1971-01-21) January 21, 1971 (age 52)
EducationCarnegie Mellon University (BFA) Oxford University
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • singer
Years active1993–present
Andrew Arrow
(m. 2010)

Donna Lynne Champlin (born January 21, 1971) is an American actress, dancer and singer from New York City. She is best known for playing Paula Proctor on The CW comedy-drama series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Early life[edit]

Champlin was born in Rochester, New York, to a technical writer mother and a scientist father.[1] She participated in various lessons, theatre productions, and national and international competitions throughout her childhood, in voice, piano, flute, theatre and dance.[2][3][4]

Champlin went on to study musical theatre at Carnegie Mellon University, graduating with her BFA in 1993, and studied abroad as a 1992 Advanced Acting Scholar in Shakespeare and Chekhov at the University of Oxford. In 1992 she won the Princess Grace Foundation Award in Theatre.[5] While still in college, she performed as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz with Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.[2][6]


Champlin took on the title role of Very Warm for May, her Broadway debut in James Joyce's The Dead, then By Jeeves, Hollywood Arms, Sweeney Todd, Billy Elliot the Musical, and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, for which she won the 2007 Obie Award. Other credits include: No, No Nanette, Very Good Eddie, First Lady Suite, Harold and Maude, My Life With Albertine, Bloomer Girl, and Jolson. She also performed with Len Cariou in the Simply Sondheim inaugural concert which celebrated the opening of the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.[2][3][7][8]

Champlin's awards include the 2019 Gracie Award for Best Supporting Actress, 2013 Drama Desk Award, 2007 OBIE award, the Princess Grace Award, the title of National Tap Dance Champion four consecutive times, and she has received grants from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, The Anna Sosenko Trust, Princess Grace Foundationand has received The Charlie Willard Memorial Grant.[2][4]

Champlin's film and television credits include The Dark Half, the 2000 and 2006 Annual Tony Awards, The View, Law & Order, The Good Wife, The Good Fight, The Good Doctorand Live with Regis and Kelly. From 2015 to 2019, she starred in the role of Paula Proctor in The CW comedy-drama series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.[2], Hortense in Another Period and Barb in Netflix's Feel the Beat. In 2022, she appeared in the Showtime series The First Lady.[9]

Champlin released a solo album entitled Old Friends, performs a one-woman show entitled Finishing the Hat, and teaches acting at the Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Hartford, and New York University. She spends her downtime writing, raising money for JDRF, BCEFA, The Actors Fundand lives with her family in NYC. [2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Champlin married actor Andrew Arrow in 2010 and they have one child. They live in New York City. [2][3][4][7]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 By Jeeves Honoria Glossop TV movie
2008–2010 Law & Order Sergeant Angelyne Robinson / CSU Det. Halpern 2 episodes
2011–2014 Submissions Only Kim Gifford 6 episodes
2014 The Good Wife Myra Weymouth Episode: "Oppo Research"
2015 Younger Lori Episode: "I'm with Stupid"
2015–2019 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Paula Proctor Main character, 62 episodes
2018 Another Period Hortense Bellacourt Main character, 6 episodes
2020 The Good Fight Mrs. Feldman Episode: "The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein"
2021 Centaurworld Prairiedogtaur Episode: "Holes: Part 3"
2021 The Blacklist Guinevere Claflin Episode: "Elizabeth Keen (No. 1)"
2022 The First Lady Melissa Winter [10]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Dark Half Babysitter Uncredited
2008 The Audition Monitor Short film
2009 My Father's Will Sandra
2014 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Broadway Lady
2017 Downsizing Leisureland Administrator
2019 Yes, God, Yes Mrs. Veda
2020 Feel the Beat Barb


Year Title Voice role Ref.
2020-21 In Strange Woods Kathy [11]

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 James Joyce's The Dead Mary Jane Morkan, Miss Molly Ivors (understudy) Broadway
Mary Jane Morkan Tour
2001 By Jeeves Honoria Glossop Broadway
2002 Hollywood Arms Older Helen Broadway
2003 My Life with Albertine Grandmother Off-Broadway
2005–2006 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Adolpho Pirelli Broadway
2008–2012 Billy Elliot the Musical Dead Mum (understudy), Ensemble Broadway
2010 See Rock City & Other Destinations Dead Mum (understudy), Ensemble Off-Broadway
2021 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Mrs. Lovett Off-Broadway

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1993 Princess Grace Award Grant Theatre Won
2007 Obie Award Performance The Dark at the Top of the Stairs Won
2008 NYMF Award for Excellence Outstanding Performance Love Jerry Won
2013 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Ensemble Performance Working: A Musical Won
2017 Gracie Awards Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy or Musical Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Won


  1. ^ "Donna Lynne Champlin Biography ((?)-)".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Archived July 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Donna Lynne Champlin (Retrieved March 9, 2011.)
  3. ^ a b c d Broadway actress Donna Lynne Champlin discusses acting, her upcoming performances in WMU's 'Late Night Broadway Simon A. Thalmann, December 1, 2010, Michigan Live LLC.
  4. ^ a b c Donna Lynne Champlin – Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (Retrieved March 9, 2011.)
  5. ^ "Princess Grace Award Winners". Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  6. ^ A Chat with Donna Lynne Champlin 2004/01/08 Heather Colon-Smith, January 8, 2004,
  7. ^ a b Donna Lynne Champlin Biography ((?)-) NetIndustries, LLC.
  8. ^ Donna Lynne champlin Theatre Credits (Retrieved March 9, 2011.)
  9. ^ "'The First Lady': Rosalind Chao, Michael Potts & Donna Lynne Champlin To Recur On Showtime Anthology Series". Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (June 14, 2021). "'The First Lady': Rosalind Chao, Michael Potts & Donna Lynne Champlin To Recur On Showtime Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  11. ^ Cristi, A.A. (November 30, 2020). "Beth Leavel, Patrick Page and More Join IN STRANGE WOODS Musical Podcast". Broadway World. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2022.

External links[edit]