Worked With:

Kate Walsh

Stephen Dorff

Ellen Pompeo

Amanda Righetti

James Remar

Michael Badalucco

Christina Chang

Eddie Shin

Chris Evans

Catherine Hicks

Gregory Harrison

Chyler Leigh Biography

Home > Actresses > L > Leigh, Chyler > Biography

Birth Name: Chyler Leigh
Born: 04/10/1982
Birth Place: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Although best known for playing the timid but trustworthy Dr. Lexie Grey on the ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" (2005- ), Chyler Leigh had a long and illustrious film and TV career spanning nearly two decades and over a dozen credits. A natural beauty with delicate features and a girl next door-like appeal, Leigh's acting career took off in her late teens, when she started to land recurring roles on shows like "Safe Harbor" (The WB, 1999) and "7th Heaven" (The CW/The WB, 1996-2007), as well as a starring turn in the 2001 spoof-comedy, "Not Another Teen Movie." Leigh continued landing roles on short-lived series throughout the early 2000s, before landing her breakout role on "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007. Leigh played Dr. Grey for four seasons on "Grey's," while racking up legions of new fans and admirers. When her character was unexpectedly killed off on the very last episode of season eight, an outcry ensued from some of the show's most ardent supporters. However, Leigh later released a statement in which she explained her decision to leave the show was to ensure she could spend more time with her growing family. After leaving "Grey's" in the spring of 2012, Leigh reappeared in the 2013 TV movie, "Window Wonderland" (Hallmark Channel), thus ensuring fans that her yearlong hiatus from acting was merely temporary.

Born in Charlotte and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Leigh's world was upturned at the age of 12 when the failure of her parents' weight loss business unexpectedly spurred their divorce. Leigh then moved with her mother to Miami, where she quickly landed a ton of modeling work in both catalogs and magazines. Before long, the allure of Hollywood proved too enticing, and at the age of 16 Leigh packed her bags and moved West. She started auditioning for numerous TV pilots and began meeting all different types of actors from all different parts of the country. One of those actors just happened to be Nathan West. West, who was 20 at the time, immediately hit it off with the 16-year-old Leigh and the two began a hot and heavy relationship. West and Leigh were both from broken homes, and to compensate for their rather un-conventional upbringings, they started experimenting with drugs like marijuana and cocaine. But what began as a youthful exploration of mind-altering substances, soon blossomed into a full-blown addiction for both of them. By 2001, Leigh's persistent use of drugs had caused her to lose a tremendous amount of weight. Things got so bad that when a TV show director noticed her gaunt appearance, he told her to seek immediate treatment. Leigh and West heeded the director's orders and immediately joined a church to help guide them on their path to sobriety. After a few months of reevaluating her life and career, a now clean and sober Leigh was ready to once again move her career forward.

2002 proved to be a banner year for Leigh. In addition to landing a recurring role as a Joan Jett-like rocker on the short-lived Fox sitcom "That '80s Show" (2002), she also joined the cast of David E. Kelley's legal drama "Girls Club" (Fox 2002). However, that show was also cancelled after only two episodes. Impressed with Leigh's performance on the show, Kelley offered her a recurring part on his long-running ABC legal drama "The Practice" (1997-2004). In 2005 Leigh nabbed another recurring part on "Reunion," a Fox drama that was cancelled after 13 episodes. After "Reunion's" cancellation, Leigh moved with her family to Anchorage, AK to reevaluate her then disappointing acting career. It was in Alaska, however, that she received a phone call from the producers of "Grey's Anatomy." They enjoyed Leigh's performance in "Reunion" and wanted to fly her out to Los Angeles to meet the show's creator, Shonda Rhimes. Flabbergasted at the possibility of appearing on one of TV's most beloved shows, Leigh and her family quickly bought the show's second season on DVD. They then proceeded to binge watch every single episode in just two days. When she met Rhimes a few days later, Leigh was cast as the shy young intern, Dr. Lexie Grey, for the final episode of the third season. By the start of season four, Leigh's Dr. Grey had been bumped up to a series regular - where she would stay through season eight. After her character was killed off during a plane accident, Leigh's fans flooded the Internet with their disapproval. Leigh later addressed her decision by releasing a statement, in which she revealed that her decision to leave the show was largely her own, as well as a personal one. Since marrying West in 2002, Leigh had given birth to three children, with whom she wished to spend more time with. After a yearlong absence from acting, Leigh returned to the small screen in 2013, landing a starring role in the Hallmark Channel's holiday movie, "Window Wonderland."