In March 2012, it was announced Panettiere had been cast opposite Connie Britton on the ABC musical drama series Nashville, where she portrayed Juliette Barnes.but her first released film was the same year's The Object of My Affection, in which she appears briefly as a mermaid in the school play in the opening scene.She has Italian, with some English and German ancestry.She has one younger brother, fellow actor Jansen Panettiere.The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society gave her its Special Recognition Award for drawing the attention of daytime viewers to the disease, and for improving national awareness.For her performance in Lifetime Television's 1999 TV movie If You Believe, she was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Young Actress Age Ten or Under in the category of Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot.The appearance was engineered by her mother and involved a male "fan" discussing her work with her, instigating a jealous reaction from the man's spouse.
She played the role of Coach Yoast's daughter, Sheryl, in the 2000 Disney film Remember the Titans.
Panettiere became most prominent as Claire Bennet in the NBC series Heroes, which was created by Tim Kring, as a high school cheerleader with regenerative healing powers.
Thanks to her role on Heroes, she became a regular on the science fiction convention circuit, invited to attend conventions around the world in 2007, including Gen Con, New York Comic Con, and Fan Expo Canada.
She landed a role as Sarah Roberts on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live from 1994 to 1997, which was followed by Lizzie Spaulding on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light in 1996, and again from 1997 to 2000.
While on Guiding Light, Panettiere's character Lizzie battled leukemia.