Kay Panabaker

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Kay Panabaker
Academy Awards afterparty CUN Kay Panabaker.jpg
Panabaker at the 2007 Academy Awards Children Uniting Nations/Billboard afterparty
Born Stephanie Kay Panabaker
(1990-05-02) May 2, 1990 (age 25)
Orange, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater Glendale Community College
Occupation Actress, Zookeeper
Years active 2001–2012
Relatives Danielle Panabaker (sister)
Website instagram.com/kaypanabaker

Stephanie Kay Panabaker (born May 2, 1990), is an American former actress and zookeeper. She is best known for her roles as Debbie Berwick on Phil of the Future and Nikki Westerly on Summerland. Her older sister Danielle is also an actress.

Early years[edit]

Panabaker was born in Orange, Texas, to Donna (née Mayock) and Harold Panabaker.[1] Following in Danielle's footsteps, she started acting at various community theatres in Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Atlanta, Georgia. In Naperville, Illinois, Kay attended Crone Middle School for sixth grade, and moved to Los Angeles, California, at the start of seventh grade.

Between projects, Kay focuses on her academics. She graduated from high school as valedictorian when she was 13 years old.[2] Kay received two academic scholarships from Glendale Community College,[3][4] where she studied acting and was on the Dean's list. She graduated with an associate degree with honors when she was 15. She was accepted by the University of California, Los Angeles, History Program as a junior and completed her bachelor of arts in history before she turned 18.[1]


Panabaker has guest-starred in several television dramas and soap operas. She portrayed Alice Brand in 7th Heaven, Melissa Rue in ER, Sara in Port Charles, Carrie Bauer in The Brothers García, Ellisha in Medium, and Lindsey Willows in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, to name a few.[5] In film, she appeared in Dead Heat as Sam LaRoche; and did some voice work in the Disney/Pixar film, Monsters, Inc.. Panabaker's breakout role came when she starred in The WB's Summerland as Nikki Westerly, in the 2004–05 season. She also appeared as George in the 2007 Nancy Drew: The Mystery in Hollywood Hills alongside Emma Roberts and Amy Bruckner.[6]

Panabaker had a recurring role in Phil of the Future as straight-laced Debbie Berwick, a friend of, and foil to, Pim Diffy (played by Amy Bruckner). She starred in Life Is Ruff as Emily Watson alongside Kyle Massey and Mitchel Musso. In July 2006, she starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Read It and Weep (based on the book How My Private Personal Journal Became a Bestseller), in which her sister Danielle Panabaker also stars. In 2006, Panabaker was in the first Disney Channel Games, on the Red Team with Zac Efron, Anneliese van der Pol, Moises Arias, Dylan Sprouse, and Shin Koyamada as part of the Disney Channel's So Hot Summer!.[5] Movies include Moondance Alexander and The Prince and the Pauper with Dylan and Cole Sprouse. Panabaker starred in the remake of Fame as Jenny, an actress; the film was released in theaters on September 25, 2009. She also played the teenaged Kitty Walker on Brothers and Sisters.[6]

Panabaker starred in the ABC sci-fi drama series No Ordinary Family (2010–11); the series ran 20 episodes.[4][7]

Panabaker played Samantha Caldone in the ABC Family movie Cyberbully (2011).[6]

As of 2012, Kay Panabaker is no longer acting and is working as a zookeeper at Disney World.[citation needed]


Film roles[7][8]
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Monsters, Inc. Additional voices
2002 Dead Heat Samantha "Sam"
2007 Moondance Alexander Moondance Alexander
2007 Nancy Drew George Fayne
2007 Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper, AA Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper Elizabeth
2009 Fame Jenny Garrison
2010 Lake Effect, TheThe Lake Effect Celia
2011 Cyberbully Samantha Caldone
2012 Little Birds Allison
2012 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva la Fiesta! Rosa (voice)
Television roles[7]
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Port Charles Sara 1 episode
2002 ER Melissa Rue Episode: "The Letter"
2002 7th Heaven Alice Brand Episode: "Regarding Eric"
2002–03 Angel The Girl Episodes: "Forgiving", "Habeas Corpses"
2003 Division, TheThe Division Susie Jenkins Episode: "Cold Comfort"
2003 Brothers García, TheThe Brothers García Carrie Bauer Episode: "Moving On Up"
2004–05 Summerland Nicole "Nikki" Westerly Main role; 26 episodes
2004–05 Phil of the Future Deborah "Debbie" Berwick Recurring role; 13 episodes
2005 Mom at Sixteen Young Macy (uncredited) Movie
2005 Medium Elisha Episode: "Penny for Your Thoughts"
2005 Life Is Ruff Emily Watson Disney Channel Original Movie
2006 Read It and Weep Jamie Bartlett Disney Channel Original Movie
2006 American Dragon: Jake Long Cheerleader Lacey (voice) Episode: "Bring It On"
2006–11 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Lindsey Willows Recurring role; 6 episodes
2007 Winner, TheThe Winner Vivica Episode: "Single Dates"
2007 Two and a Half Men Sophie Episode: "Tucked, Taped and Gorgeous"
2007 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Amber Episode: "First Day of High School"
2007 Custody Amanda Gordon Movie
2007 Weeds Amelia Episode: "He Taught Me How to Drive By"
2007 Boston Legal Abby Holt Episode: "The Chicken and the Leg"
2007 Ghost Whisperer Marlo Sinclair Episode: "Bad Blood"
2008 Grey's Anatomy Emma Anderson Episode: "All by Myself"
2009 Happy Campers Dylan Movie
2009 Marriage, AA Marriage Maddy Gabriel Movie
2009 Lie to Me Emily Lightman (scenes deleted) Episode: Pilot
2009 Mental Aysnley Skoff Episode: "Manic at the Disco"
2010 Brothers & Sisters Young Kitty Walker Two-part episode: "Time After Time"
2010 Secrets in the Walls Lizzie Movie
2010–11 No Ordinary Family Daphne Nicole Powell Main role; 20 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Vicki Harris Episode: "Spiraling Down"


Year Artist Song Release
2006 Jordan Pruitt "Outside Looking In" in the album No Ordinary Girl and Read It and Weep (single to promote the movie)

Awards and honors[edit]

Panabaker holds a Seat on the National Board of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media.[9]

Year Award Category Role Result
2003 24th Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Drama Series – Guest Starring Young Actressinated Melissa Rue in ER
For episode "The Letter"
2004 25th Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Commercial Youth Anti-Smoking PSA Nominated[12]
2005 26th Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Television Series - Recurring Young Actress Debbie Berwick in Phil of the Future Nominated[13]
26th Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Nikki Westerly in Summerland Won[13]
2007 Temecula Valley International Film Festival Rising Star Award Won[14]
2008 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Moondance Alexander in Moondance Alexander Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast George in Nancy Drew
Shared with rest of cast


  1. ^ a b "Kay Panabaker". Biography. TV Guide. Retrieved 2 February 2013. Has worked with various children's organizations, including Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Young Storytellers Foundation, and Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation. 
  2. ^ "Kay Panabaker". Full Biography. The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Kay Panabaker". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b Rice, Lynette (May 12, 2010). "Breaking: ABC picks up 'No Ordinary Family' starring Michael Chikilis". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Kay Panabaker". Credits. TV Guide. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Kay Panabaker". Filmography. The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "Kay Panabaker: Biography". TV.com. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Southern, Nathan. "Kay Panabaker". AllMovie. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "CQCM Board and Staff". National Board. KidsFirst.org. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Kay Panabaker - Awards IMDB
  11. ^ "Twenty-Fourth Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards Foundation. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "25th Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "26th Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Ryan, Helen. "Better with Age – Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival Grows Up". LAsThePlace. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]