July 24, 1968
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Doug Savant (m. 1998)|
Laura Leighton (born July 24, 1968) is an American actress. She is best known for the role of Sydney Andrews on the television series Melrose Place (1993–97) and its remake (2009–10) and for Ashley Marin on ABC Family's series Pretty Little Liars (2010–).
In the early 1990s, she took her first major acting role as Sydney Andrews in the primetime soap opera Melrose Place. The part was originally intended for only two episodes in season 1, but was developed into a full-time role for the subsequent seasons 2 to 5 (1993–97). Her character is considered one of the most beloved characters of Melrose Place and Leighton appeared on numerous magazine covers (including Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone) at the height of the show's popularity. However, Leighton left the show at the end of the fifth season in 1997, which saw her character Sydney getting struck and seemingly killed by a car, only moments after her wedding to Craig Field.
During breaks while filming Melrose Place, Leighton starred in television films, including In the Name of Love: A Texas Tragedy as Laurette Wilder, a woman from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for a rich boy, much to the disgust of his grandparents. She also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in 1995 with musical guest Rancid. Leighton left Melrose Place in 1997 at the end of her contract, and later appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210. Aaron Spelling created the role of wannabe actress Sophie Burns for her, and she received a six-figure salary per episode. In 1999, she appeared in the independent feature film Angels, Baby! which received a limited release late that year. That same year she appeared in the romantic comedy Seven Girlfriends and the thriller Clean and Narrow which was released direct to video in early 2000.
In the 2000s, she has guest-starred in shows such as Cupid and The Outer Limits, and lent her voice to the animated series Duckman. She later starred in the indie film The Sky Is Falling before taking a long break to have children. In 2003, she returned to the small screen in the much-hyped, but little-watched SKIN, which lasted three episodes, and in the short-lived 2005 ABC series Eyes. In 2006–07, she made numerous prime-time guest appearances, on shows such as the ABC drama/comedy Boston Legal, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Miami, and Shark. In 2004, she starred in Deadly Encounter as Joanne Sanders, a single mother who is the victim of a stalker. Leighton was seen in the made-for-TV movie Love Notes on Lifetime the western/horror/thriller The Burrowers directed by J.T Petty and the Hallmark Channel movies Daniel's Daughter and Mending Fences, opposite Angie Dickinson.
On April 5, 2009, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Leighton would appear in the 2009 series Melrose Place, reprising her role as the presumed-dead Sydney, who will serve as landlord at Melrose Place. On December 7, 2009, ABC Family announced that Leighton had been cast in the TV series Pretty Little Liars, a TV adaptation of a book of the same name by Sara Shepard. She portrays Ashley Marin, the mother of Hanna Marin, one of the four main characters on the show.
Following her performance in the second season of Melrose Place, Leighton was featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's 1994 Fall TV Preview issue. She appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone with her co-stars Heather Locklear and Josie Bissett in May 1994, in an issue entitled "The Hot Issue". In 1995, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her work on the series. Also in '95, Leighton was named one of the most beautiful people in the world by People magazine. The role of Sydney Andrews, which she signed on to reprise in the 2009 Melrose Place spin-off, has been recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as "one of the most popular characters" from the original series.
Leighton was born Laura Miller in Iowa City, Iowa, and is a 1986 graduate of West High School in Iowa City. She assumed her grandfather's surname in 1988. In May 1998, she married her Melrose Place co-star Doug Savant. They have two children together: Jack (born October 10, 2000) and Lucy (born June 9, 2005). Leighton also helped raise Savant's two daughters from his previous marriage, Arianna (born January 17, 1992) and Madeline (born July 20, 1993).
|1995||The Other Woman||Carolyn|
|1999||Clean and Narrow||Marie|
|2000||The Sky Is Falling||Amber Lee|
|2009||Mending Fences||Kelly Fariday|
|1993||Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story||Travel Agent||Television film; Uncredited|
|1993–97||Melrose Place||Sydney Andrews||126 episodes
Season 1-2 (Recurring) Season 3-5 (Main role)
|1994||Life with Louie: A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman||Voice role||Television film|
|1995||The Other Woman||Carolyn||Television film|
|1995||In the Name of Love: A Texas Tragedy||Laurette Wilder||Television film|
|1997||Duckman||Ditzi||Episode: "With Friends Like These"|
|1997||The Larry Sanders Show||Herself||Episode: "Artie and Angie and Hank and Hercules"|
|1998||Cupid||Kristy Holbrook||Unaired episode: "Botched Makeover"|
|1998||Beverly Hills, 90210||Sophie Burns||6 episodes|
|1998||Naked City: A Killer Christmas||Gerry Millar||Television film|
|2000||The Outer Limits||Anne Marie Reynolds||Episode: "Inner Child"|
|2000||Early Edition||Ginger||Episode: "Everybody Goes to Rick's"|
|2002||We'll Meet Again||Fran Silman||Television film|
|2003||Skin||Cynthia Peterson||3 episodes|
|2004||Tru Calling||Jordan Davies||Episode: "Daddy's Girl"|
|2004||A Deadly Encounter||Joanne Sanders||Television film|
|2005, 2007||Eyes||Leslie Town||Main role, 12 episodes|
|2006||CSI: Miami||Alyssa Prince||Episode: "Silencer"|
|2006||Boston Legal||Erica Dolenz||Episodes: "Lincoln", "On the Ledge"|
|2007||Shark||Angela Corbin||Episode: "Backfire"|
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Lillian Rice||Episode: "Responsible"|
|2007||Love Notes||Nora Flannery||Television film|
|2008||Daniel's Daughter||Cate Madighan||Television film|
|2009||Melrose Place||Sydney Andrews||Recurring role, 13 episodes|
|2010–Present||Pretty Little Liars||Ashley Marin||88 episodes
Season 1-6 (Main role) Season 7– (Recurring)
Awards and nominations
|1995||Golden Globe Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV||Melrose Place||Nominated|
- "Laura Leighton biography". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
- Laura Leighton at the Internet Movie Database
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 5, 2009). "Laura Leighton Returns to Melrose Place". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Fall TV Preview". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
- "1994 Rolling Stone Covers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
- "Laura Leighton profile". goldenglobes.org. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
- "Most Beautiful, Laura Leighton". People. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
- Siegler, Bonnie. "Fame & Fortune: Laura Leighton". bankrate.com. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2009.