Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is the daughter of Yvonne Norton and Robert Potts. Leigh was raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where her parents ran a weight-loss business. However, when Leigh was eight, the business went bankrupt and at the age of twelve, following the break-up of her parents' marriage, Leigh moved with her mother and brother Christopher Khayman Lee to Miami, Florida where her mother re-married her first husband. Following her parents' divorce, Leigh was estranged from her father for many years, but the two have since reconciled.
While in eighth grade, she started modelling. She soon began acting by appearing in local television commercials and a syndicated teen news show called Hall Pass. In 1999, Leigh and her mother relocated to Los Angeles, California in order for Leigh to develop a career in acting. At age 16, Leigh took and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam.
Drug Addiction and RecoveryEdit
At age 16, Leigh met her future husband, 20 year old Nathan West, when they both attended auditions for the pilot of a WB series titled Saving Graces. The two began a relationship and Leigh left home and moved in with West. Leigh and West, both who had a troubled family life and had experienced a difficult upbringing, were described by Leigh as being "broken". This led them to experiment with drugs such as marijuana and cocaine and this experimentation quickly escalated into drug addiction. The catalyst for change eventually came in 2001 when Leigh, drug addicted and barely eating, was told by a director she looked unhealthily thin. Furthermore, she and West attended a Christian church service at the encouragement of a friend and this helped them break free of their addiction. By 2002, the couple were clean and sober and wed in Alaska surrounded by their closest friends and family.
Leigh started acting at an early age and debuted in the film world at age 15 in 1997's Kickboxing Academy, starring opposite her brother, who played her love interest in the movie. She started hosting in local TV shows and modelling; in 2001, Leigh nabbed the lead role in the box office success Not Another Teen Movie as Janey Briggs. She also appeared in Marilyn Manson's music video "Tainted Love", a song which appeared in the film. She was ranked #65 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002.
In 2002, Leigh was cast in two short lived TV series: Girls Club, in which she played lawyer Sarah Mickle, and That '80's Show, in which she played punk rocker June Tuesday. She then became a series regular on the ABC legal drama The Practice, but was let go at the end of the season due to budget cuts. Following that, she joined the cast of Reunion in September, 2005.
In ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Leigh first appeared as a woman in Joe's bar who was noticed by Derek Shepherd while in the third season finale, it was revealed that she was Lexie Grey. She was made an official series regular for season four, and remained so until the eighth season finale.
On July 20, 2002, Leigh married fellow actor Nathan West. The couple worked together in 2000 on the television series 7th Heaven, playing Mary Camden's troubled friends Frankie and Johnnie. Leigh and West have three children, a son and two daughters: Noah Wilde (born December 2003), Taelyn Leigh (born September 2006), and Anniston Kae (born May 7, 2009).
Leigh has said that she and her husband have a pact in which the person who guesses the baby's sex correctly gets to choose the name. When pregnant with Noah, she guessed she was having a boy so she chose the first name and Nathan have him his middle name. For Taelyn, Nathan correctly guessed it was a girl, so he named her. Their third child, also a girl, was guessed correctly by West; he chose the name Anniston Kae.
Leigh also supports The Thirst Project.
|1997||Kinestic City Super Crew||Unknown|
|1999||Saving Grace||Grace Smith|
|1999||Safe Harbor||Jamie Martin|
|2000||M. Y. O. B.||Unknown|
|2001||Not Another Teen Movie||Janey Briggs|
|2002||That '80s Show||June Tuesday|
|2002||Girls Club||Sarah Mickle|
|2003||The Practice||Claire Wyatt|
|2004||North Shore||Kate Spangler|
|2007-2012||Grey's Anatomy||Dr. Lexie Grey|
|2010||The 19th Wife||Queenie Alton|
|2012||Private Practice||Dr. Lexie Grey|
|2012||Diner||Ensemble, u/s Beth Schreiber|