Rachel Bay Jones was an American stage actress and singer who came from the swamps of Florida to take Broadway by storm, winning rave reviews, and a Tony award, in the process. Born in New York City to Shakespearian actor parents, Jones was raised in Boca Raton, FL. She fell in love with the stage when she was in high school, eventually dropping out when she was cast in a local play. At the age of 19, Jones moved back to her birth city in order to pursue acting as a career. In 1989, she was cast as an understudy for the lead in a Broadway revival of "Meet Me in St. Louis." Jones then joined a touring production of "Grand Hotel" in 1990, performing the part of Hildegarde Bratts all across the country. She continued to work steadily in the theater throughout the next decade, appearing in international tours of "Rent" and "Evita," while also taking parts in such productions as "Fiddler on the Roof" (2000), "Hair" (2009), "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (2010), "A Christmas Story: The Musical" (2011), and "Pippin" (2012-13), where she earned raves for her performance as Catherine. Jones would find her biggest role yet in 2015, when she was cast as Heidi Hansen, the titular character's mother, in the Broadway musical "Dear Evan Hansen." The show was a smash with audiences and critics, and Jones would take home her first Tony award, for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. In July of 2018, Jones announced that, after three years, she would be leaving "Dear Evan Hansen" at the end of that month, in order to pursue new projects.