In addition to taking vocal lessons and singing the theme song for her film Chicken Night (2001), Taylor-Compton is recording her debut rock album. She is currently recording with pop music singer Vitamin C, however, singing is a side project and she does not intend to stop acting. Taylor-Compton had also provided voice over work in other films, including The Core (2003) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004).
Taylor-Compton was born Desariee Starr Compton in Long Beach, California, and is of Mexican descent on her mother's side. Her father is a mortician. Taylor-Compton's family lives in Hemet, California. With some family in Layton, Utah. Taylor-Compton explains about her father's profession, "[I] grew up in that whole [horror] genre and visiting my dad at the mortuary. I have no problem with that stuff. [...] whether it was a coffin or my dad bringing his work home. My friends would never want to come over because of that." She claims to be a tomboy, once only having male friends and saying that much of free time when she was younger was occupied swimming, playing baseball, and rock-climbing.
Previous to acting, Taylor-Compton had been a competitive swimmer and had plans to participate in the AAU Junior Olympics, before focusing on her acting career. In a 2003 biography, she was said to have enjoyed volleyball, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics and roller-blading as well. According to the biography she has had four cats named Sprocket, Jordan, Baby, Zooey, and two dogs, Bear and Lexi; currently, Taylor-Compton no longer has Sprocket or Bear. As of summer 2008, Taylor-Compton adopted a kitten whom she has named Copper.
On the morning of August 12, 2005, Taylor-Compton disappeared from her home in Apple Valley, California and was reported missing after an apparent family disagreement; she was missing for a total of two weeks. She had been sleeping in a playground before meeting a family who offered her shelter. After a school coach from Granite Hills High School told police that one of his students had been telling of having an actress in his home, Taylor-Compton was found in good health, and there were no reports of criminal activity in her time missing. In that time she had dyed her hair black and hid when officers arrived on scene, but was soon returned to her parents after speaking with an officer. At the time, Taylor-Compton was homeschooled with a 4.0 grade point average.
Taylor-Compton is a fan of horror films, of which she said, "I love [the characters] Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Chucky." She enjoys the other horror films Thir13en Ghosts, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and has claimed to be a fan of the lead actress of the latter two films Danielle Harris; the two later went on to appear together in the Halloween remake and its sequel, and separately in roles on Charmed.
Taylor-Compton listens to various rock music groups and artists including Automatic Loveletter, Ozzy Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne and Nickelback. She has been playing the drums since 2003 and hopes to start a band. She enjoys shopping at Urban Outfitters, and watching MTV and The History Channel; her favorite television program is Degrassi. She is involved in charity work as well, participating as a celebrity youth member of Kids With a Cause and takes part in events for the organization.
After acting, Taylor-Compton has expressed interest in becoming a mortician and coroner, saying, "Maybe in the future I will go to college and study that."
In 1998, Taylor-Compton began her acting career with an appearance in the film A.W.O.L. with David Morse, and later in the short film Thursday Afternoon. She went on to have small roles in both television and film including Ally McBeal, ER, Frasier, The Guardian and The Division. She appeared in several student films, commercials for Fuji Film and the Disney Cruise Line, and various skits on The Jay Leno Show. November 2000 saw Taylor-Compton make her stage debut as the title character in a production of Annie Warbucks at The Grove Theatre in Upland, California, and a stage production of Footloose at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. In 2001, she had a recurring role as Clara Forrester, the younger sister of Dean Forrester (Jared Padalecki) in the television series Gilmore Girls, appearing in a total of four episodes until 2004. Taylor-Compton's was nomination for "Best Performance in a TV Series - Recurring Young Actress" for her portrayal of Clara. She made a comedic appearance in the film Four Fingers of the Dragon (2003) playing herself auditioning for a role in a fictional Kung Fu film. Later in 2004, she appeared in the teen comedy Sleepover, which had been her first large Hollywood film role. The cast of the film was nominated for "Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast" at the Young Artists Award. Sleepover did mediocre in the box office, totaling a gross of $9,436,390. Following Sleepover, she appeared in numerous television series including Hidden Howie, Unfabulous (2 episodes), Cold Case, That's So Raven, Charmed (7 episodes) and Without a Trace (in which she portrayed a runaway teenager).
In 2006, Taylor-Compton appeared in the film The Honeyfields. That year as well, she starred in the drama Tomorrow is Today and the horror film Wicked Little Things. Tomorrow is Today features Taylor-Compton as Julie Peterson, a girl who saves the life of and befriends a hapless drifter. The film won over 6 awards at various festivals which included the California Independent Film Festival, the Garden State Film Festival, Method Fest Independent Film Festival, and the Rhode Island International Film Festival. Taylor-Compton won "Best Actress" for her performance in the film at the Method Fest Independent Film Festival. Wicked Little Things was one of the films featured in After Dark's 8 Films to Die For and saw Taylor-Compton star as Sarah Tunny. Following these films, she appeared in the television series Standoff and Close to Home.
In 2007, Taylor-Compton appeared in the film An American Crime which told the true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, whom had kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s. After losing the lead role in the Pang Brothers film The Messengers to Kristen Stewart, Taylor-Compton then returned to the horror genre as Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie's remake of the classic Halloween. She endured a long audition process, but as director Zombie explains, "Scout was my first choice. There was just something about her; she had a genuine quality. She didn't seem actor-y." The film broke box-office records as the highest grossing film on the Labor Day weekend. It pulled in $31 million over the holiday weekend, surpassing the record set in 2005 by Transporter 2 of $20.1 million. It surpassed the record set in 1999 by The Sixth Sense of $29 million (in its fifth weekend), making it the highest grossing film over the Labor Day weekend. However, it received mostly negative reviews and sports a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Taylor-Compton also stars in the television movie Love's Unfolding Dream which premiered on November 24, 2007. She appeared in another television film, The Governor's Wife with Marilu Henner. She stars in the horror film April Fool's Day, a remake of the 1986 film of the same name which was filmed in North Carolina with a March 25, 2008 DVD release. Taylor-Compton explains on the starring in the role of Torrance: "I'll just be playing another wholesome 'good girl' that screams a lot." She appeared in a cameo as Carrie Lain in the 2009 film Murder World.
In an interview conducted in July 2007, Taylor-Compton reported that after completing April Fool's Day, she wants to stay away from roles in the horror genre for her next film projects. Although she has received many horror film scripts, she believes that she "need[s] to move on from horror. Just drift away a little bit and do something else so I don't get stuck in that" and although she "love[s] doing horror films" and are her "favorite", she'd "like to do other stuff in between." She has recently been influenced by the career of Scarlett Johansson, wanting to chose scripts and roles based on personal interest as she views Johansson does. Taylor-Compton went onto explain, "That’s what I kind of want to do. I love just being passionate about something rather than just caring about the money or who’s in the movie. Taylor-Compton starred alongside Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci in Love Ranch. Then, she went on to star in the film Obsessed alongside Beyonce Knowles. She reprised her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween II, Rob Zombie's sequel to the 2007 remake. The film opened the same day as The Final Destination, another high profile horror film, and had disappointing box office returns as a result.
Taylor-Compton starred in the 2010 bio-pic The Runaways where she plays Lita Ford, alongside Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, and Stella Maeve.
She is currently represented by the The Gersh Agency.