Maura Jo West was born in Springfield, MA on April 27, 1972. She was raised in nearby Ludlow Her birth name was Maura Jo Snyder but at the age or 17 she took her mother's maiden name of West. She is the youngest of four children. Her siblings include two older brothers, Peter and Andrew, and one sister, Amy. Maura is a graduate of Boston University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Maura is a big fan of the New York Yankees and it was at a Yankees game in 1999 that her husband, Scott DeFreitas, proposed to her via the giant video screen in center field used to display player stats and scores in Yankee Stadium. Maura met Scott on the set of As the World Turns, where he played Andy Dixon, another fan favorite. Maura followed an ATWT tradition, that of marrying co-stars, when she married Scott DeFreitas. Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara) met Mark Pinter while he played Brian. Kelley Menighan Hensley (Emily) married Jon Hensley (Holden) in 1996. Maura and Scott were married January 22, 2000. It was the 2nd marriage for Maura. She was previously married to director Jonathan Knight from 1995 to 1999.
Maura's hobbies include reading, going to the movies and spending time with her family. She is a mother to four children; Benjamin Crawford West Knight (b.6/96) Joseph Peter DeFreitas (b. 3/29/00) Katherine Marie DeFreitas (b. 1/9/02) and Basil John DeFreitas (b. 1/30/2007). Her son Joseph was born on TV as part of the TLC show, A Baby Story.
As an actress, Maura is best known for her role as Carly Tenney on the CBS Daytime Drama, As the World Turns (April 11, 1995-May 8, 1996; September 10, 1997-present.) Maura won the role of Carly in 1995 after the show's casting director saw her in a college production in Boston. Maura watched As the World Turns while attending high school and was huge fan of the show as well as a big fan of Martha Byrne (Lily) and the late Ben Hendrickson (ex-Hal.) Maura took a break from the show after the birth of her first child, but returned about a year later. Maura quickly became a fan favorite and remains so today in addition to being praised as one of the best in daytime television. She finally won a long overdue Daytime Emmy Award in June 2007.
Her stage roles include Much Ado About Nothing, Translations, Top Girls, and Hamlet.
In recognition of the work she has done, Maura has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy five times — twice for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2001, 2002 and for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2004. She finally won a Daytime Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Lead Actress. She has received her fifth nomination for the Outstanding Lead Actress category in the upcoming 2008 Daytime Emmy awards. She has also received four Soap Opera Digest award nominations, including one for Favorite Couple, with Michael Park (Jack) in 2001, two for Younger Lead actress in 1999 and 2000 and one for Outstanding Villainess in 1996.