McLaughlin was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. Her family moved to the town of Zephyrhills, Florida when she was 3.
McLaughlin began her acting career with community theater groups in Tampa, Florida. At the age of 8, she joined the apprentice cast of Entertainment Revue, a professional show choir in Tampa, and was promoted to the professional cast two years later. She has made presentations including singing for Florida Governor Jeb Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
McLaughlin moved out to Los Angeles in 2007. She starred in various television series, including First Day, Betrayal, Hand of God and Pretty Little Liars. She has also appeared in short and direct-to-video films, including The Clique and Dead South.
She has been a member of SAG-AFTRA's Los Angeles Local Board of Directors since 2013, running under the Unite for Strength slate. She is a producer for the 24th, 25th and 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
- She is of Irish descent.
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