As an actor, comic, voice-over artist and singer extraordinaire, the multi-talented Ms. Cherry possesses the rarest of all acting combos: the qualities of a true character actress and the charisma of a leading lady. Donna grew up the daughter of a preacher and teacher who were Christian missionaries to Costa Rica and Colombia, where she was born the youngest of five kids.After living in Latin America, her family settled in California. Her high school drama teacher inspired her to pursue a career as a performer, so she went on to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Then during the course of completing her Bachelor of Music Degree (with a concentration in voice) from California State University, Northridge, she was approached while working as a singing waitress, by none other than Miss America herself, who saw her potential and encouraged her to enter the Miss America Pageant.
Donna then won Miss West Los Angeles and the title of Miss California. She bowled them over in the talent section showcasing her series of impressions of show business legends including Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Anita Baker, Joan Rivers, Dolly Parton and more.While competing at Miss America, she was selected to be one of the top five to represent the pageant that year for various corporate events ranging from Gillette to American Greetings to K-Mart. USO Tours followed to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, including appearing with Bob Hope and Dick Clark. The pageant also led her to participation in festivities for both the Olympics and the Presidential Inauguration.With her great improvisational skills to boot, Donna became known as the Miss California who was funny. Hence, she was booked as a comedienne in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. She then moved to New York where she hosted Shopping Line and appeared in several Off-Broadway Shows. After that, Donna received the Dramalogue Critic's Award for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl" and starred in several independent films that went to the Cannes Film Festival.When she returned to California, she auditioned for Mitzi Shore and became a paid regular at The Comedy Store, keeping her busy performing in Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles. She has been called a cross between a homecoming queen and class clown. It was through The Comedy Store that she met Barry Manilow and joined his World Tour, performing in such prestigious venues as Madison Square Garden, Universal Amphitheatre and London's Wembley Arena. She also appeared on The Tonight Show.Continuing to tour, Donna performed for Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and other venues. It was at that time that she was hired serendipitously to work a corporate event for the company of her future husband, Jim Caldwell. They married 6 months later and literally 9 months after that, she gave birth to their first bouncing baby boy named Carson, born in New York City. It was during her pregnancy that Donna studied privately at Juilliard.After moving back to Los Angeles with her new family, she scored an HBO/Fox sitcom pilot with Gregory Harrison and Bobcat Goldthwaite as well as a political comedy pilot called Shouting Match . She completed a six month run at the Tiffany Theatre in the award-winning comedy, Twist Of Fate, which earned her much acclaim for her sympathetic portrayal of a superficial TV executive. Donna also played the lead role in several other plays garnering great reviews in all of them including, most recently, Dames At Sea, as the notorious 1930's diva Mona Kent. She can be seen as the First Lady in the New Line film, Most Wanted with Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jon Voight and Jill Hennessy and also appears in a comedic moment in Dreamworks', The Mexican starring Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. Other film work includes the independent film, Panicked, where she plays a psychiatrist who's on too many meds herself to be effective and the award-winning short Skylab, where she plays the meddling cousin, Merle.You can see her in Desperate Housewives as a nurse to Kyle McLauchlan and in her recurred role on the Disney television show, The Suite Life Of Zach And Cody as a pernickety saleslady and in the feature, The Ultimate Gift (2007) with James Garner and Abigail Breslin, as a wealthy widow who has a penchant for vast and varied men!As a voice-over artist, she is the title voice on two different cartoon series: on both the Emmy Award-winning Tutenstein (NBC) as well as Jay Jay The Jet Plane (PBS Kids). Donna's voice can also be heard in various projects for Disney, Rick Dees, and in various other cartoons and television shows, including the highly rated documentary, Evita: The Life of Eva Peron. She worked regularly for Premiere Radio Network doing comedic drop-in voice-overs for national morning-drive shows and she put the finishing touches on her first CD entitled, Duality while being pregnant, no less, with her second baby boy named Clayton. The CD, an interesting blend of R&B/Adult Contemporary with humor(!), is now available to purchase and its debut concurred with her opening for Sherman Hemsley in Atlantic City.