Kay Panabaker Biography

Kay Panabaker photo

Born: May 02, 1990


Date of Birth: May 2, 1990

Kay Panabaker found fame at the age of 14 on not one, but two television series. She played a regular supporting role as the annoyingly perkly Debbie Berwick on Disney Channel's Phil of the Future, while simultaneously playing the angst-filled teen Nikki Westerly on the primetime drama Summerland, in which Zac Efron played her boyfriend. For her work on the latter series, she won a Young Artist Award.

When both series came to an end in 2005, Kay immediately was cast as Lindsey Willows, the daughter of Marg Helgenberger's character on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Guest appearances include Medium, Ghost Whisperer, Boston Legal, Two and a Half Men, and Weeds.

On the big screen, Kay played Emma's Roberts' best friend George in Nancy Drew and the title role in the horse drama Moondance Alexander, for which she won Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture at the Dixie Film Festival. She plays aspiring actress Jenny in the new big screen version of Fame (2009).

Kay and her older sister, Danielle, started acting in community theater together. At the age of eight, Kay played her first onstage role—as a Party Girl/Octopus in Pinocchio. She and Danielle had the chance to work together again when they co-starred in the Disney Channel TV movie Read it and Weep (2006).

Extraordinarily focused, Kay has pursued a rigorous academic schedule in addition to her work, graduating as valedictorian of her high school at the age of 13, and then completing her undergraduate work in history at UCLA in March 2007 at the age of 17 and receiving her Bachelor of Arts in History from UCLA in April 2008. When not working, Kay enjoys working with young people as a hands-on volunteer with different children's charities, including The Young Storytellers Foundation, Starlight Starbright, and Children's Hospital.

Born in Orange, Texas and raised in Naperville, Illinois, Kay currently lives in Los Angeles.


The Lake Effect (2010)
Fame (2009)
Nancy Drew (2007)
Moondance Alexander (2007)
Dead Heat (2002)
Monsters, Inc. (2001) (voice)
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