Debra was born in the London Borough of Hillingdon and grew up in a small town called Eastcote. She now lives in the Chiltern area of Buckinghamshire and is married with two daughters, both of whom are in the music industry. Eldest daughter is singer, songwriter and producer Stevie Leigh and youngest, Chess Taylor, is a classical crossover singer and recording artist.
From a very young age Debra loved everything artistic; dancing, singing, drawing, painting and of course acting.
As a teenager she realised her love for performing and became involved in a local theatre. Here she learned all aspects of live performance, taking on many different roles which helped develop her versatility. She also enjoyed playing many leading roles in musical theatre productions.
Being a strong vocalist she also spent many hours in various recording studios laying down lead and backing vocals. One collaboration for the chance to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest made it to the final ten. She always appreciated singing and recording for other songwriters and bands but writing her own material was a natural progression which is something she still enjoys today.
Her transition into filming began following time out to raise her family as she realised how much she missed her love for acting. She returned to the stage performing in comedy plays; but she also landed her first job on a film set; and was instantly hooked. After gaining experience in mainstream films and TV dramas including Injustice (2011) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Debra has now gained a number of film credits and has proved herself a versatile actress.
For her portrayal of Meredith Jones in the film Dogged (2017) Debra received a nomination for Best Actress.
In 2021 she took part in a live on-line performance of 13 Seconds in Kent State playing the role of Doris Krause. Written by Lance Steen Anthony Nielsen, this detailed script was based on witness accounts and conversations relating to the tragic shootings that took place at Kent State University in 1970. The production was praised by several surviving victims of this tragic event, giving their thanks for highlighting what had happened; and what should never be forgotten.
In 2022 Debra enjoyed filming a few unsavoury mother characters one of which involved working with a stunt coordinator which she loved.
A project for later in 2023 is Bloody Love, a feature film directed by Jane Sanger.
A Great Grandfather was a London Chimney Sweep.
Star Sign is Gemini