Laura Leighton Biography

Laura Leighton is an American actress who is best known for her performances in the TV series ‘Melrose Place’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Check out this biography to know about her childhood, family, personal life, career, and achievements.

Quick Facts

Birthday: July 24, 1968

Nationality: American

Famous: Models Actresses

Age: 51 Years, 51 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Leo

Also Known As: Laura Miller

Born in: Iowa City, Iowa

Famous as: Actress

Height: 1.62 m

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Spouse/Ex-: Doug Savant (m. 1998)

children: Jack Douglas Savant, Lucy Jane Leighton Savant

U.S. State: Iowa

More Facts

education: West High School

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Laura Leighton, born Laura Diane Miller, is an American actor who is known for her performances in the TV series ‘Melrose Place’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Born and raised in Iowa City, US, she actively participated in the performing arts since her school days. She also toured with the performing group ‘The Young Americans.’ Later, she moved to Los Angeles to join the American entertainment industry. After appearing in a few commercials and TV series, she got her first major role in the ‘Fox’ series ‘Melrose Place.’ She won a ‘Golden Globe’ nomination for her performance. Leighton appeared in a number of TV series and TV movies such as ‘Beverly Hills, 90210,’ ‘Skin,’ ‘Eyes,’ ‘A Deadly Encounter,’ ‘Love Notes,’ and ‘Mending Fences.’ She has worked in films such as ‘Seven Girlfriends,’ ‘Clean and Narrow,’ and ‘The Burrowers.’ She was an important part of the long-running family series ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Leighton participates in AIDS-related charity work and works as a spokesperson for migraine research with a pharmaceutical company. She is married to actor Doug Savant, and the couple has two children.

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Childhood & Early Life
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  • Eager to join the entertainment industry, Leighton moved to Los Angeles. While searching for roles, she worked as a waitress at ‘Mezzaluna Restaurant,’ Brentwood, California, where TV correspondent Nelson Aspen was her colleague. In her initial career, she received modeling assignments and appeared in commercials for ‘Pizza Hut’ and ‘Dep Hair Gel.’
  • Leighton also worked in a casting office, where she learnt about a role of ‘Jane Mancini’s little sister, ‘Sydney Andrews,’ in the ‘Fox’ soap opera, ‘Melrose Place.’ She appeared in repeated auditions for the role and finally earned it. ‘Sydney Andrews’ was her first major role, which launched her career in January 1993.
  • Initially, the role was not a regular role, and Leighton was to appear in only two episodes of the first season. However, later, her character was developed further. The second season saw the role become regular. In 1997, at the end of the fifth season, Leighton decided to leave the show. Though it was a role of a villainess, the character, her performance, and her fiery intensity were well-appreciated by all. The popularity brought by the series led to her gracing the covers of popular magazines such as ‘People,’ ‘Entertainment Weekly,’ and ‘Rolling Stone.’
  • While working on the series, Leighton simultaneously appeared in other projects, too. She appeared as a model, ‘Carolyn Bryan,’ in the ‘CBS’ TV movie ‘The Other Woman’ (1995) and as ‘Laurette Wilder’ in the ‘Fox’ TV film ‘In the Name of Love: A Texas Tragedy’ (1995). In 1995, she appeared as a host for an episode of the show ‘Saturday Night Live’ with the members of the punk-rock band ‘Rancid’ as guests.
  • Her next substantial role was that of an aspiring actor, ‘Sophie Burns,’ in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ (1997). The recurring role, which was specially written for her, continued for six episodes.
  • Leighton made her movie debut through a short indie film named ‘Angels, Baby!’ (1999), which was followed by a romantic comedy film titled ‘Seven Girlfriends’ (2000) and a thriller named ‘Clean and Narrow’ (2000). She appeared in another indie film, ‘Sky is Falling,’ the same year.
  • Leighton made guest appearances on TV shows such as ‘Cupid’ (1998), ‘Early Edition’ (2000), and ‘The Outer Limits’ (2000). She took a long break for her family and returned in 2003, with the ‘Fox’ serial drama ‘Skin.’ The series did not run for a long time. Similarly, the 2005 ‘ABC’ series ‘Eyes’ also did not last long. Subsequently, she guest-starred in various projects, such as ‘CSI: Miami’ (2006), ‘Boston Legal’ (2006), ‘Shark’ (2007), and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ (2007).
  • In 2004, Leighton portrayed the role of ‘Joanne Sanders,’ a single mother being pursued by a stalker, in the TV film ‘A Deadly Encounter.’ Her other roles in TV films were those of ‘Nora Flannery’ in ‘Love Notes’ (2007), ‘Cate Madighan’ in ‘Daniel’s Daughter’ (2008), and ‘Kelly Fariday’ in ‘Mending Fences’ (2009).
  • In the 2008 western horror film ‘The Burrowers,’ she essayed the part of ‘Gertrude.’ Leighton’s first drama series, ‘Melrose Place,’ was revived in 2009. The series saw her reprising her role of ‘Sydney Andrews.’ However, the remake ran only for a season.
  • By the end of 2009, Leighton had been offered the role ‘Ashley Marin,’ mother of ‘Hannah Marin,’ in the ‘ABC’ family series ‘Pretty Little Liars’ (June 2010–June 2017). She appeared in all seven seasons of the series. Lately, she has been seen as ‘Andie’ in the TV film ‘Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane’ (2018).
  • In 1995, Leighton’s performance in ‘Melrose Place’ earned her a ‘Golden Globe Award’ nomination for the ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture made for TV.’ ‘Entertainment Weekly’ named her the “Entertainer of the Year” in 1995. ‘People’ selected her as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 1996.
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Family & Personal Life
  • After being engaged for 6 months, Leighton married her ‘Melrose Place’ co-star Doug Savant in 1998. The couple has two children, Jack Douglas (born in October 2000) and Lucy Jane (born in June 2005). Their family also includes Doug’s daughters from his previous marriage, Adrianna Josephine Savant and Madeleine Marie Savant.

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Last Updated
- May 24, 2019
Laura Leighton

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