Chyler Leigh

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Chyler Leigh
Chyler Leigh headshot.jpg
Leigh in 2018
Chyler Leigh Potts

(1982-04-10) April 10, 1982 (age 39)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • model
Years active1996–present
(m. 2002)
AwardsYoung Hollywood Awards[1]
Musical career
Also known asWestLeigh (with Nathan West)
Associated acts
  • Nathan West
  • East of Eli

Chyler Leigh West (pronounced /ˈklər/ KY-lər; née Potts; born April 10, 1982), known professionally as Chyler Leigh, is an American actress, singer and model. She is known for portraying Janey Briggs in the comedy film Not Another Teen Movie (2001), Lexie Grey in the ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy (2007–2012, 2021), and Alex Danvers in the DC Comics superhero series Supergirl (2015–present).

Early life[edit]

Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Yvonne Norton and Robert Potts[2][3] and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where her parents ran a weight-loss business.[4] The business went bankrupt when she was eight and her parents' marriage ended when she was 12; she, her mother, and her older brother – former actor Christopher Khayman Lee – then moved to Miami,[5] where her mother remarried her first husband. Leigh was estranged from her father for many years following her parents' divorce, but they have since reconciled.[4]

Leigh was in eighth grade when she started modelling. She soon began acting by appearing in local television commercials and a syndicated teen news show, Hall Pass. In 1999, Leigh and her mother relocated to Los Angeles so she could develop her acting career. At 16, she took and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam.[6]

Drug addiction and recovery[edit]

At age 16, Leigh met her future husband, 20-year-old Nathan West, when they both attended auditions for the pilot of an unsuccessful WB series titled Saving Graces.[7] They began a relationship, and Leigh left home to move in with West. Leigh described them as being "broken", both having had troubled family lives and difficult upbringings.[4] This led to abuse of drugs such as cocaine, which quickly escalated into addiction. The catalysts for change eventually came in 2001, when Leigh, in the throes of addiction and barely eating, was told by the director of Not Another Teen Movie that she looked unhealthily thin.[4] Around that time, she and West also attended a Christian church service, at the invitation of a friend, which helped them in recovery, and the two were subsequently married.[4]


Leigh in 2006

Leigh started acting at an early age and debuted in the film world at age 15 in 1997's Kickboxing Academy. She started hosting in local TV shows and modeling; in 2001, Leigh nabbed the lead role in the box-office success Not Another Teen Movie as Janey Briggs. She also appeared with the cast in Marilyn Manson's music video "Tainted Love", a song which appeared in the film. She was ranked #65 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002.[8] In 2002, Leigh was cast in two short-lived TV series: Girls Club, in which she played lawyer Sarah Mickle, and That '80s Show, in which she played punk rocker June Tuesday. She then became a series regular on the ABC legal drama The Practice, but was let go at the end of the season due to budget cuts. Following that, she joined the cast of Reunion in September 2005.

In ABC's medical drama Grey's Anatomy, Leigh first appeared as a woman in Joe's bar who was noticed by Derek Shepherd during the final two episodes of the third season, and her character is later revealed to be Lexie Grey, the younger half-sister of the titular character.[9] Leigh was made an official series regular for season four and remained so until the eighth-season finale, as Leigh chose to depart from the show after five years to spend more time with her family.[10]

Leigh also makes music with her husband Nathan West (East of Eli), under the name "WestLeigh". They have performed covers and originals songs. In 2015, for their thirteenth anniversary they wrote "Love Lit The Sky".[11][12] On Valentine's Day 2017, they released the single "Nowhere". Leigh has taken part in several of her husband's tours.[clarification needed][13][14][15][16]

On June 18, 2017, a single "Spirit of Samba" of Laurent Voulzy was released featuring Leigh, Nina Miranda, Luisa Maita and Eloisia; in France has reached its maximum with the 99th position of the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP).[17][18]

In October 2015, Leigh began starring in a lead role in the CBS/CW DC Comics television show Supergirl as Alex Danvers, the elder adoptive sister of the titular character and a scientist and government agent at the DEO. She made her directorial debut with the season six episode "Prom Again!".[19]

In April 2021, Leigh returned to Grey's Anatomy for the episode "Breathe".[20]

Personal life[edit]

Leigh in 2018

In 2002, Leigh married fellow actor Nathan West in Alaska.[21] The couple worked together in 2000 on the television series 7th Heaven, playing Mary Camden's (Jessica Biel) troubled friends Frankie and Johnnie. Leigh and West have three children – a son and two daughters (born 2003,[22] 2006,[23] and 2009[22]).

Leigh is a Christian and credits her faith and a "really awesome church" with giving her and her husband "a reason to live".[21][24] She also supports The Thirst Project, a non-profit organization in America which aims to bring safe drinking water to communities around the world.[25]

In 2019, Leigh revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder a decade earlier.[26]

In June 2020, Leigh came out as a member of the LGBT community.[27]

Leigh and her family previously lived in Los Angeles,[24] but they now split their time between Vancouver and Nashville.[28]

During mid-2020, Leigh contracted COVID-19 and became ill. Leigh described her experience in an article published to on October 14, 2020:

I lost about a month's worth of time, laying in bed, waving to my children in the hallway with a mask on so they didn't see how sick I was from COVID-19. Almost "game-over" sick. The only time I had with my husband was spent six feet apart on our bedroom balcony in the morning for a soul-lifting hour to just be with one another or when he donned his mask coming in the room to take care of me, bravely bringing food and Gatorade (which half the time I wasn't able to taste). Golden moments in the midst of darkness. I will say I'm incredibly lucky, though. By the grace of God, no one else got sick. And, although there were a few occasions it almost seemed necessary, I didn't have to go to the hospital. I think getting through a sickness of that magnitude definitely earned me a level up. My body defeated what I thought was impossible and I got a proper restart.[29]


Television and film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Hall Pass Herself Co-Host
1997 Kinetic City Super Crew N/A Radio series
1997 Kickboxing Academy Cindy Film
1999 Saving Graces Grace Smith Unsold television pilot (The WB)
1999 Safe Harbor Jamie Martin Main role
2000 M.Y.O.B. N/A Episode: "Bad Seed"
2000 7th Heaven Frankie 3 episodes
2000 Wilder Days Rip Unsold television pilot (ABC)
2001 Not Another Teen Movie Janey Briggs Film
2002 That '80s Show June Tuesday Main role
2002 Girls Club Sarah Mickle Main role
2003 The Practice Claire Wyatt Main role (season 7)
2004 North Shore Kate Spangler Episode: "My Boyfriend's Back"
2005 Rocky Point Cassie Unsold television pilot
2005–2006 Reunion Carla Main role
2007–2012, 2021 Grey's Anatomy Lexie Grey Guest role (season 3, 17); main role (seasons 4–8)
2010 The 19th Wife Queenie Alton Television film
2012 Private Practice Lexie Grey Episode: "You Break My Heart"
2012 Brake Molly Reins Film
2013 Window Wonderland Sloan Van Doren Television film
2014 Taxi Brooklyn Caitlyn "Cat" Sullivan Main role
2015–present Supergirl Alex Danvers Main role
2017 Arrow Alex Danvers Episode: "Crisis on Earth-X"
2017 The Flash Alex Danvers Episode: "Crisis on Earth-X"
2017, 2020 Legends of Tomorrow Alex Danvers Episodes: "Crisis on Earth-X", "Crisis on Infinite Earths"

Music videos[edit]

As a producer[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref
2000 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series - Young Ensemble Safe Harbor (shared with cast) Nominated [32]
2002 Young Hollywood Awards Exciting New Face-Female Herself Won [1]
2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Grey's Anatomy (shared with cast) Nominated [33]


  1. ^ a b "Movieline's 4th Annual Young Hollywood Awards". Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "Chyler Leigh Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  3. ^ "Chyler Leigh still waiting for prime time to be kind". Virginian-Pilot Archives. November 14, 2005. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Ingrassia, Lisa (November 10, 2008). "Grey's Anatomy Star: At Long Last, Love". People. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  5. ^ "'Anatomy' of a taboo". New York Daily News. November 28, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  6. ^ "Preview Grey's Anatomy's newest intern, Chyler Leigh – Celebrity and Entertainment News". Archived from the original on May 30, 2008.
  7. ^ Marsi, Steve (September 24, 2007). "Addiction to Fulfillment: An Interview With Chyler Leigh". Retrieved May 17, 2012.
  8. ^ "2002 Hot 100 List".
  9. ^ Ingrassia, Lisa (June 10, 2007). "Grey's Anatomy Welcomes New Cast Member – Grey's Anatomy, Chyler Leigh". Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "Grey's Creator Defends Finale Death". Archived from the original on May 22, 2012.
  11. ^ "WESTLEIGH Love Lit The Sky" – via
  12. ^ "Modern Machine - Photos from Modern Machine's post | Facebook".
  13. ^ "Nowhere by East of Eli featuring Chyler Leigh".
  14. ^ "Nowhere (feat. Chyler Leigh) by East of Eli" – via
  15. ^ "East of Eli at the Troubadour Featuring Chyler Leigh". Create Change. March 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "Chyler Leigh and Nathan West release delightful new song for Valentine's Day". Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  17. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés – SNEP (Week 37, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved September 19, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Spirit of Samba (feat. Nina Miranda, Chyler Leigh, Luisa Maita & Eloisa) - Single di Laurent Voulzy" – via
  19. ^ Hatchett, Keisha (March 17, 2021). "Supergirl: Chyler Leigh Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Her Directorial Debut". TVLine. Archived from the original on March 17, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  20. ^ "'Grey's Anatomy': Inside Those Long-Awaited and Surprising Returns". The Hollywood Reporter. April 1, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Ingrassia, Lisa (November 10, 2008). "Grey's Anatomy Star: At Long Last, Love". People. Retrieved February 22, 2019. The couple, who wed in 2002 in front of 30 close friends and family in West's native Alaska...
  22. ^ a b Ingrassia, Lisa (May 7, 2009). "Grey's Anatomy's Chyler Leigh Welcomes a Baby Girl". People. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  23. ^ Ingrassia, Lisa (July 12, 2007). "Grey's Anatomy Cast 'Happy to Be Back'". People. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Marsi, Steve. "Addiction to Fulfillment: An Interview With Chyler Leigh". TV Addiction. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  25. ^ Bialas, Michael (June 27, 2011). "Playing Doctor: A House Call From Chyler Leigh of Grey's Anatomy". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  26. ^ Drum, Nicole (December 23, 2019). "Supergirl Star Chyler Leigh Explains Why She Felt Relief With Bipolar Diagnosis". Comic Book. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  27. ^ "'Supergirl,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Chyler Leigh Comes Out". June 8, 2020.
  28. ^ "Supergirl's Chyler Leigh on Turning Vigilante and the Critical Finale Ending". E! News. May 17, 2020.
  29. ^ "Create Change on Instagram: "Hi friends! If you missed our 10/18/2020 #SelfishSunday chat with Create Change CCO, Chyler @chy_leigh , you can watch the replay here. 💚…"". Instagram. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  30. ^ "Musical Montage: Marilyn Manson "Tainted Love"".
  31. ^ "Brake Cast and Crew - Cast Photos and Info". Fandango.
  32. ^ "21st Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  33. ^ "14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved August 16, 2017.

External links[edit]