Melrose Place to Wisteria Lane: Real Life Love


Laura Leighton and Doug Savant: From Melrose Place to real life love.

It's one long red carpet at Desperate Housewives these days. That's how it goes on a mega-hit—everywhere you look, you see the trappings of success. Fashion shoots. Feuds. Rumors. Confessions. It's a sweet time for the network, the creators, and the actors. And it's especially sweet for Doug Savant, whose character, Tom Scavo, is married to Felicity Huffman’s Lynette.

No, he's not the guy with "hunk status" and women across America dreaming of him without his shirt on—he's just the cute married guy who tries to make his partner happy. Who's going to lust after a man like that? His real-life wife, Laura Leighton, for one. To Leighton, Savant is—like Tom Scavo—an adoring husband and a devoted father. But there the resemblance between their existence and the economically privileged world of TV-land suburbia ends. Savant's Desperate Housewives breakthrough comes after several years of struggle.

So let the men leering at their Hi-Defs be dazzled by Eva and Nicollette. Let the women at the water cooler gossip about the beefcake of the week. Doug Savant and Laura Leighton have something you can't find on Wisteria Lane: four great kids, a romance that's survived both financial and health crises, and a life that will seem more familiar to Savant’s viewers than to his fellow castmembers. Up at five. Kids to school. Work. Home. A family dinner, if possible. Homework. Kids to bed.

SUV or minivan? That's the burning issue at the moment. Right now, the family has an SUV that's got as many seats as a van. "But with this last kid, we've crossed the line," Leighton says. "I can see the minivan." Savant holds his ground: "I'm going down screaming— I don't want one."

On everything else, they've got a mind meld. Cell phones for the kids? When they turn 13, and if that makes them the last in the class to have one, so be it. Church on Sundays? A family affair. Dad coaching softball? You bet—and Mom in the stands, cheering. The code word is "normalcy." As Savant says, "The kids look at us to see if we change. As long as we're consistent, they're fine.” So the weeks roll on. Some nights Savant plays poker with pals. Yes, for money. Last time, he lost $146 and didn't flinch. Or he and Leighton watch a "screener" DVD of a new film. Or they check out the TV shows their friends are on, fighting to stay awake for The Daily Show. Keep reading...

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