Kay Panabaker was just 13 when she landed her dream role on the family-friendly TV show summerland, but her rapid rise to Disney superstardom came to a rather abrupt end. The former child actor later opened up about what prompted her to quit acting.
Kay Panabaker was on the Disney road to success
Kay Panabaker was on a seemingly sure path to stardom. As her IMDb filmography shows, she was just a tween when she landed guest roles on shows like HE, Angel, and 7th heaven. Her big break was definitely being cast as Nikki Westerly summerlanda WB family series that followed three average American children after the tragic and sudden death of their parents.
Panabaker played one of those three kids, giving her plenty of room to flex her acting muscles over nearly 30 episodes. Remarkably, the show also offered then-rising Zac Efron one of his very first roles — and the young actors shared an on-screen kiss.
To summerlandPanabaker broke into the world of Disney, a path to stardom for many young actors. She starred in Disney’s 2006 film read this and cry and had a guest appearance on the popular Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Other guest roles and TV film appearances characterize Panabaker’s filmography in a steady constellation at the end of the 2000s. After a guest appearance on Grey’s anatomy in 2008 and recurring parts in No ordinary family and CSIPanabaker appeared poised for a long-lasting career.
But around 2011, her credit ends abruptly. What happened?
Panabaker certainly wouldn’t be the first promising young Disney former star whose career took an unexpected turn. Even those who have found great success after their stint at the mega-conglomerate have pointed to issues with the industry.
For Panabaker, however, the decision to step away from acting was intentional and purposeful. In an interview with Naperville Magazine, Panabaker explained why she left acting behind. “I didn’t have that love, that passion anymore,” she revealed. “With summerland, I enjoyed going to work. I guess my dissatisfaction started a few years later on another TV show I was on. In contrast, it was not a good experience.”
She tells the “Kicker” a specific incident when a producer commented on her weight. She explained: “A producer told me that they were going to get me a love interest and that’s why I needed to lose weight; I was barely a hundred pounds. I don’t think that’s a good reason for a character to lose weight. It’s not like my character would catch a life-threatening illness or anything. I was 21 when the show ended.”
As the realities of the industry were exposed and her passion waned, Panabaker decided to step down.
What has Kay Panabaker been up to since she quit acting?
Panabaker wasted no time in pursuing a new career path. Already with a history degree from UCLA, she returned to school at Santa Fe College to study animals.
Interestingly, Panabaker then left the back to Disney – in a completely different way. After an internship at Disney World, she was hired as an Associate Animal Keeper. Speaking of her new career path, Panabaker says, “I’m not making a fraction of what I used to be, and yet I couldn’t be happier.”
While Kay Panabaker moved away from the bright lights of Hollywood, her older sister – with whom she shares some credits like the Disney Channel Original Movie read this and cry – is still in the spotlight. These days, many know Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow/Frost on the CW’s Arrowverse.
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https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/ex-disney-star-kay-panabaker-quit-acting-after-producer-told-lose-weight-saying-barely-100-lbs.html/ Ex-Disney star Kay Panabaker quit acting after a producer told her to “lose weight” and said she was “barely 100 pounds”.