Laura San Giacomo was born on November 14, 1962 and was raised in Denville, New Jersey. She began acting in high school and continued her theater studies at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she earned a degree in Fine Arts.
One of San Giacomo's first television appearances of merit was in 1989 on Miami Vice as Tania Lewis. However, it was Steven Soderbergh's film: sex, lies, and videotape that marked her film debut. Her work was nominated for a Golden Globe and she received a Los Angeles Film Critics' Association New Generation Award. San Giacomo continued her reputation as a bankable actress in the film Pretty Woman as Kit, the wisecracking friend to Vivian, played by Julia Roberts
San Giacomo has appeared in such films as Miles From Home, Quigley down Under, Vital Signs, Under Suspicion and Nina Takes A Lover. In 1994, she appeared opposite Rob Lowe in The Stand, the Stephen King TV miniseries.
Her comedic timing gained notice in 1995 when she appeared in the Saturday Night Live spin-off film, Stuart Saves His Family.
In 1997, she was cast as Maya Gallo in Just Shoot Me! The role of a sometimes naive, hot-tempered, sassy journalist trying to make a name for herself who ends up working at her father's beauty magazine Blush. Originally, the show was supposed to revolve around her character. However, the following seasons focused more on the ensemble cast as a whole.
San Giacomo returned to television voice over work after the end of Just Shoot Me! as the voice for the Oxygen true-life crime series Snapped. In 2006, San Giacomo was a guest star on Veronica Mars and was reunited with her former Just Shoot Me! cast mate, Enrico Colantoni.
San Giacomo has been married to actor Matt Adler since 2000. She was married to actor Cameron Dye from 1990 to 1999 with whom she has a son, Mason, who has cerebral palsy.
San Giacomo is a cousin to Torry Castellano of the rock group The Donnas.
Petite and pretty Maya Gallo, a graduate of Stanford University, considers herself a serious journalist. After being fired from her last job and with no other job prospects, she settles for a position at her father's magazine, Blush.
Maya strives to make Blush into a credible periodical--less about push-up bras and more about an honest appraisal of the fashion industry. In fact, Maya wins a Femmy award for excellence in women's magazine journalism. The piece that wins is an article about cleavage she wrote on the subway, that her father swapped in for a more serious piece she meant to submit. Understandably, she is furious when she is undermined as a journalist and a daughter. To further her frustration, she harbors jealous feelings regarding her father's personal life. Jack marries one of her former classmates and has a child. She feels he pays much more attention to this child than he did to her growing up.
Though Maya has a series of boyfriends throughout the run of the show, she has an attraction to co-worker Eliot, Blush's photographer. When Finch plays a practical joke on the two, switching Elliott's birthday gifts so it appears Maya has not given him a video game console, but rather a promise of passion, it becomes a comedy of errors and the two discuss their feelings for one another. Elliot and Maya nearly marry at one point, but the rocky relationship never seems to heal.
Maya tries her hand at becoming a more artistic. In an episode, she participates in a photography workshop. Deemed talented and ready for the next step as an artist, her teacher assigns her to take nude self-portraits. After some hesitation, she asks Elliot if she can borrow his studio. A jealous Elliot agrees, but voices his concern that her teacher merely wants to see her naked. Maya strikes a deal with Elliot. If he thinks her photos show no artistic promise, she'll quit the class. Yet, Elliot, in this instance, cannot tell a lie and encourages Maya. He says he does see an artistic eye that goes wholly unappreciated by her father and the staff at Blush.