Maura West Marks A Major Milestone As General Hospital's Legendary Ava Jerome

Soap star Maura West has been astonishing fans with her acting prowess for decades, using her film noir-style beauty to play seductive and sultry characters that balance between good and bad. The Boston University graduate wowed people so much in a college production that the casting director for "As the World Turns" saw her and immediately signed her up to play the character Carly Tenney in 1995 – a fortune seeker who lied and threatened her way through Oakdale. She left that part in 2010, and moved over to Genoa City, taking on the role of Diane Jenkins on "The Young and the Restless," which was previously played by Susan Walters. Diane caused some mischief and ultimately faked her own death. 

West then went on to play bad girl Ava Jerome on "General Hospital," starting in 2013. Initially part of the Jerome crime family, Ava and her brother Julian Jerome (William deVry) waged war against kingpin Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard). Eventually, there would be peace between the Corinthos and Jerome clans, and Ava would have a child with Sonny after a one-night-stand. 

After causing quite a bit of trouble, yet setting down roots and even making lasting friendships as Ava, West celebrates a landmark in her career.

West has evolved her character for over a decade

Fan favorite Maura West has carved out a niche on "General Hospital," and is fortunate to be part of the show's 60th anniversary. She's also celebrating her 10th year playing the schemer who's been able to forge alliances such as her friendship with Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros) — a woman that induced her labor and subsequently stole the baby. Soaps posted several pictures of West as Ava throughout the decade, from her involvement with former serial killer Franco Baldwin (Roger Howarth) to her romance with the entitled Nikolas Cassadine, whom she currently believes she accidentally killed. Having such longevity on the soap, West has worked with three actors who've played Nikolas: Tyler Christopher, Marcus Coloma, and Adam Huss.

While Ava and Franco's initial romance took place off screen prior to her arrival in Port Charles, West and Howarth had such chemistry that when he was killed off and brought back as Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt, sparks flew between their characters. Ava has not only battled people, but cancer as well, and suffered through the death of her daughter Kiki Jerome (Hayley Erin). From her love affair with the good Dr. Griffin Munro (Matt Cohen) to nearly being scarred for life by an accidental fire, West has brought gravitas and depth to a character that could otherwise have been one-dimensional.

We're hoping she stays on "GH" for another 10 years, and wish West congratulations!