Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
Laura Leighton (born July 24, 1968) is an American actress. She is best known for portraying Sydney Andrews on the television series Melrose Place (1993-1997) and its continuation (2009-2010), and for playing Ashley Marin on the ABC Family Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017).
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). 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. Leighton left the show at the end of the fifth season in 1997, with her character getting struck and killed by a car.
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 Leighton, 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, Leighton 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, Leighton returned to the television in the seriesSKIN, which lasted three episodes, and in the short-lived 2005 ABC series Eyes. In 2004, she starred in Deadly Encounter as Joanne Sanders, a single mother who is the victim of a stalker. From 2006 to 2007, she made numerous prime time guest appearances on shows such as Boston Legal, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Miami, and Shark. Leighton was seen in the made-for-TV movie Love Notes on Lifetime, the western/horror/thriller The Burrowers, 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, now the landlord of the Melrose Place complex. 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 portrayed 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 1995, 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 Laurie Miller in Iowa City, Iowa, and is a 1986 graduate of West High School in Iowa City. During her time at West High, Leighton was a popular student, cheerleader and a prominent member of the school's choir "Good Time Company" and performed numerous solos during her time with the group. Leighton then joined the all singing, all dancing troupe The Young Americans and was a member of their 1987 "Around the World" tour which saw the group travel to countries including Japan and Australia.
She assumed her maternal grandfather's surname in 1988.
In May 1998, Leighton 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).
|1999||The Sky Is Falling||Amber Lee|
|2000||Clean and Narrow||Marie|
|1993||Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story||Travel Agent||Television film; uncredited|
|1993-97||Melrose Place||Sydney Andrews||126 episodes
Guest star (Season 1) Recurring role (Season 2) Main role (Season 3-5)
|1994||Life with Louie||Voice role||Episode: "A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman"|
|1995||The Other Woman||Carolyn||Television film|
|1995||In the Name of Love: A Texas Tragedy||Laurette Wilder||Television film|
|1995||Saturday Night Live||Host / Madam Sophia / Amy / Cydney||Episode: "Laura Leighton/Rancid"|
|1997||Duckman||Ditzi (voice)||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
Recurring role (Season 9)
|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||Eyes||Leslie Town||7 episodes
Main cast (Season 1)
|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||Mending Fences||Kelly Fariday||Television film|
|2009-10||Melrose Place||Sydney Andrews||7 episodes
Recurring role (Season 1)
|2010-17||Pretty Little Liars||Ashley Marin||92 episodes
Main role (Season 1-7)
|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|