Hayden Leslie Panettiere, born August 21, 1989) is an American actress and singer. She came to professional prominence at the age of 10 with her portrayal of Sheryl Yoast in Disney's Remember the Titans, although for five years before that, Panettiere had held roles in two soap operas. She portrayed Sarah Roberts on One Life to Live from 1994–1997, and Lizzie Spaulding on Guiding Light from 1996-2000. Panettiere reached a wider audience with her starring role as cheerleader Claire Bennet on the NBC television series Heroes.
Panettiere first appeared in commercials at 11 months, beginning with an advertisement for Playskool.She landed a role as Sarah Roberts on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live (1994–1997), and she followed that up by playing the part of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Spaulding on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light (1997–2000). While on Guiding Light, Panettiere's character Lizzie battled leukemia. For drawing the attention of daytime viewers to the disease, and for improving national awareness, the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society gave her its Special Recognition Award.
For her performance in Lifetime Television's 1999 TV movie If You Believe, she was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Young Actress Age Ten or Under in the category of Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot.Panettiere appeared on Fox's Ally McBeal as the title character's daughter, had a recurring guest role on Malcolm in the Middle and guest starred in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Panettiere became most prominent as Claire Bennet in the NBC series Heroes, which was created by Tim Kring, as a high school cheerleader with regenerative healing powers. Thanks 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 Gen Con, New York Comic-Con, and Fan Expo Canada. Panettiere has complained that her acting options are sometimes limited because "people look at her as either the 'popular cheerleader' type or just 'the blonde.
In early 2007, Panettiere appeared on the MTV 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.
She has appeared in over a dozen full-length feature films.
In 1998, she 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. She starred in a 2005 film, Racing Stripes where she plays a teenage girl with a pet Zebra named Stripes. She also 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. In 2004, she appeared in the Disney Channel film Tiger Cruise, and in Raising Helen as Kate Hudson's adolescent niece. In 2005, she was the title character's rival in a skating contest in Ice Princess.
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 2008, Panettiere appeared in the drama Fireflies in the Garden as a younger version of Emily Watson's character, Jane Lawrence. In September 2008, she appeared in a satirical video, a mock-PSA (public service announcement) on funnyordie.com entitled "Hayden Panettiere PSA: Your Vote, Your Choice. Again, in October, Panettiere appeared in another satirical PSA video on funnyordie.com entitled "Vote for McCain: He's just like George Bush, except older and with a worse temper.
In July 2009, Panettiere starred in the teen comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper. In September 2010, Panettiere was signed to star as Amanda Knox in the controversial Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy.Panettiere also provided the voice of Kate, along side Justin Long in 2010's Alpha and Omega.
In 2011, she replaced Anne Hathaway as the voice of Red for the animated sequel Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. In April 2011, Panettiere appeared in the sequel of the Scream franchise, Scream 4. She played Kirby Reed, alongside Emma Roberts and Rory Culkin.
Panettiere was nominated for a Grammy in 1999 for A Bug's Life Read-Along (2000). In 2004, she recorded a song entitled "My Hero Is You" with a video for the Disney Channel film she starred in, Tiger Cruise. The next year she recorded a song entitled "I Fly" for the Disney film Ice Princess in which she also co-starred. She recorded a song for the Hollywood Records compilation Girl Next (2006) and another song entitled "Go to Girl" for Girl Next 2 (2007). Also in 2007, She also recorded a cover for "Cruella De Vil" for DisneyMania 5, "Try" for the 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, 2008. A clothing brand named Candie's announced that it was premiering an ad campaign for the single in late July. Similarly, Candie's would also provide additional promotion for the single with a television advertisement and a music video.
In late 2006, Neutrogena made Panettiere 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, Panettiere appeared in a Heroes-themed Got Milk? ad for which the photographs were shot by Annie Leibovitz.
In February 2008, Kohl's announced that Panettiere would be their next Candie's spokesperson.
In 2007, Panettiere became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, called the Friends of RMHC.
On October 31, 2007, Panettiere joined with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 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 10 minutes before the surfers were forced to return to the beach, after which they left the country.Parts of the confrontation can be seen on the award-winning Sundance Film Festival documentary film, The Cove. The fishermen consider the condemnation as an attack on their culture.
Panettiere 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 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.
On January 28, 2008, Panettiere 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. At a 2007 Greenpeace event in Anchorage, Alaska, Panettiere defended aboriginal whaling, saying that there is a difference between commercial whaling and the whaling practiced by aboriginal tribes in the United States.
In May 2008, Panettiere 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, 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 2006, Panettiere 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 Panettiere 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.