Hayden Panettiere (born August 21, 1989) is an American actress and
singer. Hayden was first known for her character of Sheryl Yoast in Disney's
Remember the Titans during the early part of her career. As a child actress
she also was in two soap operas, portraying Sarah Roberts on One Life to
Live from 1994-1997, and Lizzie Spaulding on Guiding Light from 1996-2000.
She has reached a wider audience with her current starring role as Claire
Bennet on the NBC television program Heroes.
Hayden was born and raised in Palisades, Rockland County, New York, the daughter of Lesley R. Vogel, a former soap opera actress, and Alan L. "Skip" Panettiere, a fire department lieutenant. She has one younger brother, fellow actor Jansen Panettiere.
Hayden attended South Orangetown Middle School in New York but, following seventh grade, finished her high school education via homeschooling and has postponed higher education in favor of an acting career, although she has expressed an interest in "continuing to learn."
Hayden began modeling at the age of four months. She then began appearing in commercials at 11 months, first appearing in an advertisement for Playskool. She landed a role as Sarah Roberts on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live (1994-1997) and later as Lizzie Spaulding on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light (1997-2000). While on Guiding Light, Panettiere's character Lizzie battled leukemia, for which the show received a Special Recognition Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for bringing national awareness of the disease to the attention of daytime viewers.
Hayden appears as Claire Bennet in the NBC series Heroes as a high school cheerleader with regenerative healing powers. Due to her role on Heroes, she became a regular on the science fiction convention circuit, invited to attend conventions around the world in 2007, including GenCon, New York Comic-Con and Fan Expo Canada. In regard to the roles she has played, Hayden admitted that options are sometimes limited because "people look at her as either the 'popular cheerleader' type or just 'the blonde'."
Hayden at Comic-Con 2008She has appeared in over a dozen full-length feature films, several made-for-TV movies and provided the voice for Dot in A Bug's Life. She played the role of Coach Yoast's daughter, Sheryl, in the 2000 Disney film Remember The Titans. In addition, she voiced Kairi in the Kingdom Hearts series of video games for the PlayStation 2. Hayden appeared on FOX's Ally McBeal as Ally McBeal's daughter, and had a recurring guest role on Malcolm in the Middle and guest starred in Law & Order: SVU. She starred in Bring It On: All or Nothing as a cheerleader and had a supporting role as Adelaide Bourbon in the recently released independent film Shanghai Kiss. She appeared in the Disney Channel film Tiger Cruise, playing the main role of a Navy brat and in Raising Helen, as the adolescent niece.
She appeared in the drama film Fireflies in the Garden as a younger version of Emily Watson's character, Jane Lawrence. In June 2007, she signed with the William Morris Agency, after previously being represented by United Talent Agency. Forbes estimated that she earned $2 million in 2007.
In early 2007, Hayden appeared on the syndicated Ashton Kutcher-produced show, Punk'd. The appearance was engineered by her mother and involved a male "fan" discussing her work with her, instigating a jealous reaction from the man's spouse. In December 2007 Hayden was named GQ Magazine's Obsession Of the Year.
In September 2008, Hayden appeared in a PSA satire video on funnyordie.com entitled "Hayden Panettiere PSA: Your Vote, Your Choice".
In October, Hayden debuted another satirical PSA video on funnyordie.com entitled "Vote for McCain: He's just like George Bush, except older and with a worse temper".
Hayden will star in the teenage comedy Daydream Nation, written and to be directed by Michael Goldbach.
Hayden was nominated for a Grammy in 1999 for A Bug's Life Read-Along 00. She recorded a song called "My Hero Is You" with a video for the Disney Channel movie she starred in, Tiger Cruise. She recorded a song titled "I Fly" for the Disney movie Ice Princess in which she co-starred. She recorded a song for the compilation Girlnext and another song for Girlnext 2. She also recorded a cover for DisneyMania 5. She recorded a song titled "Try" for the 2007 Bridge to Terabithia soundtrack and a ballad called "I Still Believe" for Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
Panettiere's first single, "Wake Up Call", was digitally released on August 5 with Candie's premiering an ad campaign for the single in late July. Candie's will also provide additional promotion for the single with a television advertisement and a music video.
In late 2006, Neutrogena made Hayden the cover girl for their new worldwide ad campaign; following in the footsteps of actresses Kristin Kreuk, Josie Bissett, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mandy Moore, Mischa Barton, Gabrielle Union and Jennifer Freeman.
In September 2007, Hayden appeared in a Heroes-themed Got Milk? ad photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
In February 2008, Kohl's announced that Hayden would be their next Candie's spokesperson. She will be following the likes of Fergie, Hilary Duff, and Kelly Clarkson.
In 2006, Hayden began dating Stephen Colletti, the former Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, star. The couple broke up in September 2007. In December 2007, it was widely reported that she was dating her Heroes co-star Milo Ventimiglia, though Hayden denied these reports in an interview with GQ. These reports continued through the early part of 2008, and several sources had reported that she asked Ventimiglia to move in with her. In April 2008, during an interview on the BBC's The Chris Moyles Show to promote the second season of Heroes, Ventimiglia confirmed that he was dating Panettiere. They ended their relationship in February 2009.
On October 31, 2007, Hayden joined with Sea Shepherd to try to disrupt the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan. She was involved in a confrontation between Japanese fishermen and five other surfers from Australia and the United States (including former Home and Away star Isabel Lucas) of the group. The confrontation lasted more than ten minutes before the surfers were forced to return to the beach, after which they left the country. The fishermen consider the condemnation as an attack on their culture.
Hayden told E! News that an arrest warrant has been issued in Japan for her interference in the dolphin hunt but her claim was later dismissed as not true by the Japanese Fisheries Agency. In November 2007, she was awarded the "Compassion in Action Award" from the animal rights group PETA for her efforts to stop the dolphin hunt in Japan. She is also a vegetarian. Her activism was, however, criticized by most of the Japanese media since the public regarded this as an offense to their culture (see Taiji, Wakayama for details).
On January 28, 2008, Hayden handed a letter of protest to the Norwegian ambassador in the United States arguing that Norway should stop its hunt for whales. She also delivered a letter to the Japanese ambassador calling for the end of Japan's hunting of whales. On the other hand, Hayden defends the aboriginal whaling in the United States.
In 2007, Hayden became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, called the Friends of RMHC.
In May 2008, Hayden was involved in an eBay auction to benefit SaveTheWhalesAgain.com. The auction included tickets to a fundraising dinner hosted at the Hollywood restaurant Beso, owned by Eva Longoria Parker, and a whale watching tour, with Panettiere, off the coast of Santa Barbara. The same month, during an interview with Teen Vogue, Hayden explained how her fame gives her a platform for her activism: "The show Heroes put me in a place to speak for things that I'm passionate about."
In October 2008, Hayden delved into the activities of the presidential election. Hayden released a public service announcement through the website Funny or Die. In this video Hayden mocks John McCain in a satirical tone on the subjects of his age and anger. She subsequently made clear her intention to vote for Barack Obama, and urged other young people to vote.
Hayden also appeared in a public service announcement with DC Shadow Senator Paul Strauss endorsing voting rights for the District of Columbia.
This Hayden Panettiere Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub