Hayden Panettiere: Snapshot

Hayden Panettiere
Date of Birth
August 21, 1989
Birth Place
Palisades, N.Y.
Some Heroes fans are still debating the meaning of "Save the cheerleader, save the world," but the catchphrase has definitely turned Hayden Panettiere into the sci-fi drama's breakout star. Her portrayal of the self-healing, indestructible Claire Bennet landed her on PEOPLE's Most Beautiful, FHM's Sexiest Women and Forbes' Celebrity Power 100 all before her 18th birthday.

Acting since she made a Playskool commercial at 11 months, Panettiere has starred alongside Denzel Washington (Remember the Titans), Kate Hudson (Raising Helen) and Julia Roberts (Fireflies in the Garden).

Off screen, the young starlet – who starred in 2011's Scream 4 and returned to the small screen on ABC's Nashville in 2012 – has quietly dated boxer Wladimir Klitschko since 2010, who popped the question in October 2013. Even happier news: The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Kaya, in December 2014.

Hayden Panettiere: Five Fun Facts

  1. Hayden Panettiere told USA Today that Heroes costar Adrian Pasdar gave her these words of wisdom: "Always wear my undershorts, never go nude or buzz my head. Unless it's for an Oscar."
  2. When Heroes was picked-up by NBC for a full season in 2006, Hayden Panettiere bought herself a Porsche Cayenne SUV. "I almost ran over Kanye West this morning!" she told Entertainment Weekly.
  3. After filming 2005's Racing Stripes in South Africa, Hayden Panettiere chose to stay in Africa to complete her freshman year of high school. She also learned how to ride a zebra on set.
  4. When Hayden Panettiere moved to L.A., she found a friend in Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter Rumer. "I stole my pink belly-button ring from Rumer," she told PEOPLE.
  5. Although she plays a cheerleader onscreen, Hayden Panettiere only cheered for one game as a kid, "but it was the only game our team won that year!" she told Parade in 2007.

Hayden Panettiere: Biography

circa 1990

Professional Baby

Fire department lieutenant Skip Panettiere and wife Lesley, a former soap actress, start their 8-month-old daughter Hayden in modeling. Three months later, she lands her first acting gig in a Playskool toy train commercial. Panettiere appears in dozens of commercials, pitching everything from McDonald's to Hershey's to Nix Lice Shampoo.


Hayden Panettiere

A Soapy Start

Led by her manager-mom Lesley, a 4-year-old Panettiere gets her feet wet in soaps. She appears in ABC's One Life to Live until 1997 (pictured with costar Tyler Noyes), then plays Lizzie Spaulding on Guiding Light until 2000. During that time, she also voices the characters of Dot in the animated film A Bug's Life and Suri in Dinosaur.


Hayden Panettiere

September 29

The Go-To Daughter

Panettiere plays the enthusiastic daughter of a football coach in Disney's Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington and she takes home the Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Supporting Young Actress. The following year, she plays Tim Allen's daughter in Joe Somebody and Calista Flockhart's daughter in Fox's Ally McBeal.

Read More on Hayden Panettiere's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Jonathan Skow

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): ABC

Edited by Julia Wang

Hayden Panettiere

Celebrity Central / Top 25 Celebs