Hilarie Burton

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Hilarie Burton
Hilarie Burton Gitmo (crop).jpg
Burton in June 2008
Born (1982-07-01) July 1, 1982 (age 38)
Alma materNew York University
Fordham University
OccupationActress, producer, television host
Years active1999–present
(m. 2019)

Hilarie Burton Morgan (born July 1, 1982) is an American actress and producer. A former host of MTV's Total Request Live, she portrayed Peyton Sawyer on The WB/CW drama One Tree Hill for six seasons (2003–2009). Post One Tree Hill, Burton starred in Our Very Own, Solstice, and The List. She has also had supporting or recurring roles in television series, including her role as Sara Ellis on White Collar (2010–2013), Dr. Lauren Boswell on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy (2013), Molly Dawes on the ABC drama series Forever (2014), and a recurring role on the Fox television series Lethal Weapon (2016).

Early life[edit]

Burton was born in Sterling, Virginia. Her father is a veteran of the US Army.[1] and her mother is a real estate agent.[2] She is the eldest of four children with three brothers. She graduated from Park View High School in 2000,[3] where she was student council treasurer her sophomore year,[4] vice-president her junior year,[5] and captain of the cheerleading squad, student council president, and homecoming queen her senior year.[6]


Media personality[edit]

Burton's first big break came when working as a VJ for MTV's Total Request Live (TRL). She was supposed to be a guest commentator for one segment, but producers decided to offer her a permanent job. Burton went on to present at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards and MTV's Iced Out New Year's Eve. Burton went on to portray herself on The WB drama Dawson's Creek in 2002, which marked her television debut.

In October 2017, when news of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases broke, Burton retweeted a 2003 video clip from TRL Uncensored in which Ben Affleck squeezed her breast on air. This was in response to a fan tweet that quipped, "[Affleck] also grabbed Hilarie Burton's breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though." Burton replied, "I didn't forget [about it] ... I was a kid." Affleck, who'd just publicly criticized Weinstein, subsequently responded on Twitter to apologize to Burton.[7] When asked about the incident a month later on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Affleck said, "I don't remember it, but I absolutely apologize for it. I certainly don't think she's lying or making it up.'"[8]

Acting and producing[edit]

Burton was cast in The WB drama series One Tree Hill as Peyton Sawyer, an independent visual and musical artist and cheerleader, in April 2003. The series premiered on September 23, 2003, and went on to be the network's top rated program of the year. The role was considered Burton's breakout role and is her best known to date. For her role in the series, Burton was featured on the cover of Maxim, American Cheerleader Magazine and People. Her performance received critical praise and she earned three Teen Choice Award nominations.[6] In May 2009, The CW announced Burton would not be returning for the show's seventh season based on her own decision not to return, contrary to rumors she left due to salary issues.[9]

One Tree Hill heightened Burton's public profile: in May 2007, she was ranked #77 in Maxim's "Hot 100 List of 2007".[10] She also appeared on the cover of the November 2006 edition of Maxim with One Tree Hill co-stars Sophia Bush and Danneel Harris. In previous years, Burton ranked #2 on Femme Fatales' "The 50 Sexiest Women of 2005", and #12 on Much Music's "20 Hottest Women of 2003".

While still a One Tree Hill cast member, Burton made her feature film debut opposite Allison Janney and Cheryl Hines in the 2005 well-reviewed drama Our Very Own which centered on five small-town teenagers who dream of a better life. Burton and her co-stars received the "Outstanding Ensemble Acting" award at the prestigious Sarasota Film Festival.[11] Burton appeared in the 2007 Lifetime drama Normal Adolescent Behavior which followed a group of friends who are in a six-way polyfidelitous relationship. That same year, Burton co-starred in the supernatural horror film Solstice opposite Amanda Seyfried and Elisabeth Harnois. Burton also created her own production company, Southern Gothic Production (SoGoPro) in 2007, along with Nick Gray, Kelly Tenney, James Burton, and Meg Mortimer.[12][13][14]

In 2008, Burton appeared in both the Fox Searchlight Pictures drama The Secret Life of Bees, as the deceased mother of Dakota Fanning's character, and the limited release thriller The List. Burton was next cast in the film Bloodworth opposite Hilary Duff and Val Kilmer, an adaptation of the novel Provinces of Night by William Gay. The film premiered after her exit from One Tree Hill, at the 2010 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, but made little money in limited release. Burton won a recurring arc in the USA Network crime drama series White Collar in 2010 as Sara Ellis, an insurance investigator in the second season. She was upgraded to a series regular in 2011 for the third season, but switched back to the recurring cast in the fourth season.[15] 2012 saw Burton guest-starring on the ABC police comedy-drama Castle (season 4, episode 13) as a reality television star who is accused murder.[16] Next came a recurring role in the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy for the final three episodes of the 2013 ninth season, as Dr. Lauren Boswell. That fall, Burton had a recurring role on the short-lived CBS drama Hostages.[17] Burton reunited with One Tree Hill co-star Tyler Hilton for a recurring role on CBS sci-fi drama Extant in 2015. Burton appeared as the DEA agent love interest of main character Martin Riggs on Lethal Weapon from the seventh episode of the first season in 2016 through the third episode of the second season in 2017.

In November 2017, Burton spoke out in light of charges that One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn had sexually harassed some of the female crew, alleging that she had also been sexually harassed by Schwahn.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Burton holding an M4 carbine during a USO visit.

During her time on One Tree Hill, Burton resided in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the show was filmed.[19][19]

In 2009, Burton began a relationship with actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, after being introduced by Danneel and Jensen Ackles, their previous co-stars. The couple's son was born in March 2010.[20][21] On March 6, 2018, Burton announced on Instagram that their daughter, George Virginia Morgan, was born in February 2018. Burton has been candid on social media about their struggle to conceive, stating that it took them 5 years to successfully carry a baby to term.[22] The couple married on 5 October 2019. Their private wedding was attended by many of their Supernatural and One Tree Hill co-stars.[23]





Year Title Role Notes
2005 Our Very Own Bobbie Chester Film debut
2007 Normal Adolescent Behavior Ryan
2007 Solstice Alicia
2008 The List Jo Johnston
2008 The Secret Life of Bees Deborah Owens
2009 The True-Love Tale of Boyfriend & Girlfriend Boyfriend A Southern Gothic Production
2010 Bloodworth Hazel


Year Title Role Notes
2000–2004 Total Request Live Herself Co-host
2002 Dawson's Creek VJ Hilarie 1 episode
2003–2009 One Tree Hill Peyton Sawyer Main cast; 130 Episodes (Seasons 1–6)
2003 MTV's Iced Out New Year's Eve Herself Host
2003 MTV Does Miami Herself Co-host
2003 MTV Diary Herself Alongside One Tree Hill cast
2003 The Real World: Las Vegas Herself Reunion Host: 7 The Hard Way
2003 Pepsi Smash Herself Host
2005 Unscripted Herself
2008 Little Britain USA Lesbian Student 1 1 episode
2010–2013 White Collar Sara Ellis 22 episodes; Main cast (Season 3); Recurring role (Seasons 2 and 4)
2012 Castle Kay Cappuccio 1 episode "An Embarrassment of Bitches"
2012 Naughty or Nice Krissy Kringle Hallmark Original Movie
2013 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Lauren Boswell 3 episodes
2013 Hostages Samantha 4 episodes
2013 Christmas on the Bayou Katherine "Kat" Lifetime Original Movie
2014, 2015 Forever Iona Payne / Molly Dawes 2 episodes
2015 Surprised by Love Josie Mayfield Hallmark Original Movie
2015 Extant Anna Schaefer 6 episodes; uncredited in last episode
2015 Last Chance for Christmas Annie Lifetime Original Movie
2016 Togetherness Kennedy 1 episode
2016 Summer Villa Terry Russell Hallmark Original Movie
2016–2017 Lethal Weapon Karen Palmer 6 episodes
2018 The Christmas Contract Jolie Lifetime Original Movie
2019 A Christmas Wish Faith Lifetime Original Movie
2020 Council of Dads Margot 4 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Role
2005 "The Mixed Tape" Jack's Mannequin Peyton Sawyer

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Star – Female One Tree Hill Nominated
Choice TV Actress: Drama/Action/Adventure Nominated
2005 Choice TV Actress: Drama Nominated
2006 Sarasota Film Festival Outstanding Ensemble Acting Our Very Own Won
2008 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama One Tree Hill Nominated
Hollywood Film Awards Ensemble Acting of the Year (Shared with cast) The Secret Life of Bees Won


  1. ^ DeHority, Sam. "Are You Man Enough for Hilarie Burton?". Men's Fitness. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  2. ^ Ingram, Hunter (March 28, 2015). "Hilarie Burton, Stephen Colletti reminisce about 'One Tree Hill' during adorable Q&A". Starnewsonline.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Vena, Jocelyn. "Hilarie Burton Says She Owes Career, From 'TRL' To 'One Tree Hill,' To 'Fairy Godfather' Carson Daly". MTV News.
  4. ^ Heritage: Park View High School Yearbook (1998)
  5. ^ Heritage: Park View High School Yearbook (1999)
  6. ^ a b Hilarie Burton- TV.com Archived July 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved January 19, 2007.
  7. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (October 11, 2017). "Ben Affleck apologizes for groping Hilarie Burton on camera". CNN. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Leight, Elias (November 17, 2017). "Stephen Colbert Confronts Ben Affleck on Sexual Misconduct Accusations". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "Breaking: Two Stars Exit One Tree Hill". TVGuide.com. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  10. ^ Hilarie Burton of 2007 Hot 100 Maxim Retrieved February 1, 2007.
  11. ^ "Hilarie Burton cast bio on The WB". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 28, 2009. Retrieved May 30, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Southern Gothic Productions – Home Page". Sogopro.com. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  14. ^ "Blogger". Southerngothicproductions.blogspot.com. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  15. ^ "White Collar Promotes Hilarie Burton to Series Regular". TVGuide.com. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  16. ^ Matt Webb Mitovich (November 23, 2011). "Castle scoop: Hilarie Burton excited to tackle a 'radically different' kind of role". TVLine.com. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  17. ^ "Hostages/IMDB". IMDB. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  18. ^ Holloway, Daniel (November 17, 2017). "'One Tree Hill' Cast, Crew Detail Assault, Harassment Claims Against Mark Schwahn (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Hilarie Burton: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  20. ^ "Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hilarie Burton Welcome Baby". Us Weekly. May 6, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  21. ^ Marc Malkin (November 15, 2011). "Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton Talk Baby Son Gus, Parenthood: "It's Been Spectacular"". E!Online. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  22. ^ Mandell, Andrea. "Hilarie Burton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan welcome 'miracle baby' in honest post about fertility". USA TODAY. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  23. ^ Byrne, Suzy. "Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton announce they're married in supersweet posts on Instagram". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 7, 2019.

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