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Chyler Leigh
Chyler Leigh headshot.jpg
Leigh in 2018
Chyler Leigh Potts

  • Actress
  • singer
  • model
Years active 1996–present
Nathan West
(m. 2002)
Children 3
Awards Young Hollywood Awards
Musical career
Also known as WestLeigh (with Nathan West)
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts
  • Nathan West
  • East of Eli

Chyler Leigh West (pronounced /ˈklər/ KY-lər; née Potts), known professionally as Chyler Leigh, is an American actress, singer and model. She is known for portraying Janey Briggs in the comedy film Not Another Teen Movie (2001), Lexie Grey in the ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy (2007–2012), and Alex Danvers in the DC Comics superhero series Supergirl (2015–2021).

Early life

Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Yvonne Norton and Robert Potts and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where her parents ran a weight-loss business. The business went bankrupt when she was eight and her parents' marriage ended when she was 12; she, her mother, and her older brother – former actor Christopher Khayman Lee – then moved to Miami, where her mother remarried her first husband. Leigh was estranged from her father for many years following her parents' divorce, but they have since reconciled.

Leigh was in eighth grade when she started modelling. She soon began acting by appearing in local television commercials and a syndicated teen news show, Hall Pass. In 1999, Leigh and her mother relocated to Los Angeles so she could develop her acting career. At 16, she took and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam.


Chyler leigh in 2006
Leigh in 2006

Leigh started acting at an early age and debuted in the film world at age 15 in 1997's Kickboxing Academy. She started hosting in local TV shows and modeling; in 2001, Leigh nabbed the lead role in the box-office success Not Another Teen Movie as Janey Briggs. She also appeared with the cast in Marilyn Manson's music video "Tainted Love", a song which appeared in the film. In 2002, Leigh was cast in two short-lived TV series: Girls Club, in which she played lawyer Sarah Mickle, and That '80s 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 medical drama Grey's Anatomy, Leigh first appeared as a woman in Joe's bar who was noticed by Derek Shepherd during the final two episodes of the third season, and her character is later revealed to be Lexie Grey, the younger half-sister of the titular character. Leigh was made an official series regular for season four and remained so until the eighth-season finale, as Leigh chose to depart from the show after five years to spend more time with her family.

Leigh also makes music with her husband Nathan West (East of Eli), under the name "WestLeigh". They have performed covers and originals songs. In 2015, for their thirteenth anniversary they wrote "Love Lit The Sky". On Valentine's Day 2017, they released the single "Nowhere". Leigh has taken part in several of her husband's tours.

On June 18, 2017, a single "Spirit of Samba" by Laurent Voulzy was released featuring Leigh, Nina Miranda, Luisa Maita and Eloisia; in France it reached the 99th position on the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP) chart.

From 2015 to 2021, Leigh starred in the CBS/CW DC Comics television series Supergirl as Alex Danvers, the elder adoptive sister of the titular character and a scientist and government agent at the DEO. She would reprise the role on Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow during crossover events Crisis on Earth-X, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and "Armageddon". She made her directorial debut with the season six episode "Prom Again!".

In April 2021, Leigh returned to Grey's Anatomy for the episode "Breathe".

Personal life

Chyler Leigh -4- (39958474640)
Leigh in 2018

In 2002, Leigh married fellow actor Nathan West in Alaska. The couple worked together in 2000 on the television series 7th Heaven, playing Mary Camden's (Jessica Biel) troubled friends Frankie and Johnnie. Leigh and West have three children – a son and two daughters (born 2003, 2006, and 2009).

Leigh is a Christian and credits her faith and a "really awesome church" with giving her and her husband "a reason to live". She also supports The Thirst Project, a non-profit organization in America which aims to bring safe drinking water to communities around the world.

In 2019, Leigh revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder a decade earlier.

In mid-2020, Leigh published a statement on the Create Change website, an advocacy website she co-founded, in which she expressed an emotional connection with her Supergirl character's coming-out scene.

Leigh and her family previously lived in Los Angeles, but they now split their time between Vancouver and Nashville.

During mid-2020, Leigh contracted COVID-19 and became ill. Leigh described her experience in an article published to on October 14, 2020:

I lost about a month's worth of time, laying in bed, waving to my children in the hallway with a mask on so they didn't see how sick I was from COVID-19. Almost "game-over" sick. The only time I had with my husband was spent six feet apart on our bedroom balcony in the morning for a soul-lifting hour to just be with one another or when he donned his mask coming in the room to take care of me, bravely bringing food and Gatorade (which half the time I wasn't able to taste). Golden moments in the midst of darkness. I will say I'm incredibly lucky, though. By the grace of God, no one else got sick. And, although there were a few occasions it almost seemed necessary, I didn't have to go to the hospital. I think getting through a sickness of that magnitude definitely earned me a level up. My body defeated what I thought was impossible and I got a proper restart.


Television and film

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Hall Pass Herself Co-Host
1997 Kickboxing Academy Cindy Film
1999 Saving Graces Grace Smith Unsold television pilot (The WB)
1999 Safe Harbor Jamie Martin Main role
2000 M.Y.O.B. N/A Episode: "Bad Seed"
2000 7th Heaven Frankie 3 episodes
2000 Wilder Days Rip Unsold television pilot (ABC)
2001 Not Another Teen Movie Janey Briggs Film
2002 That '80s Show June Tuesday Main role
2002 Girls Club Sarah Mickle Main role
2003 The Practice Claire Wyatt Main role (season 7)
2004 North Shore Kate Spangler Episode: "My Boyfriend's Back"
2005 Rocky Point Cassie Unsold television pilot
2005–2006 Reunion Carla Main role
2007–2012, 2021 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Lexie Grey Guest role (season 3); main role (seasons 4–8); special guest (season 17)
2010 The 19th Wife Queenie Alton Television film
2012 Private Practice Lexie Grey Episode: "You Break My Heart"
2012 Brake Molly Reins Film
2013 Window Wonderland Sloan Van Doren Television film
2014 Taxi Brooklyn Caitlyn "Cat" Sullivan Main role
2015–2021 Supergirl Alex Danvers / Sentinel Main role
2017 Arrow Alex Danvers Episode: "Crisis on Earth-X"
2017, 2021 The Flash Alex Danvers Episodes: "Crisis on Earth-X", "Armageddon, Parts 2-4"
2017, 2020 Legends of Tomorrow Alex Danvers Episodes: "Crisis on Earth-X", "Crisis on Infinite Earths"

Music videos

  • "Tainted Love" (2001), by Marilyn Manson

As a producer

  • Brake (2012), as co-producer

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref
2000 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series - Young Ensemble Safe Harbor (shared with cast) Nominated
2002 Young Hollywood Awards Exciting New Face-Female Herself Won
2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Grey's Anatomy (shared with cast) Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Chyler Leigh para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Hispanic astronauts
Ellen Ochoa
Michael López-Alegría
Franklin Chang-Díaz
Serena Auñón-Chancellor
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