Credit: ABC, Howard Wise/JPI

On January 9, 2002, the actress and her soap-alum hubby welcomed their eldest girl, Kate, into the world. 

Sometimes talent just runs in the family. This is true enough when you’ve got one gifted parent, but when you’re the daughter of two extraordinary actors like General Hospital‘s Maura West (Ava) and As the World Turns‘ Scott DeFreitas (Andy), we’re pretty sure there’s not much you can’t tackle. In just two decades, Kate West has already shown herself to be a remarkable athlete, musician and actress — not to mention a great daughter, sister and all-around incredible human being.

And yes, that’s right, we said two decades. It’s Kate’s 20th birthday today, and as Ava’s portrayer said on her daughter’s 18th birthday, “You are loved beyond measure.” And after going through a lifetime of photos, it couldn’t be more clear how true that is. Just scroll down and take a look yourself.

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A Tale of Two Kates

In 2018, West flashed all the way back to Kate’s earliest days in a touching post wishing her Gram a wonderful birthday in heaven. “Kathryn West,” the actress wrote of her grandmother. “Here she is holding her great granddaughter, Kate…who was named after her! Happy birthday, Gram!”

… and Then There Were Two

Kate already had three brothers, but it wasn’t until 2009 that the 7-year-old got a sister when Birdie was born. “Just came across this photo of my girls and me,” West shared in a flashback, “on the fantastic day of my little one’s birth!”

‘Oh, My Goodness!’

Kate was a star from the start — just like her talented parents, once Carly and Andy opposite one another on As the World Turns. One of Kate’s earliest roles was playing Tessie in Annie at the Glendale Centre Theatre. “Such a talent,” West wrote. “My girl!”

Swinging for the Fences

By the time she was 12, Kate had made it clear that there was pretty much nothing she couldn’t accomplish. Her proud mom shared a pic of the smiling softball player with her championship trophy, and there was only one word that needed to be said: “Champ!!!”

Why So Serious?

There is so much going on in this Halloween pic from 2014, we don’t even know where to start — but we are loving everything about it, from Kate’s stare-down to Birdie and Basil’s one-two punch of The Cat in the Hat and the Lego Movie!

Sing It! (Or Maybe Not)

Both of West’s girls teamed up for this pitch-perfect dubbing video. Or maybe less-than-pitch-perfect, judging by Kate’s reaction to Birdie! Either way, it was adorable!

Some Are Born Great, Others Achieve Greatness

At the age of 14 (and we’re pretty sure every age), Kate was making her mom “so, so proud of my talented girl!” The young actress was already mastering the Bard and took home an award for Audition Monologue at the 2016 DTASC Shakespeare Festival!

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The Happiest Family On Earth

In the summer of 2016, the entire family was off for Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration — Kate, Birdie, Josh, West, DeFreitas, Basil and West’s oldest son, Ben. “Amazing,” Mom wrote. “Fabulous. Magical time with my clan! We will never forget it!”

A Triple Threat

Proving that she and brother Joe’s hearts are just as big as their talent, the siblings picked up a guitar and took to the stage to perform some songs and raise money for refugees. As West hashtagged, they are, indeed, #classkids.

Family Visits

West joined Joe and Kate in checking out some universities, an unforgettable rite of passage for so many parents and their kids. “College visits with these two sweeties,” she wrote. Adding in a comment that they were all “having a great time!”

An Irish Brogue

It was a true St. Patrick’s Day treat when we got to hear Joe’s guitar playing and Kate’s singing as they beautifully covered Dublin’s unofficial song, “Molly Malone.”

Like Mother, Like Daughter

This stunning black and white photo from October of 2018 really showcased how much alike West and a 16-year-old Kate were. “Actresses,” mom wrote. “Daughter and Momma.”

All in the Family

A talent for Shakespeare obviously runs in the West clan. For Kate’s 2019 return to the Bard in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, little sis Birdie joined her in the spotlight. “My daughters on stage together,” Ava’s portrayer wrote, “makes for a very happy Momma.”

A Beautiful Birthday

In 2020, West shared a gorgeous, heartfelt post for Kate’s 18th birthday. The warmth and love were undeniable as the adoring mom wrote, “Precious Kate, with the big heart and bigger laugh, cornflower blue eyes — courtesy of her namesake, her great grandmother. Kind Kate. Funny Kate. Kate with the crooked lip. Little sister, big sister, best sister. Best daughter. Best person. My person. My girl. Kate is 18! Happy birthday, daughter.”

College Bound

In May of 2020, West shared the exciting news that her eldest daughter, “Kate the Great,” would be off to SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theatre Arts in the fall to get a BFA in acting. COVID wasn’t slowing this young woman down. “Best actress I’ve ever seen,” her enthusiastic mom shared. “I’m so proud of you, Kitty!”

Once More, With Feeling

The summer of 2020 saw West’s “incredibly talented daughter” returning to the Shakespearean stage to play Hamlet‘s Ophelia. And we can tell just from this photo that it was, as Mom wrote, a “savage performance.”

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If, after all that, you can’t get enough parental pride and love, why not take a look at our gallery of more daytime stars and their real-life kids?