Laura Leighton

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Laura Leighton
Born(1968-07-24) July 24, 1968 (age 46)
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Doug Savant (m. 1998)
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Laura Leighton
Born(1968-07-24) July 24, 1968 (age 46)
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
Years active1993–present
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 and for Ashley Marin on ABC Family's series Pretty Little Liars.


In the early 1990s, she took her first major acting role as Sydney Andrews in the prime time 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).[1]

During breaks on filming of 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.[1]

In 1999, Leighton appeared in the independent feature film Angels, Baby!, it 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, Laura 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 2006–2007, Laura has made numerous prime-time guest appearances, on shows such as the ABC drama/comedy Boston Legal, Law & Order: SVU, 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.[2] 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.[3] She also 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".[4] In 1995, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her work on the series.[5] Also in '95, Leighton was named one of the most beautiful people in the world by People magazine.[6] 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.[2]

Personal life[edit]

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.[1]

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).[7]



1993Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr StoryTravel AgentTelevision film; Uncredited
1994Life with Louie: A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. StillmanVoice roleTelevision film
1995The Other WomanCarolynTelevision film
1995In the Name of Love: A Texas TragedyLaurette WilderTelevision film
1998Naked City: A Killer ChristmasGerry MillarTelevision film
1999Angels, Baby!Jessica
1999Clean and NarrowMarie
1999Seven GirlfriendsAnabeth
2000The Sky Is FallingAmber Lee
2002We'll Meet AgainFran SilmanTelevision film
2004A Deadly EncounterJoanne SandersTelevision film
2007Love NotesNora FlanneryTelevision film
2008Daniel's DaughterCate MadighanTelevision film
2008The BurrowersGertrude
2009Mending FencesKelly Fariday


1993–97Melrose PlaceSydney Andrews126 episodes
Season 1-2 (Recurring) Season 3-5 (Main role)
1997DuckmanDitzi1 episode
1997The Larry Sanders ShowHerself1 episode
1998CupidKristy Holbrook1 episode, unaired
1998Beverly Hills, 90210Sophie Burns6 episodes
2000The Outer LimitsAnne Marie Reynolds1 episode
2000Early EditionGinger1 episode
2003SkinCynthia Peterson3 episodes
2004Tru CallingJordan Davies1 episode
2005–07EyesLeslie Town12 episodes
2006CSI: MiamiAlyssa Prince1 episode
2006Boston LegalErica Dolenz2 episodes
2007SharkAngela Corbin1 episode
2007Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLillian Rice1 episode
2009Melrose PlaceSydney Andrews13 episodes
2010–presentPretty Little LiarsAshley MarinSeries Regular; 76 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
1995Golden Globe AwardsBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TVMelrose PlaceNominated


  1. ^ a b c "Laura Leighton Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved June 22, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (April 5, 2009). "Laura Leighton Returns to Melrose Place". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  3. ^ "Fall TV Preview". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 9, 2009. 
  4. ^ "1994 Rolling Stone Covers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 22, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Laura Leighton". Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Most Beautiful, Laura Leighton". People. Retrieved April 9, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Fame & Fortune: Laura Leighton". Retrieved April 9, 2009. 

External links[edit]