Maya Kazan was born on November 24, 1986, in Los Angeles to screenwriter parents Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan. Her father was the son of director Elia Kazan and playwright Mary Day "Molly" Kazan. Just as it had bitten her older sister Zoe, the acting bug got a hold of Maya at a young age, fostering her pursuit of film studies at Wesleyan University. During her college tenure, Kazan appeared in short films titled "Lenore" (2008) and "I'll Never Smile Again" (2009). She followed her studies at Wesleyan with a two-year-long enrollment in the William Esper Studio's acting program, going on thereafter to snag roles in feature films. Kazan's earliest movies included the drama "Everyday Saturday" (2012) and the substantially higher-profile comedy "Frances Ha" (2012), in which she appeared briefly opposite star Greta Gerwig. All the while, Kazan catered to her passion for the theater, appearing in an off-off-Broadway tour of "The Future Is Not What It Was" and an Old Globe Theatre production of "The Winter's Tale" in 2014. Publicity from her film and stage material begat a wealth of television work for Kazan. She nabbed a significant recurring role in the final season of the acclaimed series "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO 2010-14), appearing in flashback sequences as the yet-unseen late wife of series protagonist Nucky Thompson. At the same time, Kazan won a central role on Steven Soderbergh's period drama series "The Knick" (Cinemax 2014-15) as the wife of a surgeon played by Eric Johnson. This led to appearances on other popular programs, including "Sleepy Hollow" (Fox 2013-17) and "The Mindy Project" (Fox/Hulu 2012-17).