Leigh Taylor-Young

For years Leigh Taylor-Young seemed less an actress than an answer to a trivia question; an eternal starlet about whom people knew she had been married to Ryan O'Neal, had once been on "Peyton Place" (ABC, 1966-1967) ... Read more »
Born: 01/24/1944 in Washington, Washington D.C., USA


Actor (48)

A-List 2014 (Movie)

Mrs. Cooper (Actor)

Sheherzade: The Untold Story 2014 (Movie)


Spiritual Warriors 2014 (Movie)

The Psychiatrist (Actor)

Life 2007 (Tv Show)


Klepto 2005 (Movie)


Strong Medicine 2003 (Tv Show)


Slackers 2002 (Movie)

Valerie Patton (Actor)

Dreamrider 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


Sunset Beach 1996 - 2000 (TV Show)


7th Heaven 1990 - 1991, 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)


Civil Wars 1990 - 1999 (Tv Show)


Empty Nest 1990 - 1991, 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)


Evening Shade 1990 - 1991, 1993 - 1995, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)


The Sentinel 1990 - 1991, 1993 - 1999 (Tv Show)


Addams Family Reunion 1998 (Movie)

Patrice (Actor)

An All Star Party For Aaron Spelling 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


Beverly Hills 90210 1998 (Tv Show)


Bliss 1997 (Movie)

Redhead (Actor)

Malibu Shores 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Picket Fences 1993 - 1995 (Tv Show)


Dallas 1977 - 1991 (TV Show)


Silverfox 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)


Ghost Writer 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


Honeymoon Academy 1990 (Movie)

Doris Kent (Actor)

Jagged Edge 1985 (Movie)

Virginia Howell (Actor)

Secret Admirer 1985 (Movie)

Elizabeth Fimple (Actor)

Battle of the Network Stars XIII 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


The Devlin Connection 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


The Hamptons 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


Looker 1981 (Movie)

Jennifer Long (Actor)

Can't Stop the Music 1980 (Movie)

Claudia Walters (Actor)

Marathon 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)


Soylent Green 1973 (Movie)

Shirl (Actor)

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight 1971 (Movie)

Angela (Actor)

The Horsemen 1970 (Movie)

Zereh (Actor)

Peyton Place 1964 - 1969 (TV Show)


The Big Bounce 1969 (Movie)

Nancy Barker (Actor)

The Buttercup Chain 1969 (Movie)

Manny (Actor)

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas 1968 (Movie)

Nancy (Actor)

An Unfinished Affair (TV Show)


Clowning Around 2 (TV Show)


Hollywood Women (TV Show)


Houston Knights (TV Show)


Stranger in My Home (TV Show)


Who Gets the Friends? (TV Show)



For years Leigh Taylor-Young seemed less an actress than an answer to a trivia question; an eternal starlet about whom people knew she had been married to Ryan O'Neal, had once been on "Peyton Place" (ABC, 1966-1967), and little more. Then, as Taylor-Young reached age 50, it turned out there had been an actress there all along, as she won new respect, new fans, and an Emmy playing Mayor Rachel Harris on the CBS series "Picket Fences". Still youthful, with slightly pouty lips and come-hither eyes, Taylor-Young was in the original cast of the NBC daytime drama "Sunset Beach" when it premiered in 1997 playing Elaine Stevens, earth mother and coffee shop owner.

Born in Washington, DC, Taylor-Young was raised in affluence, but her parents divorced when she was young. When she began her acting career in the mid-1960s, the actress adopted a hyphenated surname in honor of both her father and her stepfather. After studies at the Neighborhood Playhouse in NYC, Taylor-Young made her Broadway debut in the short-lived Gower Champion-directed play "Three Bags Full" (1966). Traveling to California for health reasons, she auditioned and was cast in the primetime ABC serial "Peyton Place" in 1966 as Rachael Welles, a young woman claiming to have information about the disappearance of Allison Mackenzie (Mia Farrow), During her run on the series, she became romantically involved with co-star Ryan O'Neal, whom she married in 1967. After the birth of their son, Taylor-Young was tapped to play the free-spirited, free-loving hippie who changes Peter Sellers' outlook on life in her debut "I Love You Alice B. Toklas" (1968). Other plum feature roles followed, including the female lead alongside Jerry Orbach and Robert De Niro in "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" (1971) and opposite Charlton Heston in "Soylent Green" (1973). The very public break-up of her marriage to O'Neal (who was conducting an affair with his "What's Up Doc?" co-star Barbra Streisand) caused Taylor-Young to leave Hollywood. After a spiritual quest that took her to India and a second marriage to agent and film executive Guy McElwaine (who preferred she not work), Taylor-Young returned to the big screen in "Can't Stop the Music" (1980). She played Kelly Preston's confused mother in "Secret Admirer" and had a small but pivotal role in "Jagged Edge" (both 1985). More recently, she had cameos "I Can't Lose" (1997) and "Bliss" (1997), directed by her brother Lance Young.

Still popular among Hollywood insiders from her days as an ingenue, Taylor-Young turned to TV, playing secretary to Rock Hudson in the short-lived "The Devlin Connection" (NBC, 1982) and returned to primetime soaps as the wife of a department store heir in the summer series "The Hamptons" (ABC, 1983), During the 1987-88 season, Taylor-Young joined the cast of CBS' "Dallas" as the wife of one of J.R. Ewing's nemeses. She joined the cast of CBS' "Picket Fences" in 1993 in the regular role of Rachel Harris, who becomes mayor after her predecessor dies of spontaneous combustion. The role was supposed to be just for a season, but when she was the surprise winner of a Best Supporting Actress Emmy, the character was written back into the series briefly. Taylor-Young then landed the recurring role Naomi, the mother of the partner of "The Sentinel" on the UPN series. Long-time friend Aaron Spelling then offered her the role of earth mother Elaine Stevens on the daytime soap "Sunset Beach" (NBC).


Robert De Niro Actor

Dated during the filming of "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" in 1971

Mark Holmes

third husband married c. 1987 Taylor-Young filed for divorce February 1992

Dave Mason

together for three years in the 1990s

Guy McElwaine

married in 1978 divorced c. 1985

Ryan O'Neal Actor

Co-starred on "Peyton Place" (ABC) Married Feb. 28, 1967 Divorced March 13, 1974

Patrick O'Neal

born on September 14, 1967 father Ryan O'Neal romantically involved with Rebecca DeMornay with whom he has a child

Sophia O'Neal

born in November 1997 mother, Rebecca DeMornay father, Patrick O'Neal

Ravi Shankar


Carl Taylor

died in 1970

Pauline Young

died in 1995

Donald Young

died in 1992 of lung cancer

Lance Young

directed 1997 film "Bliss" in which Taylor-Young has cameo younger

Dey Young

married to David Ladd younger


Peace Theological Seminary and College of Philosophy

enrolled in the masters program in 1993

Northwestern University

Evanston , Illinois 1963 - 1964
originally enrolled as an economics major; dropped out in her sophomore year

also studied acting with Alvina Krause and Stella Adler

The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

New York , New York
studied acting with Sanford Meisner



Played small role in "Bliss", written and directed by her brother Lance Young


Had recurring role as Garrett Maggart's mother on the UPN series "The Sentinel"


Co-starred in the ABC miniseries "Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story"


Appeared as the conniving Kimberly Cryder in "Dallas" (CBS)


Was one of the stars of the film "Secret Admirer"


Had small but pivotal role in "Jagged Edge"


Was featured on stage in "The Beckett Plays" in Edinburgh, London and Los Angeles


Appeared on short-lived serial "The Hamptons" (ABC)


Had regular role of secretary Lauren Dane on the NBC series "The Devlin Connection", starring Rock Hudson


Returned to features with small role in "Can't Stop the Music"


Made TV-movie debut in "Marathon" (CBS)


Co-starred with Edward G Robinson and Charlton Heston in "Soylent Green"; last film for seven years


Starred opposite Robert De Niro in "The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight"


Made feature film debut in "I Love You Alice B. Toklas", starring Peter Sellars


Joined cast of the ABC primetime serial "Peyton Place" in the role of Rachael Welles


Broadway debut in "Three Bags Full", directed by Gower Champion


Moved to NYC to pursue acting career

Formed Windermere Productions

Appeared in the CBS drama "Picket Fences" as Mayor Rachael Harris; won Emmy Award

Was regular member of "Sunset Beach" cast (NBC)

Had recurring role on the UPN series "The Sentinel"

Bonus Trivia


She has her own website located at www.lty.com


Taylor-Young has recorded several tapes for meditation and visualization.


"I come from an extremely intellectual and educated family. I fell in love with acting more through the classics than from watching movies or TV. I moved to Hollywood with a passion to be great. When I did 'Peyton Place' they wanted me in bathing suits because I looked a certain way. Then I met Ryan, and it all began to create a persona I was not." --Leigh Taylor-Young to SOAP OPERA DIGEST, April 28, 1997