I always find it interesting to watch the development of child actors, both in terms of physical appearance and career development. Some kids play on the cute factor but then lose it once the cuteness disappears as they get older. But other kids show that they've got talent to take them further. And maybe continuing good looks growing up doesn't hurt either.
Can you identify this actress by her picture as a child?
That picture was from her stint playing Sarah Roberts on the daytime soap opera "One Life to Live" in 1997.
Have you guessed her yet? How about another picture?
That picture was just a basic headshot, from maybe a year or two later.
She then provided the voice of Dot in the animated feature "A Bug's Life".
How about another picture?
That picture was from her time playing Lizzie Spaulding on the daytime soap opera "The Guiding Light" in 2000.
Still need some help?
Those are two other pictures from around the same time. The second is a standard head shot. I don't know if the first was just a candid or an informal head shot.
Need more hints?
That picture is from the film "Joe Somebody", from 2001.
Well, if you still haven't guessed yet, the next picture will be a dead giveaway.
Yep, all the pictures above are of Hayden Panettiere, probably best known for playing cheerleader Claire Bennett in the television show "Heroes".
That was a more recent picture of her from an event.
And the next picture is a more adult picture of her. Yes, lots of people were inexplicably very happy when she turned 18 last year.
I can't remember if I was actively watching "One Life to Live" when she was on it, so while I remember her character, I don't remember her necessarily. I've seen "A Bug's Life" once but don't particularly remember the voice of Dot. I didn't watch "The Guiding Light", so I never saw her in that. She was apparently in two episodes of "Law and Order: SVU", which I do watch, but there were a couple years where I didn't, so I might not have seen her first episode, though I probably saw her second episode, but I don't remember her. I was kind of interested in seeing "Ice Princess" pretty much for Michelle Trachtenberg, but I never got around to it. I hear that Hayden was really good in it, though, and she also sang a song, though I don't know if it was on camera or if the song was over the credits or something. I've heard the song, and she's quite good, so I'll probably pick up the DVD sometime. And for a number of reasons, I had no desire to see the direct-to-video movie "Cinderella III: A Twist in Time", but she sings a song on the soundtrack, and it sounds really good as well, so I might pick up the CD of that. I probably wouldn't be able to bear watching the movie. (When I saw the entirety of "Cinderella" for the first time last year, I was crying my eyes out.) Or I might just look for her one song on iTunes since I don't know that I'd care about the soundtrack as a whole.
Apparently, Hayden is no stranger to music. If you go to her official website here, you'll see that she's actually been working on an album, and she's also planning a tour once the album comes out. Obviously, that will have to be worked around her schedule on "Heroes". If you go to her website, you can hear "I Fly", the song from "Ice Princess", and you can see the music video of "I Still Believe" from "Cinderella III: A Twist in Time", as well as hear some of her original songs. I think the beginning of "My Hero is You" is a little shaky, but it certainly picks up, and I like the song as a whole, and I rather like "Go To Girl". I'm curious to hear the song called "Saved" that she mentions on the site. I find it interesting that she sings with an accent/inflection that I don't hear when she's speaking. Or maybe it's just that she doesn't use one on "Heroes". I don't think I've ever seen/heard an interview with her, so I've probably not ever heard her "regular" voice. Hmm, if I like her album enough, I might just be going to one of her concerts.
One of the things I find really interesting about Hayden is that she can take on so many different looks and characters, from innocent to sultry, depending on how she's dressed, what her hair looks like and what expression and demeanor she uses. It'll be interesting to see how her careers, both in acting and music, progress.