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).
Paxton was born in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles; she is the only child of Lucia (née Menchaca) and Steve Paxton. Her mother, Lucia, was born to a Jewish family in Monterrey, Mexico and grew up in the city of Ciudad Acuña. Paxton's father is of English and Scottish descent, and he converted to Judaism upon marrying her mother. Both of her parents are dentists. Sara Paxton did not have a bat mitzvah because of her filming schedule.
1997-2004: Early roles
Paxton has said that singing and acting performances "went hand in hand" during her early years, though she initially began working as an actress 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. 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. 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 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
In 2005, Paxton spent three months 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. Paxton has said that she felt a sense of "female empowerment" while on set because "almost everyone" on set was female. The film opened on March 3, 2006 and grossed approximately $7.5 million in its opening weekend. Reviewers of the film compared Paxton, whose inspiration is Goldie Hawn, to actress Reese Witherspoon, saying that she has an "infectious, nutty energy." 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. 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.
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. 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". The film aired in March 2007.
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. 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.
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
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. It aired later online on YouTube. Paxton next co-starred with Scott Eastwood in the thriller Enter Nowhere; she also played one of the lead roles in the Ti West film The Innkeepers.
She starred in the 2011 movie Shark Night. She then played Mirabella on the ABC Family movie Lovestruck: The Musical in 2013. In April 2016, it was announced that Paxton had joined the cast of David Lynch's 2017 Twin Peaks revival.
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. In 2018-2019, she played Amber Dooley in the NBC series Good Girls.
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.
|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|
|Tunnel Vision||Shauna||Short film|
|2001||The Ruby Princess Runs Away||Princess Sabrina|
|2003||Haunted Lighthouse||Ashley||Short film|
|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|
|Shark Night||Sara Palski|
|2013||Love & Air Sex||Kara|
|2014||Boys of Abu Ghraib||Peyton|
|2016||Happily Ever After||Sarah Ann|
|2017||Three Women||Kathy||Short film|
|The Front Runner||Donna Rice|
|Barbarian||Nursing Video Narration / Assistant / Megan||Voice|
|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|
|1999||Koudelka||Charlotte D'lota||English dub|
|2005||"Take a Walk"||Darcy's Wild Life|
|"There For You"|
|"Don't Wanna Be Alone" (with Jesse McCartney)||Summerland|
|"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)"|
Awards and nominations
- "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.
- Sparktech Software LLC (February 1, 2012). "'The Innkeepers' Star Sara Paxton: I Would Love To Play Carrie — Inside Movies Since 1920". Boxofficemagazine.com. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- Break.com. "Sara Paxton from 'The Last House on the Left'". Break Media. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- Lee, David C. (2009). "Sara Paxton". TDINK. Retrieved March 21, 2009.
- Damarys, Sara Paxton in 'The Last House on the Left' published by sitv.com date=2009-03-13
- Bloom, Nate (April 5, 2007). "Celebrity Jews". The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
- Jones, Jen (March–April 2007). "Sara Paxton". JVibe. Jewish Family & Life. 3 (2): 14–17.
- Wilson, Staci Layne (March 6, 2009). "Sara Paxton – Interview". Horror.com. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
- "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.
- 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.
- Audrey Fine (September 5, 2007). "Sara Paxton Party Never Stops". Seventeen.
- "Sara Paxton's In the "House"". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014.
- "Sleepover". Rotten Tomatoes. 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- "Sleepover". The Numbers. 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- "Aquamarine". The Numbers. 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Steinberg, Lisa (2007). "Sara Paxton Life of the Party". Starry Constellation Magazine. Archived from the original on February 20, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2007.
- "Sara Paxton set to "Party" on at Lifetime" (Press release). Reuters. September 25, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2007.[dead link]
- "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.
- "Dimension Films scares up 'Superhero'". Los Angeles Times. September 20, 2007. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2007.
- 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.
- Miska, Brad (April 27, 2010). "Sara Paxton Becomes the Final 'Innkeeper'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
- "'Lovestruck: The Musical': Sara Paxton Previews ABC Family Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- 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.
- White, Matt (November 6, 2018). "Sara Paxton on "Compassionate" Portrayal of Donna Rice in 'The Front Runner'". The Hollywood Reporter.
- DiLillo, John (June 16, 2022). "Everything You Need to Know About 'Blonde'". Netflix. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
- "Sara Paxton From 'Aquamarine' Is Now Starring in Horror Films and Has a Celebrity Fiancé". Distractify. August 20, 2019.
- "Sarah Paxton". AllMusic. Allmusic Accessed 2016-1-28