Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Layton realized early on that she wanted to be an actress.
Her father, actor and radio announcer Doug Layton, who for the past 30 years has served as the play-by-play announcer for the University of Alabama football ream encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
She graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater Arts. While in school she appeared in 15 plays.
Upon graduation, she moved to Chicago to pursue her goal as an actress and gained work in commercials.
Layton was accepted by the University of California, Irvine and continued to perform in plays while she attended graduate school, including the role of Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She received a Masters Degree in Theatre and went on to teach at the University.