Bethany Joy Lenz started her film career when she was just 11, appearing as Shelly Barnes in the 1992 release ‘Psalty’s Salvation Celebration’. She was then seen in the 1996 horror movie ‘Thinner’ as Linda Halleck.
Her early days in the show business were marked by a gradual growth in her craft. After starring in a sting of advertisements as a teenager, she started getting meaty roles in television and substantial parts in plays.
In 1998, Lenz made her debut on television with ‘Guiding Light’, the longest running American soap opera, in which she played the role of Reva Shayne. She later began playing Michelle Bauer Santos on the show. Interestingly, she was initially cast in a guest role, but was made a series regular within her first year on the show.
During her stint with ‘Guiding Light’, Lenz juggled various other roles, including making an appearance in a TV movie and appearing in a New York Cabaret.
In 2001, she moved to Los Angeles after realizing that her future lied in Hollywood. Soon after that, she landed an array of guest appearances in many popular TV sitcoms, which gave her portfolio a much-needed burnish.
From 2001 to 2003, she appeared in guest roles on many TV series, including ‘Charmed’, ‘Felicity’, ‘Off Centre’, ‘The Legacy’, ‘Maybe It’s Me’, and ‘The Guardian’. She was also seen in the comedy TV film ‘Mary and Rhoda’ as Rose Cronin.
Lenz received her big break in 2003 when she was cast as Haley James Scott in the American drama series ‘One Tree Hill’. She starred alongside Hilarie Burton, Paul Johansson, Chad Michael Murray, and James Lafferty, and was among the lead cast of the series.
‘One Tree Hill’ was among the most popular shows on TV in the last decade. The drama about two half-brothers, which appealed to both teenagers and adults alike, vaulted Lenz to overnight stardom.
During the nine years of the show's airing, Lenz enjoyed immense popularity and became one of the most recognized faces on US television thanks to her portrayal of Haley James Scott on the show.
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She also donned the director’s hat for three episodes of ‘One Tree Hill’ after diligently studying various technicalities involved in filmmaking. Her abilities as a director didn’t go unnoticed and the episodes were positively received.
In 2009, after finding fame and success on TV, Lenz shifted her focus to theatre. She adapted the novel ‘The Notebook’ into a musical titled ‘The Notebook Musical’. She acted as its producer and writer. The musical became popular on Broadway and continues to find stages even today.
She has since made multiple guest appearances and played recurring roles in shows, such as ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, ‘Dexter’, ‘Men at Work’, ‘Sock Monkee Therapy’, and ‘Songbyrd’.
In 2016, she played the role of Stephanie Malick in the popular series ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ for two episodes. Later, she appeared in three episodes of ‘American Gothic’ as April. In the following year, she was seen in the thriller movie ‘Extortion’ as Julie Riley.
In 2017, she played the recurring character of Morgan in the science-fiction drama ‘Colony’, appearing in eight episodes of the show. She also directed an episode of ‘Nasty Habits’ in the same year.
Her appearances in 2018 include a guest role in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and the TV films ‘Poinsettias for Christmas’, ‘Royal Matchmaker’, and ‘Bottled with Love’. Towards the end of the year, she was billed as the lead cast in the upcoming political drama series ‘Pearson’, which is a spinoff of ‘Suits’. The show is due for release in 2019.
Apart from being a successful actress, Lenz is also an accomplished singer and songwriter, with a few Billboard hits to her name. Her albums ‘Preincarnate’ (2002) and ‘The Starter Kit’ (2006) were well received by music fans. Her other albums include ‘Then Slowly Grows’ (2012) and ‘Your Woman’ (2013).
Apart from studio albums, Lenz has released several EPs and singles as well. Her most notable singles include ‘Feel This’ (2008), ‘Please’ (2013), and ‘How About You’ (2017). She has also collaborated with other singers, such as Andrew Walker and Tyler Hilton.
Family & Personal Life
Bethany Joy Lenz was previously married to Michael Galeotti, a musician. They tied the knot on December 31, 2005 and became parents to a daughter named Maria Rose Galeotti in February 2011. After staying together for six years, they divorced in March 2012. They continue to remain friends with each other. Lenz currently lives with her daughter in Los Angeles.
Lenz supports various causes, and passionately speaks about human rights on her social media channels. She is also involved in raising funds for Love146, a not-for-profit organization that aims to end child-trafficking and exploitation. Additionally, she is associated with anti-depression and anti-addiction non-profit ‘To Write Love On Her Arms’ as well as children’s literacy initiative, ‘Reading Is Fundamental’.