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Dascha Polanco        

Dominican-American Actress; Best Known for "Orange is the New Black" & "In The Heights"

Dascha Polanco is a Dominican-American actress. She is known for portraying the role of Dayanara "Daya" Diaz on the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black," and for the role of Cuca in the 2021 movie In the Heights. She was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States at a young age.

Polanco aspired to be an actress from an early age but "always doubted auditioning because of her weight," and so she completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at Hunter College. After college, she was working in hospital administration at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx while studying nursing when she gained the courage to pursue acting again and registered herself with an acting studio. Her first acting credits were minor parts in the television series "Unforgettable" and "NYC 22."

In 2012, Polanco was cast in the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black" as her first full-time acting job. Polanco subsequently appeared in the 2013 independent film Gimme Shelter before returning to her role on "Orange Is the New Black," which she has remained in for the show's entire run. Outside of "Orange is the New Black," Polanco has appeared in the comedy "The Cobbler," "Russian Doll," "American Crime Story" and "When They See Us."

Polanco is known for flaunting her curves and spreading body positivity through her social media channels, but she has opened up about how her confidence didn’t come easy. Having worked in the industry now for several years she’s grown to love her body despite the notoriously high standards in Hollywood.


Prominent Actresses Star in Videos to Tell Women’s Personal Stories of Abortion
The Center for Reproductive Rights has launched a new series of videos featuring Elizabeth Banks, Amy Brenneman, Mercedes Mason, Mary McCormack, Dascha Polanco, Retta and Bellamy Young in which they read stories from women who have decided to have an abortion.
'OITNB' Star Dascha Polanco Opens Up About Battling Depression ...
Dascha Polanco, who plays Dayanara (Daya) Diaz on the show, spoke candidly in a recent interview with Latina magazine about her battle with depression after  ...
'OITNB's Dascha Polanco Joins Jennifer Lawrence In 'Joy' | Deadline
Orange Is The New Black regular Dascha Polanco is set to co-star in Joy, the David O. Russell pic from Fox 2000 about the rags-to-riches story of Miracle Mop  ...

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