Rayna Jaymes on ABC’s “Nashville”
Three-time Emmy-nominated Connie Britton continually receives accolades for her work in television and film. After stand-out roles on series such as “Spin City,” “24” and “The West Wing,” she starred on one of the best reviewed shows on television, NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” created by Peter Berg, for which she received Emmy nominations in 2010 and 2011. She also starred in the film of the same name, opposite Billy Bob Thornton.
Britton received a Best Actress Emmy nomination for her role as the female lead in “American Horror Story,” Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's Emmy-nominated miniseries. She completed production on the film “The Hand-Job,” alongside Andy Samberg, and appeared in the film “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Her other film credits include Michael Bay’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Women in Trouble,” with Carla Gugino and Josh Brolin.
Britton received two individual nominations from the Television Critics Association, and “Friday Night Lights” was that organization’s most-nominated show in its first season, winning Outstanding New Program of the year in 2007, the award for Program of the Year in 2011, a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, as well as accolades from the American Film Institute, which ranked it among the ten best shows of 2006-07, and Teen Choice Award nominations two years in a row. Britton was nominated for a Women’s Image Network Award (WIN), which honors work that features female protagonists.
Britton received praise for her starring role in Edward Burns’ “The Brothers McMullen,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. She had nearly canceled her audition with Burns… As it was, that last meeting of the day turned into the role that would launch her career. Other feature credits include Burns’ “No Looking Back,” “Looking for Kitty,” “The Lather Effect” and the critically acclaimed feature “The Last Winter,” opposite Ron Perlman, which received a Gotham Award nomination for Best Ensemble Cast.
Born in Boston, Britton moved to Lynchburg, VA at the age of seven with her family, including her fraternal twin sister. She attended Dartmouth College, where she majored in Asian studies, spending a term in Beijing, China. Upon graduation she moved to New York, where she spent two years at the Neighborhood Playhouse studying with Sanford Meisner, and then performed in regional theater and off-Broadway productions.
In her free time, Britton, enjoys hiking and yoga. She is currently finalizing a documentary which she produced and directed on the orphans of Ethiopia.
HOMETOWN Boston, MA / Lynchburg, VA
BIRTHDATE March 6
Juliette Barnes on ABC’s “Nashville”
Hayden Panettiere is widely known for her role as cheerleader Claire Bennett in the hit series “Heroes.” On the big screen she was recently seen in Wes Craven’s “Scream 4,” the telefilm “The Amanda Knox Story,” and will soon be seen opposite Alfred Molina, Lauren Bacall and Josh Hutcherson in “The Forger.” She also recently lent her voice to the characters Kate in the 3-D animated film “Alpha and Omega” and Red in the animated “Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil.”
Panettiere began acting at eleven-months old in commercials, appearing in over 50 as a child. At four she began her four-year stint on ABC’s “One Life to Live,” went to CBS’ “Guiding Light” for four more years and then voiced the animated movies “A Bug’s Life” and “Dinosaur.” Panettiere has starred in the films “Remember the Titans,” “The Affair of the Necklace,” “Joe Somebody,” “Raising Helen,” “The Dust Factory,” “Racing Stripes,” “Ice Princess,” “The Architect,” “Bring It On: All or Nothing,” “Fireflies in the Garden” and “I Love You, Beth Cooper.” TV credits include “Law and Order: SVU,” “American Dad,” “Robot Chicken,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Ally McBeal,” “Touched by an Angel,” and the TV movies “Tiger Cruise,” “Normal,” “Lies My Mother Told Me” and “If You Believe.”
Her roles have won Panettiere numerous accolades, including the 2008 and 2009 Teen Choice Awards for Choice Actress: Action/Adventure, the 2009 Teen Choice Award for Choice Celebrity Activist, the Breakout Actress Award in 2007 at the Capri Hollywood Film Festival and the Favorite Clipped Dramatic Artist Award for 2007 at the 1st Annual Wave Award.
Panettiere is campaign spokesperson for the Whaleman Foundation, an oceanic research, conservation and production organization dedicated to preserving and protecting dolphins, whales and their ocean habitat. As spokesperson she has traveled to Washington, DC to meet with Congressmen, was invited to the International Whaling Conference in Portugal and was featured in The Cove, a 2010 Oscar-winning documentary exposing the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. For her involvement in animal welfare she received the Genesis Wyler Award from The Humane Society of the United States in 2007 and Variety’s 2011 Power of Youth Award, recognizing young entertainers who have made significant contributions to philanthropic and charitable causes. In 2012 Panettiere participated as a judge for the “Date with History” contest that chose one young visionary to address the U.N. Rio Earth Summit in June 2012. The jury also included Leonardo DiCaprio, members of the band Linkin Park, Don Cheadle, Daryl Hannah and Sergio Marone.
Panettiere’s accomplishments include her ongoing association with Neutrogena. She also designed the popular “Hayden Bag” for Dooney & Bourke handbags and a boot for Stuart Weitzman's Young Hollywood Cares Collection for Ovarian Cancer Research. She currently divides her time between Nashville and LA, and can be followed on Twitter @haydenpanettier.
HOMETOWN Rockland County, NY
BIRTHDATE August 21
Deacon Claybourne on ABC’s “Nashville”
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Charles “Chip” Esten was raised in Alexandria, VA and attended T.C. Williams High School (made famous in the film “Remember the Titans.”) He then attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, where he graduated with a degree in Economics and met his eventual wife, Patty. While in Williamsburg, he was lead singer/songwriter in a popular local band, N’est Pas.
Esten made his theatrical debut in London when he portrayed Buddy Holly, singing, acting and playing guitar in the hit West End musical “Buddy.” In that role he was honored to perform for H.R.M Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and eventually President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush at The White House. He was also very honored to perform with Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin, Buddy’s original hitmaking bandmates, the Crickets.
It was during his run as Buddy that Esten first appeared on the original British version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” with Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops. When “Whose Line” came to ABC, he became a recurring cast member and frequent song improvisor. Since then he has appeared on Drew Carey’s Improvaganza and toured frequently, performing live improv shows with Stiles, Proops and Jeff B. Davis.
Esten’s many additional television credits include recurring roles on “Big Love,” “Enlightened,” “The Office” and “ER.” Besides being the father on Disney Channel’s “Jessie,” he has been a Klingon on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” a secretary on “Murphy Brown” and Kelly Bundy’s fiance on the series finale of “Married with Children.” His film credits include “Swing Vote,” “Thirteen Days,” “61*,” and “The Postman.”
Esten and his wife have two daughters and a son.
HOMETOWN Pittsburgh, PA and Alexandria, VA
BIRTHDAY September 9
Gunnar Scott on ABC’s “Nashville”
Raised by his artist parents in Cornwall, a small beach town outside of London, Sam Palladio stayed nearby to pursue his career as a performer, studying theatre and music at Rose Bruford Drama College where he later graduated.
After graduating, Palladio found himself showcasing his talents in the original cast for the musical “Dreamboats & Petticoats,” touring the UK before bringing it into London’s West End.
Palladio’s television credits include his role as Stoke in Season Two of the Showtime hit “Episodes,” starring Matt LeBlanc. Additionally he’s had appearances on the UK small screen on shows “Doctors” and “The Hour.”
Most recently Palladio completed filming “Runner, Runner,” opposite Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Gemma Arterton.
HOMETOWN Cornwall, England
BIRTHDATE November 21
Scarlett O’Connor on ABC’s “Nashville”
Clare Bowen has enjoyed a flourishing career in film, theatre and television. A native Australian, she has appeared in several of her home country’s iconic television dramas, including “Home and Away,” the medical drama “All Saints,” “The Cut” and the critically acclaimed comedy, “Chandon.”
In her U.S. film debut, Bowen stars as the female lead in the western “Dead Man’s Burden,” which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival June 2012. Shortly after graduating from the University of Wollongong in 2009, she was offered a lead role in the highly controversial feature film, “The Combination,” directed by David Field. This was followed by a major role in the thriller “The Clinic,” which screened at several international film festivals, and the independent film “Not Suitable for Children,” alongside Ryan Kwanten.
A gifted singer, Bowen has performed in several theatre productions. Most recently she starred as the lead role of Wendla in the Geordie Brookman-directed rock musical, “Spring Awakening,” under the co-artistic direction of Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton at the Sydney Theatre Company.
Bowen was born and raised in the South Coast of Australia.
HOMETOWN South Coast, Australia
BIRTHDAY May 12
Teddy Conrad on ABC’s “Nashville”
After starring for almost a decade on CBS’ “Without a Trace” and “Now and Again,” Eric Close once again teamed up with the network as the lead of their series “Chaos.” Recently he appeared in four episodes of the critically-acclaimed television series “Suits,” opposite Gabriel Macht and Patrick Adams.
Prior to his longtime series work, Close starred in the series “The Magnificent Seven,” “Dark Skies” and “McKenna,” while taking on such long-form features as “Seven Deadly Sins,” “Hercules,” “Follow the Stars Home,” “The Stranger Beside Me,” “Long Island Fever,” “Without Consent” and “Unanswered Prayers,” which was produced by Garth Brooks and based on his hit song of the same title. Close was also in the Golden Globe-nominated miniseries “Taken,” executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, and his feature credits include “Saving Angelo,” “Alvarez & Cruz,” “Liberty Maine,” “The Sky is Falling,” “Taking Liberty” and “American Me.”
Close graduated with a BA in communications from the University of Southern California in 1989. He married his wife, Keri, in 1995 and has two daughters. He and his family love philanthropy and traveling the world. Close is a sportsman, preferring outdoor sports such as rock climbing, snow skiing, tennis, golf, sailing, surfing, scuba diving and fly-fishing. He also enjoys reading historical fiction. He can be followed on Twitter @EricRClose.
HOMETOWN San Diego, CA
BIRTHDAY May 24
THE STELLA SISTERS
Lennon and Maisy Stella
Maddy and Daphne on ABC’s “Nashville”
Real-life sisters Lennon Stella, 13, and Maisy Stella, 9, play Rayna and Teddy’s daughters Maddie and Maisy on ABC’s “Nashville”. The girls, who live outside Nashville and attend public school, are the daugthers of Marylynne and Brad Stella, a Canadian country-folk duo known as The Stellas.
Lennon and Maisy have grown up around music and have even performed on their own at Nasvhille’s real-life Bluebird Café. The sisters gained a following after recording their own YouTube videos that have gone viral, including a cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend’ that has more than 17 million views.
HOMETOWN Whitby, Ontario, Canada
BIRTHDAYS Lennon: August 13, and Maisy: December 13
Avery Barkley on ABC’s “Nashville”
Jonathan Jackson began his acting career at the age of 11 and achieved almost instant success. After a few national television commercials, he landed a choice contract role in 1993 as Luke and Laura’s son, Lucky Spencer, on ABC’s “General Hospital.” This role, which he held off and on through last season, earned him five Daytime Emmy Awards, as well as three additional nominations and four Hollywood Reporter Youngster Awards.
Jaskson’s film credits include Miramax’ “Havana Nights,” the independent thriller “Riding the Bullet,” based on the Stephen King novel, and “Insomnia,” starring Al Pacino. He also starred in “Deep End of the Ocean,” the independent feature “True Rights,” “The Smiling Suicide Club,” “Skeletons in the Closet,” “Camp Nowhere,” and with Judy Davis in the telefilm “A Little Thing Called Murder.” Most recently Jackson starred with Nick Stahl in the independent film “Kalamity.”
In addition to acting, Jackson and his brother, Richard Lee Jackson, co-wrote and directed the short film “Crystal Clear,” which won three awards in the Brooklyn Film Festival, including Best Dramatic Short, plus a Coen Brothers Award. They also scored the film. Their musical resume continues to grow as their original songs appear in the scores of such movies as “True Rights,” “Skeletons in the Closet,” “Prisoner of Zenda, Inc.” and in other upcoming projects.
Born in Orlando, FL, but raised in Washington State, Jackson now splits his time between Los Angeles and Nashville with his wife, Lisa Jackson, and their three children. He is the frontman for the band Enation with his brother. Together they’ve released several albums and garnered a Top 10 single on the iTunes Rock Charts. He can be followed on Twitter @JonathanJackson.
HOMETOWN Orlando, FL
BIRTHDAY May 11
Coleman Carlisle on ABC’s “Nashville”
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Robert Wisdom is the middle child of three, born to Jamaican parents. He attended St. Alban’s School in DC and later graduated from Columbia University in New York.
Since then Wisdom has left his distinctive mark of gravity and humor on a broad range of characters on television and in film. Widely known for his portrayal of Maj. Howard “Bunny” Colvin on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “The Wire,” Wisdom’s career is anchored by many notable television roles. Highlighting his extensive list of small screen credits are the prison strongman, Lechero, in “Prison Break,” Angel Uriel in “Supernatural” and, more recently, the spymaster Vaughn Anderson in “Burn Notice” and the go-to detective Roger Hobbs in “Happy Town.”
Demonstrating his versatility as an actor, Wisdom’s range of film credits include Mark Ruffalo’s directing debut, “Symphony for Delicious,” where he brings to life the story of a homeless man who is miraculously transformed; and his notorious role in Tod Solondz’s “Storytelling” as writing professor Mr. Scott. Additionally, Wisdom’s humor is showcased with his hilarious and shifty portrayal of Laylow Brown in “Barbershop 2.”
Wisdom’s most recent projects include the wild and twisting whodunit, “The Loft,” opposite James Marsden, and his role opposite Woody Harrelson in “Rampart.”
HOMETOWN Washington, DC
BIRTHDATE September 14
Lamar Wyatt on ABC’s “Nashville”
Fresh from his success on “Hatfields & McCoys,” Powers Boothe takes on the role of the powerful and conniving father to Rayna Jaymes on “Nashville.” A career actor on the big screen and small, Boothe is best known for his roles as the President on “24,” Cy Tolliver on “Deadwood,” and his Emmy-Award winning performance in the title role of the telefilm “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.”
A native Texan, in 2009 Boothe was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. He began his career after college in residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Company, before branching out into television and films. He’s played many key roles in feature films, including “Guns, Girls & Gambling,” “MacGruber,” Robert Rodriguez’ ”Sin City,” Oliver Stone’s “Nixon,” “Men of Honor,” Tony Richardson’s “Blue Sky,” “Tombstone,” John Milius’ “Red Dawn” and many others.
On television he helmed the series “Phillip Marlowe: Private Eye” and starred in numerous miniseries, among them “Atilla,” “Joan of Arc,” “True Women” and “Family of Spies.” He’s also lent his voice to the animated hits “Ben 10,” “Justice League” and “The Looney Tunes Show.”
A father of two and married since 1969, Boothe currently lives in Nashville.