Sara Paxton

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Sara Paxton
Paxton in 2007
Born (1988-04-25) April 25, 1988 (age 35)
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1996–present
(m. 2019)

Sara Paxton (born April 25, 1988) is an American actress and singer. She began acting at an early age, appearing in minor roles in both films and television shows before rising to fame in 2004. She played the title role in the television series Darcy's Wild Life (2004-2006) and Sarah Borden in Summerland (2004). Her other films include Aquamarine (2006), Return to Halloweentown (2006), Sydney White (2007), Superhero Movie (2008), The Last House on the Left (2009), The Innkeepers (2011), and The Front Runner (2018).

Early life[edit]

Paxton was born in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles; she is the only child of Lucia (née Menchaca) and Steve Paxton.[1] Her mother, Lucia, was born to a Jewish family in Monterrey, Mexico and grew up in the city of Ciudad Acuña.[2][1][3][4][5] Paxton's father is of English and Scottish descent, and he converted to Judaism upon marrying her mother.[6][7] Both of her parents are dentists.[8] Sara Paxton did not have a bat mitzvah because of her filming schedule.[7]

Paxton was raised in the San Fernando Valley.[7] She graduated from El Camino Real High School in June 2006.[9]

In a 2009 interview with Teen Hollywood, Paxton disclosed that she had been accepted to several colleges, but decided not to attend any schools in favor of pursuing her acting career.[10][11][12][7]


1997-2004: Early roles[edit]

Paxton has said that singing and acting performances "went hand in hand" during her early years, though she initially began working as an actress[7] appearing in musical theater and later in television commercials at a young age. Her first film role was a small role in the 1997 comedy film Liar Liar.[7] During the late 1990s and early 2000s, she appeared in a number of television and film roles, including voice roles in 15 episodes of the Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, a role on the soap opera Passions, regular roles on the series Greetings from Tucson and Action; and a guest starring role on Disney Channel's Lizzie McGuire playing Holly, an ex-president of Lizzie's school.

In 2003, Paxton starred in R. L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse, a short 3D film attraction that still plays at several theme parks across the United States. In the same year, she appeared as Lana Walker on the CSI: Miami season two episode "Death Grip." Paxton's first major role was in the teen film Sleepover, which opened in July 2004 to negative reviews and low box-office revenue.[13][14] During the same summer season, she appeared in several episodes of Summerland, playing Sarah Borden, a mentally troubled teen who experimented with drugs and sex with Jesse McCartney's character.

Paxton was the cast in the lead role of the Discovery Kids television series, Darcy's Wild Life playing Darcy Fields, a girl who works at a rural veterinary; the series was filmed on a farm in Toronto[7] and aired from 2004-2006. It often featured Paxton's song, "Take a Walk". She received an Emmy nomination for the role in 2006.

2005-2012: Mainstream recognition[edit]

Paxton at the premiere of The Last House on the Left in 2009

In 2005, Paxton spent three months[7] working on the Florida-themed Aquamarine, in which she played the title character as a mermaid, opposite Emma Roberts and JoJo, whom she befriended while filming.[1] Paxton has said that she felt a sense of "female empowerment" while on set because "almost everyone" on set was female.[7] The film opened on March 3, 2006 and grossed approximately $7.5 million in its opening weekend.[15] Reviewers of the film compared Paxton, whose inspiration is Goldie Hawn, to actress Reese Witherspoon, saying that she has an "infectious, nutty energy."[1] Paxton recorded a song for the film's soundtrack titled "Connected," an English version of the Mexican group RBD's song Tenerte y Quererte from their 2004 album Rebelde. Paxton was signed to a record deal with Epic Records during the time she was cast in Aquamarine.[7] Her debut music CD, The Ups and Downs, featuring the titled single "Here We Go Again," was due for release by Epic at some point "in the future"; as of March 2007, Paxton has not completed work on it, and it was presumably shelved.[7][16]

Paxton hosted The Secret Life of Water, the first episode of the series Planet H2O, which premiered in April 2006 on public television stations. The following month, shortly after turning 18, she made an appearance on the television series Pepper Dennis, playing a teen actress. Paxton then appeared in Return to Halloweentown, replacing Kimberly J. Brown in the fourth installment in Disney Channel's Halloweentown series; she dyed her hair brown for the role. The film aired on October 20, 2006.

During the summer and early fall of 2006, Paxton filmed The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker, a Lifetime Television film, on Vancouver Island.[7] In the film, she plays Jessie, a college student who falls victim to binge drinking. Paxton described it as "very different" from her previous roles and has specified that she was looking for a role that would be a "challenge".[10] The film aired in March 2007.[17]

Paxton's next film role was in Sydney White, a college-set comedy starring Amanda Bynes and Matt Long; filming began on February 12, 2007 in Orlando, Florida and the movie was released on September 21, 2007.[18] She next starred in Superhero Movie, a parody on superhero films which began filming in September 2007 and was released on March 28, 2008. She provided backing vocals on her co-star Drake Bell's theme song for the movie Superhero! Song.[19]

Paxton starred in the remake of The Last House on the Left, playing the lead female character, Mari. The film was released on March 13, 2009.

2013-present: Television roles and film[edit]

Paxton in 2018

Paxton starred in the CW drama series The Beautiful Life alongside Corbin Bleu, Mischa Barton and Elle Macpherson. The show premiered on September 16, 2009, but was cancelled after just two episodes.[20] It aired later online on YouTube. Paxton next co-starred with Scott Eastwood in the thriller Enter Nowhere;[4] she also played one of the lead roles in the Ti West film The Innkeepers.[21]

She starred in the 2011 movie Shark Night. She then played Mirabella on the ABC Family movie Lovestruck: The Musical in 2013.[22] In April 2016, it was announced that Paxton had joined the cast of David Lynch's 2017 Twin Peaks revival.[23]

In 2018, she co-starred as Donna Rice opposite Hugh Jackman in Jason Reitman's The Front Runner, a biographical film about politician Gary Hart.[24] In 2018-2019, she played Amber Dooley in the NBC series Good Girls.[citation needed]

Paxton has a supporting role in Andrew Dominik’s Blonde (2022), based on the biographical fiction novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates. The film is a fictionalized portrayal of the life and career of actress Marilyn Monroe.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In 2013, Paxton met Zach Cregger in Austin, Texas; they married in October 2019.[26]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Liar Liar Child at Party and School
You're Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley's Christmas Party Patty Short film
1998 Music from Another Room Young Karen
Soldier Angie
Tunnel Vision Shauna Short film
1999 Durango Kids Hillary
2001 The Ruby Princess Runs Away Princess Sabrina
2003 Haunted Lighthouse Ashley Short film
2004 Sleepover Staci Blake
2006 Aquamarine Aquamarine, Aquamarine's Starfish Earrings
2007 Sydney White Rachel Witchburn
2008 Superhero Movie Jill Johnson
2009 The Last House on the Left Mari Collingwood
2011 The Innkeepers Claire
Shark Night Sara Palski
Enter Nowhere Jody
2012 Static Rachel
2013 Love & Air Sex Kara
Cheap Thrills Violet
Liars All Katie
2014 Boys of Abu Ghraib Peyton
All Relative Grace
2016 Happily Ever After Sarah Ann
Sundown Lina Hunter
2017 Three Women Kathy Short film
2018 First Date Kathy
The Front Runner Donna Rice
2022 Blonde Miss Flynn
Barbarian Nursing Video Narration / Assistant / Megan Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Small Talk Panelist #1 Recurring role; 10 episodes
1997 NewsRadio Sara Episode: "Office Feud"
1999 Working Amanda Baines Episode: "The Prodigy"
1999 Passions Young Sheridan Episode #1.14
1999 Action Georgia Dragon Guest role; 2 episodes
1999–2017 SpongeBob SquarePants Various roles (voice) Recurring role; 15 episodes
2000 Perfect Game Sydney Television film
2000 Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction Girl Episode: "The Wailing"
2001 Hounded Tracy Richburg Television film
2001 Lizzie McGuire Holly Episode: "Election"
2002 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Jody Bradley Episode: "Burden of Proof"
2002–2003 Greetings from Tucson Sarah Tobin Recurring role; 21 episodes
2003 CSI: Miami Lana Walker Episode: "Death Grip"
2004 Malcolm in the Middle Angela Pozefsky Episode: "Malcolm Dates a Family"
2004 Will & Grace Melanie Episode: "I Never Cheered for My Father"
2004 Summerland Sarah Borden Recurring role; 5 episodes
2004 Quintuplets Chelsea Episode: "Date Night"
2004–2006 Darcy's Wild Life Darcy Fields Main role; 33 episodes
2006 Pepper Dennis April May/Chrissy Tyler Episode: "Celebrity Twin Could Hang: Film at Eleven"
2006 Skater Boys Kayla Gordon Episode: "Sundown"
2006 Return to Halloweentown Marnie Piper/Splendora Agatha Cromwell Television film; replacing Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie Piper
2007 The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker Jessie Brenner Television film
2008 Wizards of Waverly Place Millie Episode: "Credit Check"
2009 Jonas Fiona Skye Episode: "Frantic Romantic"
2009 The Beautiful Life Raina Marrinelli Main role; 5 episodes
2012 Blue Eyed Butcher Susan Wright Television film
2013 Lovestruck: The Musical Mirabella Hutton Television film
2013 Guys with Kids Stacee Episode: "Gary's Idea"
2014 How to Get Away with Murder Natalia "Talia" Lewis Episode: "Let's Get to Scooping"
2015 Stalker Isabelle Martin Episode: "Salvation"
2015 Code Black Sophie Episode: "You Are the Heart"
2016 Heartbeat Lou Panttiere Episode: "The Land of Normal"
2016 Murder in the First Alicia Barnes Recurring role; 10 episodes
2017 This Is Us Kathryn Episode: "Moonshadow"
2017 Twin Peaks Candy Shaker Episode: "Part 4"
2017 Baker Daily: Trump Takedown Sara Television short
2017 Wrecked Sister Grace Episode: "Sister Mercy"
2018 Liberty Crossing Jessica Larson Episode: "Weekend Warriors"
2018–2019 Good Girls Amber Dooley Guest role; 3 episodes

Video game[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
1999 Koudelka Charlotte D'lota English dub


Soundtrack appearances[edit]


Year Song Soundtrack
2005 "Take a Walk" Darcy's Wild Life
"There For You"
"Don't Wanna Be Alone" (with Jesse McCartney) Summerland
2006 "Connected" Aquamarine
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight" Disneymania 4
2008 "I Need a Hero" Superhero! Movie
"Superhero! Song (featuring Sara Paxton)
2012 "Shark Bite Rap" Shark Night 3D
2013 "Me Too (Stripped)" Lovestruck: The Musical
"Like a Virgin"
"How Can I Remember to Forget"
"Me Too (Main Mix)"
"Everlasting Love"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2000 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Young Performer Age Ten or Under Working Won
2003 Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actress Greetings from Tucson Nominated
2003 Best Performance in a TV Drama Series – Guest Starring Young Actress CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Won
2004 Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actress CSI: Miami Nominated
2005 Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Darcy's Wild Life Nominated
2005 Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Ensemble Cast Sleepover Nominated
2006 Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) Darcy's Wild Life Nominated
2006 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Nominated
2007 Young Artist Awards Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) Nominated
2007 Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Aquamarine Nominated
2012 Fright Meter Awards Best Actress The Innkeepers Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d "All is going swimmingly for Aquamarine star Paxton". Kalamazoo Gazette. March 17, 2006. Archived from the original on March 20, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  2. ^ Sparktech Software LLC (February 1, 2012). "'The Innkeepers' Star Sara Paxton: I Would Love To Play Carrie — Inside Movies Since 1920". Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  3. ^ "Sara Paxton from 'The Last House on the Left'". Break Media. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Lee, David C. (2009). "Sara Paxton". TDINK. Retrieved March 21, 2009.
  5. ^ Damarys, Sara Paxton in 'The Last House on the Left' published by date=2009-03-13
  6. ^ Bloom, Nate (April 5, 2007). "Celebrity Jews". The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jones, Jen (March–April 2007). "Sara Paxton". JVibe. Jewish Family & Life. 3 (2): 14–17.
  8. ^ Wilson, Staci Layne (March 6, 2009). "Sara Paxton – Interview". Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  9. ^ "Sara Paxton loved wearing the fins in Aquamarine". Scripps Howard News Service. June 16, 2006. Archived from the original on June 22, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Reid, Michael D. (September 8, 2006). "Sara Paxton brings the party". Times Colonist. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  11. ^ Audrey Fine (September 5, 2007). "Sara Paxton Party Never Stops". Seventeen.
  12. ^ "Sara Paxton's In the "House"". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014.
  13. ^ "Sleepover". Rotten Tomatoes. 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  14. ^ "Sleepover". The Numbers. 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  15. ^ "Aquamarine". The Numbers. 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  16. ^ Steinberg, Lisa (2007). "Sara Paxton Life of the Party". Starry Constellation Magazine. Archived from the original on February 20, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2007.
  17. ^ "Sara Paxton set to "Party" on at Lifetime" (Press release). Reuters. September 25, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2007.[dead link]
  18. ^ "Amanda Bynes Set to Star in the New Comedy 'Sydney White' for Morgan Creek Productions" (Press release). Morgan Creek Productions. January 3, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
  19. ^ "Dimension Films scares up 'Superhero'". Los Angeles Times. September 20, 2007. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  20. ^ Kit, Borys (April 5, 2010). "Jack Heller to direct 'Enter Nowhere' film". MoviesOnline. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  21. ^ Miska, Brad (April 27, 2010). "Sara Paxton Becomes the Final 'Innkeeper'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  22. ^ "'Lovestruck: The Musical': Sara Paxton Previews ABC Family Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  23. ^ Murthi, Vikrim (April 25, 2016). "'Twin Peaks' Full Cast Revealed: Amanda Seyfriend, Michael Cera & Over 200 More Join David Lynch Show". Indiewire. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  24. ^ White, Matt (November 6, 2018). "Sara Paxton on "Compassionate" Portrayal of Donna Rice in 'The Front Runner'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. ^ DiLillo, John (June 16, 2022). "Everything You Need to Know About 'Blonde'". Netflix. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  26. ^ "Sara Paxton From 'Aquamarine' Is Now Starring in Horror Films and Has a Celebrity Fiancé". Distractify. August 20, 2019.
  27. ^ "Sarah Paxton". AllMusic. Allmusic Accessed 2016-1-28

External links[edit]