Actor Jansen Panettiere, Brother Of Hayden Panettiere, Is Dead At 28

Tragedy has hit the family of Nashville star Hayden Panettiere, as her brother Jansen Panettiere has reportedly died at age 28. The actor, who began his career at a young age, lent his voice to projects like Blue’s Clues and Ice Age: The Meltdown and appeared in multiple other movies and shows, including some with his older sister.

Jansen Panettiere died this weekend in New York, TMZ reports. Law enforcement was apparently called to a resident around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, February 19. Panettiere’s cause of death was reportedly unclear, but no foul play was suspected.

The younger brother of Heroes star Hayden Panettiere started acting at 8 years old, appearing on an episode of Even Stevens. He made a couple of other guest appearances on shows before appearing in the Disney Channel Original Movie Tiger Cruise, which starred his sister alongside Bill Pullman. He joined forces with Hayden again in 2005’s Racing Stripes, where Jansen joined a voice cast of all-star names that included Frankie Muniz, Mandy Moore, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jeff Foxworthy, Joshua Jackson, Steve Harvey, David Spade, Snoop Dogg, Dustin Hoffman and Whoopi Goldberg.

His career wasn’t just filled with projects that included his sister, though. Jansen Panettiere voiced Periwinkle on Season 6 of Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues, in addition to a number of other voice acting roles. He voiced Robby Hobbie in several different Holly Hobbie animated specials, Shovelmouth Boy in Ice Age: The Meltdown and even starred as Truman X in Nickelodeon’s animated series The X’s in 2005. 

Jansen Panettiere’s acting career continued into his teens, where he appeared in the 2009 film The Perfect Game, a film based on the real events of the 1957 Little League World Series, in which the underdogs from Monterrey, Mexico, became the first non-United States team to win the LLWS.

In 2015 he starred in The Martial Arts Kid before appearing in 2019’s How High 2 and one episode in Season 9 of The Walking Dead. His last role was in the 2022 holiday movie Love and Love Not, and he reportedly had multiple projects in the works at the time of his death.

Jansen Panettiere's sister Hayden got an early start in her acting career as well, and she was also known for her voice acting, with one of her first roles being Dot in A Bug's Life. Hayden Panettiere would get her big break in 2006, with a starring role in the NBC superhero drama Heroes. She's most recently been featured in the revived Scream franchise. As of this writing, the actress had not commented publicly on her little brother's death. 

It is tragic to lose Jansen Panettiere at such a young age. We at CinemaBlend send our condolences to the actor’s friends and family during this difficult time.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.