Hayden Panettiere and equally at home in earnest drama and mainstream comedy, Hayden Panettiere began her career as a child model and soap opera actress. As a preteen, she worked steadily as a voice-over actor in family films like "A Bug's Life" (1998) and "Dinosaur" (2000) before a recurring role as the long-lost daughter of "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) raised the actress' profile.
Her energy and spunky can-do persona made her well cast for competitive teen features like "Ice Princess" (2005) and "Bring it On: All or Nothing" (2006), both of which helped lead to her major career breakthrough as a high school cheerleader endowed with superpowers in the primetime phenomenon, "Her s" (NBC, 2006-10). The show brought Panettiere to the attention of worshipful fanboys who had never met a cheerleader they did not like, giving the still young actress the tricky challenge of balancing both the sexy and the innocent as she moved into adulthood.
With her first mainstream starring film role in the high school romantic comedy "I Love You Beth Cooper" (2009), Panettiere proved that mining her All-American girl persona was her ticket to big screen success.Panettiere was born Aug. 21, 1989, just outside of New York City, NY. Her mother - a former actress and model - thought she would get some nice baby pictures out of seeing her only daughter in commercials, so she began bringing her on auditions.
Thus an 11 month old Panettiere began her career in a commercial for Playskool. At four years old, she landed a regular role as Sarah Roberts on the daytime soap opera "One Life to Live" (ABC, 1968- ), where she stayed until 1996 when she moved over to CBS to play Lizzie Spaulding on "Guiding Light" (CBS, 1952-2009). During her four years as Spaulding, Panettiere was put through some serious acting challenges, including battling leukemia, getting kidnapped, and shooting her mother's boyfriend.