Born Ashley Maitland Welkos, Maitland Ward is an American actress probably best known for her role as Rachel McGuire from the series “Boy Meets World.” She was told to change her professional name, as ‘Ashley’ was too common.
Maitland Ward described herself on Twitter as “Actress. Writer. Fashionista. Designer. Spinner & Certified Yogi.” She was an only-child and grew up performing and wanted to be an actress. “My parents wouldn’t let me do it until I was 16.”
Her first gig was on “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 1987, while she was still in high school. She stayed there for three years and earned a Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress – TV Drama Series. But it was her role on “Boy Meets World” that made her a star. She said her hair really helped. “After experimenting with different hair colors, I found red. It changed the direction of my career completely. I got cast in ‘Boy Meets World’ and my short, sassy red hair helped land me the job. It set me apart from everyone.”
As for why ‘Boy Meets World’ kept its fan base, she said, “The characters. They feel like friends. You can relate to them. The show has so much heart and the audience responds to that.”
After Maitland Ward graduated from high school, she attended Cal State University at Long Beach while still acting. She later appeared in “White Chicks” and the CBS comedy “Out of Practice.”
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In 2007, she was accepted to New York University and studied theatre. She lived in New York City for two years before she moved back to her native California. She continued to study screenwriting at UCLA. She is also trying to package a script she wrote. “It’s a whole new world for me, being involved with the production element of something, but I’m having a great time doing it. I love being in control of my own material.”
She said the celebrity that made her most star-struck was “Bill Clinton. It was really cool to meet a President. And he couldn’t have been nicer.”
In her spare time, she enjoys working out and is involved with charities. She loves to travel, cook healthy food and collect antiques. Maitland Ward is married and resides in Hollywood, California.