- "Maybe I wasn't the mother you wanted, but I was always there. I stayed and I tried."
- —Donna Smaok to her daughter, Felicity Smoak[src]
Donna Smoak grew up in Las Vegas in a Jewish family. When she was young, she met and fell in love with Noah Kuttler and they soon got married. They had a Jewish wedding officiated by a rabbi impersonating Tom Jones. Donna and Noah had a whirlwind romance, with Donna putting her "love, trust and 20s" into their relationship. The two of them would often frequent a cabin in Cypress Cove called Ravenspur for some alone time, where their child was apparently conceived.
Leaving Noah and raising Felicity
Sometime after Felicity's birth, Donna and Noah’s marriage was in turmoil due to the latter's status as a fugitive cybercriminal. Donna gave her husband the benefit of doubt multiple times but after too many lies and broken promises, she ultimately left Noah, not wanting to risk her daughter's well-being on the chance that he would truly change. Donna then became a cocktail waitress, working 60 hours per week in order to raise Felicity by herself. Due to her long work hours, it was implied that Donna couldn't spend a lot of quality time with her daughter as she would barely remember to pick Felicity up from school or make her snacks. Despite remaining angry with Noah over his criminal lifestyle, Donna was still hurt over how their relationship ended.
Whenever Felicity was sad, Donna made hot milk to cheer her up. She did this in once such instance when breaking the news to Felicity that she couldn't go to Space Camp for the summer. Donna was too embarrassed to admit the reason was because she couldn't afford it, so she instead claimed that she couldn't bear the thought of sending her daughter that far away for so long.
Visiting Starling City
In late 2014, Donna received an email stating that she won a free first-class round-trip to Starling City. She texted Felicity that she was paying a visit, but forgot to hit "send" on the text. At Felicity's apartment, Donna enthusiastically greeted her mortified daughter. She was excited to meet Ray Palmer, showing him she owned one of his smart watches and was given a more advanced version by Ray. After the first wave of cyber attacks by Brother Eye, Donna and Felicity dropped by Verdant, where Felicity lied that she had to help the owner, who was her friend, get the power back on. Donna then happily greeted Oliver Queen and John Diggle and fawned over Diggle's infant daughter, Sara. Before they went down to the Arrowcave, Diggle temporarily left Sara in Donna's care. Later, Donna and Sara were sent to Felicity's home. That night, after Sara was picked up by her "nanny" from A.R.G.U.S., Donna found Felicity at Palmer Technologies, upset that her daughter kept blowing her off. The two had an argument in which Felicity expressed her anger that her mother never seemed to understand her. Hurt, Donna stated that she always wanted what was best for her daughter and revealed her insecurities of Felicity not taking after her in any way. She felt that her daughter had abandoned her, just like her ex-husband.
At Felicity's apartment, Donna was packing when Felicity arrived and tried to apologize. When Donna revealed her free flight, Felicity realized someone wanted her mother to be in Star City. Suddenly, some armed men burst into the apartment and kidnapped Donna and Felicity, bringing them to Cooper Seldon, the leader of Brother Eye and Felicity’s ex-boyfriend. Donna then learned she was brought as leverage so Felicity could hack into the GPS of the trucks sent by the treasury and reroute them to Brother Eye's current location. After Felicity did the hack, Donna's new watch went off, and Felicity realized she could use the watch's Wi-Fi to contact help. When Cooper returned and pointed a gun at her, Donna angrily told him to leave her daughter alone and that he was no match for Felicity. Just then, the Arrow arrived. Cooper took Felicity hostage, but she quickly disarmed and knocked him out, much to Donna's shock. Felicity freed her mother and the two tearfully embraced.
The next morning, Donna dropped by Palmer Tech. to say goodbye to Felicity before she left that night. Felicity assured Donna that while she may have gotten her intelligence from her father, she gets her strength from her mother. When Ray arrived, Donna thanked him for the watch and Felicity "called in sick" so she and her mother could spend the day together.
Attending Oliver's and Felicity's wedding
Donna and her former husband Noah attended to wedding reception of Oliver and Felicity, becoming very happy and proud about their wedding.
- "Over the past two years, I have been through a lot and I have learned that I am a lot tougher than I thought. That, I get from you."
- —Felicity to Donna[src]
Donna Smoak is a warm, jovial, energetic, talkative, compassionate, caring person and loves children. Underneath her bright personality though, she feels lonely and insecure when it comes to her relationship with Felicity. Donna struggled to connect with her daughter and believed she took mostly after Noah, seeing nothing of herself in Felicity. However, despite their vast differences, Felicity is ultimately the center of her mother’s world; Donna worked hard in dismal conditions to ensure Felicity would have a good future and tried her best to give her daughter a happy, loving childhood despite their tight financial situation.
While she seems like "all nails and hair", Donna is tough and brave when the situation calls for it. She stared down and defied Cooper Seldon when he threatened her daughter, showing that she is fiercely protective of Felicity and will not hesitate to put her life on the line for her. After the events of "", Donna and Felicity were able to reconcile and rebuild their relationship, becoming closer than ever.
Donna is very insightful and intuitive, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. She knew Felicity well enough to deduce that she was in love with Oliver Queen after seeing them in the same room in mere seconds, and encouraged her daughter to pursue him. Donna is supportive of Oliver and Felicity's relationship, being in awe of their love, and is always there to provide some sage advice to her daughter as the latter navigates her new romance. Donna also formed a close, almost motherly bond with Oliver. At his and Felicity's wedding reception, she even asked if she can call Oliver "son", which he agrees to.
When Donna started dating Quentin Lance, she was able to begin moving on from her failed marriage to Noah and got along well with Quentin's daughter, Laurel. Donna was accepting of Quentin's work with Star City's vigilantes and encouraged him not to hide the fact that he knew, and was proud of, his daughter's identity as Black Canary. Even after they broke up, Donna remained friendly with Quentin, glad to see that he was sober.
- Like her daughter, Donna is Jewish.
- Donna has a habit of folding laundry when stressed.
- She is a bad cook.
- Donna seems to have the ability to instantly determine the weight and cut of precious stones upon first glance, as shown with Felicity's engagement ring in "".
- Her favorite color is pink.
- Donna enjoys Lionel Richie and, like her ex-husband, Tom Jones.
- Possibly due to her religion, Donna, according to Felicity, has always been into premonition signs about life, such as stars, horoscopes and ouija boards.
- Donna loves the movie Bull Durham, considering its lead actress Sara Sarandon to be her "fictional life coach".