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Fame & Fortune: Laura Leighton

Who could forget the crazy vixen, Sydney, who brought hell on earth to her fellow apartment dwellers on "Melrose Place"? Thankfully, nobody, for Laura's one guest appearance turned into several seasons on the campy Aaron Spelling hit.

That was the first major role of Laura Leighton's acting career after toiling for years in television commercials and guest-starring roles. Since then, the stunning redhead has done various television projects ("Eyes," "Law & Order: SVU," "Boston Legal," "Shark") and is in an upcoming Hallmark movie "Daniel's Daughter."

Along the way, the 39-year-old Iowa native married fellow "Melrose" co-star Doug Savant, who now stars on "Desperate Housewives." The pair, who got married in 1998, are parents of Jack, 7, and Lucy, 2, while raising Doug's two daughters from his former marriage -- Arianne, 15, and Maddy, 14. Laura's days are chaotic, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

Bankrate: How would you explain chaos in the Leighton/Savant household?

Laura Leighton: Well, it begins when everybody comes home from school and I'm trying to get dinner on the table. That's chaos. That's the busiest time of day around here -- 5 o'clock. By the time the kids come home from sports and other extracurricular activities I'm usually driving to and from, then it's trying to get dinner launched. Everybody has stuff to talk about and it all comes out at the same time.

Bankrate: Typically, what's for dinner?

Laura Leighton: Well, it could be a takeout night. Or grilled chicken, steak or salmon. Those are our three staples that we barbecue. We do take advantage of a climate that we can do outdoor grilling almost year round. And something easy to go with it such as rice or potatoes or pasta. A green vegetable or salad. Pretty simple, but at least it's healthy.

Bankrate: When shuttling kids and doing errands, what's the one thing you won't leave home without?

Laura Leighton: Besides my cell phone? (she laughs). ChapStick, ChapStick, ChapStick. That and a sunscreen with SPF 55. Shiseido's sunscreen is good for my skin.

Bankrate: You and Doug have been married for almost 10 years, which is an eternity in Hollywood, especially with a two-actor career family. Any secrets to your happiness together?

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Laura Leighton: I don't know that there are any keys or secrets. I feel like I have a husband who shares the same values and goals that I do. We have the same idea about what it means to be married and what it means to have a family. We take care of each other and take care of the family. Just because we're in Hollywood, it didn't scare us to get married. Doug and I don't do a lot of Hollywood things. He coaches our son's baseball team and we attend all of our kids' sporting events. Our calendar is much more filled with kids' events than with work events, and that's the way we like it. And I love Doug's sense of humor and what a great dad he is.

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