"I hate how people say I'm growing up fast." Hayden Panettiere.
Entering the business at age 11 months in a commercial for Playskool, Hayden Panettiere landed a regular role as Sarah Victoria 'Flash' Roberts (1994-1997) on ABC soap opera “One Life to Live” at only 4 ½ before she won the role of Lizzie Spaulding (1996-2000), the leukemia-battling girl, on CBS' drama series “The Guiding Light.” She also graced the big screen and was best remembered for playing a 9-year-old football-obsessed daughter of a demoted high school coach (played by Will Patton) in Remember the Titans (2000), as Tim Allen’s daughter in Joe Somebody (2001) and as Kate Hudson’s troubled 15-year-old cousin in Raising Helen (2004). She currently stars as Claire Bennett, a cheerleader who has the ability of spontaneous regeneration, on NBC's new drama series "Heroes."
A Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for A Bug's Life Read-Along in 2000, Hayden will release he debut album in 2007, with the first single called "Your New Girlfriend.” The 5' 4¼” tall star, who enjoys a friendship with hotel heiress Paris Hilton, is now dating actor Stephen Colletti (born on February 7, 1986), cast on the MTV reality show, "Laguna Beach."
Childhood and Family:
On August 21, 1989, Hayden Leslie Panettiere was born in Palisades, New York, to Skip Panettiere and Leslie Vogel (former actress). She has one younger brother named Jansent Panettiere who is also an actor.
Hayden, nicknamed Mushroom, has Italian ancestry. She attended South Orangetown Middle School in New York, but started home schooling in 8th grade. She also takes piano, karate and boxing lessons. When she is not busy filming, Hayden enjoys her hobbies: singing, dancing, horseback riding, gymnastics and swimming. She is currently still living in her home town in Palisades, New York, with her parents and younger brother.
"I think at the age I'm at, it's really hard for a film career, and I'm at a point in my life where I thought it would be a good idea to be a part of a good show and to be able to finish school." Hayden Panettiere.
One Life to Live
"I've learned to be a go-with-the-flow girl. If you don't expect anything, you can't set yourself up for failure." Hayden Panettiere.
Daughter of a former actress mother, Hayden Panettiere entered the business at 11 months when she appeared in a commercial for Playskool. With over 50 commercials under her belt, she later landed a regular role as Sarah Victoria 'Flash' Roberts on ABC soap opera “One Life to Live” at only 4 ½ and stayed on the show until 1997. Before her contract with the show ended, Hayden already scored another memorable role on NBC longest-running daytime drama “Guiding Light,” portraying Lizzie Spaulding (1996-2000). Her character’s battle with leukemia later was awarded a Special Recognition Award from The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for bringing national awareness of the disease to the attention of daytime viewers.
“When the camera comes on, I am not Hayden any more, I am Lizzie!” Hayden Panettiere.
Meanwhile, Hayden was spotted as a guest in an episode of ABC brief-lived sci-fi comedy “Aliens in the Family” (1996) and CBS drama “Touched by an Angel” (1999). She also made her official film debut in the dark comedy about a troubled marriage, Pants on Fire (1997), and followed it up with the next year’s film starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, Object of My Affection, director Nicholas Hytner's take on Stephen McCauley's novel.
In the rest of the 1990s, besides working on “Guiding Light,” Hayden also voiced Princess Dot in A Bug’s Life (1998) and got a bit part as a girl on a sinking boat in Luis Mandoki's adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel, Message in a Bottle (1999), a romantic drama starring Kevin Costner, Robin Wright-Penn and Paul Newman. She also portrayed the 10-12 year-old version of Doris Duke (the adult version was played by Lindsay Frost and the elderly one was played by Lauren Bacall), the famous real-life heiress who inherited $100 million at 13, in CBS biopic based on Stephanie Mansfield's book, Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Hayden nabbed a more significant feature role, as a 9-year-old football-obsessed daughter of a demoted high school coach (played by Will Patton), in Boaz Yakin's football drama Remember the Titans. The film, which stars Denzel Washington, was based on the true story of the explosive events that took place in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. That same year, she voiced Suri, the tomboy dinosaur daughter in the Disney movie Dinosaur, and portrayed Tim Allen’s pre-teen daughter in John Pasquin's drama comedy Joe Somebody in the following year. She also portrayed the young version of Jeanne St. Remy de Valois (the adult version was played by Hilary Swank), a young and cunning aristocrat woman who masterminds a conspiracy to incriminate the rich and famous in the final days of the French monarchy, in Charles Shyer' Oscar-nominated, lavish costume drama The Affair of the Necklace (2001).
The subsequent year, Hayden went back on the small screen with a regular role as Maddie Harrington, Ally’s (played by Calista Flockhart) long-lost daughter, in the final season of Fox’s hit drama comedy “Ally McBeal.” In 2003, she portrayed the teenaged daughter of a Midwestern father (played by Tom Wilkinson) who announces his plan to have a sex change operation, in HBO drama comedy movie based on Jane Anderson's play, Normal. She also had a recurring role as Jessica (2003-2005) on Fox sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.”
Afterward, she resumed her feature film career by appearing as Kate Hudson’s troubled 15-year-old niece in Garry Marshall's drama comedy Raising Helen, and as a tomboy who stole the heart of Ryan Kelley's character in writer-director Eric Small's family fantasy drama The Dust Factory (both in 2004). TV viewers could also catch her in the Disney Channel original movie Tiger Cruise (2004), in which she starred as the daughter of a Navy commander (played by Bill Pulman).
In 2005, Hayden’s voice could be heard as Channing Walsh, a teenage girl who helped an abandoned zebra (voice of Frankie Muniz) grows up believing he is a racehorse, in Racing Stripes. She then became Kim Catrall’s ice-skating star daughter in a Disney live action film, Ice Princess (starring Michelle Trachtenberg), in which she also sang “I Fly.”
Recently, in 2006, Hayden co-starred with Tim Daly and William Sadler in David Ostry's drama comedy Mr. Gibb, and with Anthony LaPaglia, Viola Davis and Isabella Rossellini in Matt Tauber's drama The Architect. On TV, she had recurring roles on NBC drama "The Book of Daniel," as Ronnie Dewing, and on ABC series “Commander in Chief,” as Stacy. She also played a regular female lead as Claire Bennett, a cheerleader who has the ability of spontaneous regeneration, on NBC's new drama series "Heroes."
Next, Hayden will be seen acting with Ken Leung and Kelly Hu in David Ren and Kern Konwiser's romantic comedy Shanghai Kiss. A Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for A Bug's Life Read-Along in 2000, Hayden will release he debut album in 2007, with the first single called "Your New Girlfriend.”
“The funny thing is that people see one film like ‘Racing Stripes’ or ‘Ice Princess’ and all of a sudden, slip me into this category of ‘that's what she's always involved in’ but people don't remember that I did ‘Normal’ with Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson for HBO, which was very dramatic. They don't remember that I did ‘Lies My Mother Told Me’ which was the Lifetime film with Joely Richardson and Colm Feore, which was also extremely dramatic. They don't remember that I did ‘Remember the Titans.’” Hayden Panettiere.