Kay Panabaker Wiki Bio
Stephanie Kay Panabaker was born in Orange, Texas USA, on 2 May 1990 – her zodiac sign is Taurus, and she holds American nationality. She’s a former actress and a zoologist, who’s perhaps still known best for her portrayal of Jenny Garrison, one of the lead characters in the 2009 musical comedy movie “Fame”. It was written by Allison Burnett and Christopher Gore, directed by Kevin Tancharoen, also starred Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth, and follows the lives of students who are attending the New York Academy of Performing Arts. It’s the modern version of the 1980 musical “Fame” – the movie was nominated for three awards.
Early life and education
Kay was raised in Orange alongside her older sister Danielle, by their parents Harold Panabaker and Donna (nee Mayock), who prefer to be left out of media, thus not a lot about them is known.
It was Kay’s sister who became an actress first, and motivated by her skills and success, Kay decided to become an actress as well. Kay began appearing in plays performed at community theatres at the age of six, and in 2001 launched her acting career on TV, when she voiced several characters in the critically acclaimed animated adventure comedy movie “Monsters, Inc.”, and starred as Jamie Savini, in the short movie “Temptation”. With her parents’ permission, she moved to Los Angeles, California, and became focused on her acting career, while still being an extraordinary student.
She was only 13 years old when she matriculated from a local high school as a valedictorian, and Kay then received two scholarships from Glendale Community College, obtaining her associate degree at the age of 15.
She then enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in history aged 17.
Roles in TV series
The early 2000s saw Kay appear in single episodes of various series, such as the romantic drama “Port Charles”, another romantic drama “ER”, and the family comedy “7th Heaven”. She gained recognition in 2004, when cast to star as Nikki Westerly, in the drama “Summerland”. It was written by Stephen Tolkin and Lori Loughlin, the latter who also starred in it, and the series follows three children whose parents have recently lost their lives in a car accident. It won two of the 10 awards for which it was nominated.
In the same year, Kay was cast to play the supporting character Debbie Berwick, in the family adventure comedy “Phil of the Future”, and the following years saw her make a guest appearance in a number of series, such as the comedy “The Winner”, the romantic comedy “Two and a Half Men”, and the family comedy “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”.
In 2010, she was cast to play Young Kitty Walker, in the drama “Brothers & Sisters”, created by Jon Robin Baitz, and which starred Dave Annable, Calista Flockhart and Rachel Griffiths. It follows the lives of adult siblings, and the series won 15 awards including a Primetime Emmy, while it was nominated for 35 other awards.
Three of Kay’s final roles in TV series, before retiring from acting, were in 20 episodes of the action comedy drama “No Ordinary Family” in 2010, the 2011 episode “Spiraling Down” of the mystery crime drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, and five episodes of another mystery crime drama, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” in 2011.
Roles in movies
In 2002, Kay was cast to play the supporting character Sam in the action crime comedy “Dead Heat”, and a couple of her following roles were in 2005 in the drama “Mom at Sixteen” and the family comedy “Life Is Ruff”, and the 2006 comedy drama “Read It and Weep”.
She gained recognition in 2007, with her portrayal of the main character Moondance Alexander, in the eponymous family drama. It was written and directed by Michael Damian, also starred Don Johnson and Lori Loughlin, and follows Moondance whose father has just passed away, while she has now befriended a horse, and has convinced its owner to train it for racing. The movie won six of the seven awards for which it was nominated.
In 2007, Kay then appeared in the popular family crime comedy “Nancy Drew”, as well as in the drama “Custody”, and the action family comedy “The Prince and the Pauper: The Movie”. Amongst the most popular movies in which Kay has appeared, was the 2011 drama “Little Birds”, written and directed by Elgin James, and in which she starred alongside Juno Temple and Leslie Mann. It follows Alison and Lily who have left their hometown of Salton Sea, and have followed their crushes to Los Angeles.
— E! People's Choice (@peopleschoice) July 21, 2016
The movie won two of the four awards for which it was nominated.
Kay’s two final roles in movies before retiring from acting, were in the 2011 drama “Cyberbully”, and the 2012 family adventure comedy “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta!”
Life after acting
Following her retirement, Kay enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles to study zoology, and since 2016, she has been working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as an animal keeper.
Kay has been credited with singing the songs “You’re A Superstar” and “THIS IS ME”, in the 2007 movie “The Prince and the Pauper: The Movie”, the song “Big Rock Candy Mountain” in the 2008 adventure crime comedy movie “Adventures in Appletown”, and the song “You’re a Superstar” in the 2011 horror thriller film “Beneath the Darkness”.
She has featured in a couple of talk-shows, such as “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment”, “The Disney Channel Games” and “The Project”.
Awards and nominations
Kay has been nominated for seven Young Artist Awards, winning one in 2005, for Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress, for “Summerland”.
She has also won a 2007 Temecula Valley International Film Festival Rising Star Award, a 2007 Dixie Film Festival Prize for Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture, for her performance in “Moondance Alexander”, and a 2011 Phoenix Film Festival Copper Wing Award for Best Ensemble Acting, for her and her colleagues’ performance in the comedy film “The Lake Effect”.
Love life and husband
Kay was amongst the most secretive of actresses while still active in the film industry, as she didn’t talk about the boys (and/or girls) whom she had perhaps dated. It’s still known that she was in a relationship with two boys, while there are also various rumors circulating the internet, concerning her current relationship status, and her sexual orientation.
In the mid-2000s, Kay was in a relationship with Chad Broskey, an American actor, singer and dancer, who is three years her senior. They were together for around half a year before splitting for unknown reasons. Not long after that, she began dating Dylan Sprouse, an American actor and entrepreneur; they were together for over a year.
There have recently been rumors circulating the internet claiming that Kay has become engaged to a non-celebrity man, as some of her fans have claimed to have seen the two shopping for rings, however, no evidence has been provided to support these claims, nor has Kay commented on this.
There are some who believe her to be a lesbian, but this hasn’t been confirmed either.
As of June 2021, Kay appears to be single, hasn’t married and doesn’t have children.
Hobbies and other interests
Being a lover of animals, Kay’s Instagram account is filled with pictures of dogs, horses and birds. She enjoys being active on Instagram because of the attention she’s still receiving from her 45,000 followers, and she’s uploaded close to 200 pictures.
She likes to play video games and is active on Twitch, with her channel today followed by close to 1,000 people.
Kay’s passionate about travelling, and has been to various US states for both work and pleasure, while she has also visited many European countries, including Germany and Italy.
She enjoys spending her time outdoors, and prefers to be in nature, rather than in overcrowded cities.
Kay has her own favorite actor and actress, Matt Damon and Helena Bonham Carter, and a couple of her favorite movies are “The Martian”, “Good Will Hunting” and “Les Miserables”.
Age, height and net worth
Kay’s age is 31. She has long brown hair and brown eyes, her height is 5ft (1.52m) and she weighs around 100lbs (46kgs).
As of June 2021, her net worth has been estimated at over $1 million.