Dascha Polanco was a Dominican-American actress born on December 3, 1982. After moving from the Dominican Republic to America, where she grew up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Polanco had dreams of being an actress. However, she was hesitant to audition because of weight expectations. Polanco had a child at 18, daughter Dasany Kristal Gonzalez, who would end up playing a 14-year-old version of her "Orange Is the New Black" Character. She had a son two years later, and attended Hunter College, from which she graduated in 2008 with a bachelor's in psychology. Polanco was working at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx when she decided to pursue acting, and soon after landed a small part in an episode of the first season of "Unforgettable" (CBS, 2011-16). She would soon make her breakthrough appearance as Dayanara "Daya" Diaz on "Orange Is the New Black" (Netflix, 2013- ). Polanco made her film debut in the Vanessa Hudgens-led "Gimme Shelter" (2013), and played Macy in "The Cobbler" (2014), which starred Adam Sandler. She also starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence in David O. Russell's "Joy" (2015).