Laura Leighton

Laura Leighton

Birth name: Laura Miller
Born: July 24, 1968
Age: 55
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
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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 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 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. 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 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. 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: 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. 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.

Personal life

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).



Year Title Role
1995 The Other Woman Carolyn
1999 Angels, Baby! Jessica
1999 Clean and Narrow Marie
1999 Seven Girlfriends Anabeth
2000 The Sky Is Falling Amber Lee
2008 The Burrowers Gertrude
2009 Mending Fences Kelly Fariday


Year Title Role Notes
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 Main role, 85 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
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

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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