Maria Leto was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She began her passion for music and dance at a young age from her father, Frank Leto, an award-winning children's composer, educator and musician, and her mother, Pilar Leto, a professional dancer and model.
She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.F.A in Musical Theatre. After graduation, she promptly moved to NYC to pursue her acting career. She returned from Theatreworks/USA's national tour of The Mystery of King Tut and currently resides in NYC with her husband, where she is focusing on her TV/Film career.
Some of her theatre credits include: Mimi in Miss Saigon (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), Velma Kelly in Chicago (Centre for the Arts), Sound of Music (Syracuse Stage), Rocky Horror Picture Show (SU Drama) and Little Night Music (SU Drama). Her recent film credits include: Papercut, Heart, Sex and The City, and Jolt.
Her performance as Velma Kelly in Chicago at the Centre for the Arts Theatre received rave reviews: "Maria superbly plays Velma Kelly," says the Bucks County Herald. The Morning Call wrote "Those familiar with the 2002 movie version will find a striking resemblance, both in looks and talent, between Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played the leading role of Velma in the motion picture, and Maria Leto who re-creates the role for Centre for the Arts. Leto's Velma is smart, sassy and drop-dead gorgeous. Her effervescent smile lights up the small theater."