Hayden Leslie Panettiere (/ˌpænɨtiˈɛər/; Italian pronunciation: [panetˈtjɛːre]); born August 21, 1989) is an American actress, model, singer, and activist. She is known for her roles as cheerleader Claire Bennet on the NBC series Heroes (2006–10) and Juliette Barnes in the ABC musical drama series Nashville (since 2012).
A native of New York, she first appeared in a commercial at the age of 11 months. She began her acting career by playing Sarah Roberts on One Life to Live (1994–97), and Lizzie Spaulding on Guiding Light (1996–2000), before starring at age 10 as Sheryl Yoast in the Disney feature film Remember the Titans. Other notable roles include her portrayal of the title character in the true crime drama Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy and Kirby Reed in the slasher film Scream 4. She received two nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, for her work on Nashville in 2012 and 2013
Panettiere was born in and partly raised in Palisades, New York. She is the daughter of Lesley R. Vogel, a former soap opera actress, and Alan Lee “Skip” Panettiere, a fire captain. She has one younger brother, fellow actor Jansen Panettiere. Panettiere has Italian and German ancestry. Her surname means “baker” in Italian and her mother’s maiden name means “bird” in German. Her mother’s family lives in Indiana.
After Panettiere attended South Orangetown Middle School in New York, she was homeschooled from grade nine to the completion of high school.