Bethany Joy Lenz (formerly Galeotti; born April 2, 1981), also credited as Joie Lenz, is an American actress, director, producer, and musician, best known for her portrayal of Haley James on the CW television drama One Tree Hill. Bethany’s on-screen chemistry with fellow-star James Lafferty who played Nathan Scott was well appreciated. Lenz’s character Haley is know for her loyalty and her close bonds with best friend, Lucas Scott, his ex-girlfriend Brooke Davis Baker and his wife, Peyton Sawyer Scott.
She has also starred as Michelle Bauer Santos on the CBS Daytime soap opera Guiding Light and is recognized for her music as a solo artist and as a member of the band Everly.
Bethany Joy Lenz was born on April 2, 1981, in Hollywood, Florida. Lenz is the only child of Robert George Lenz, a history teacher and therapist, and Catharine Malcolm Holt Shepard, a personnel manager and entrepreneur. She is of Australian (from her paternal side), Scottish, German and Irish descent. She actually has lineage that traces all the way back to the Scottish King Malcolm. Her grandfather, George Lenz, was a regular on the Broadway stage in the 1950s starring in musicals Wish You Were Here, South Pacific, and many others. Following in her grandfather’s footsteps, Lenz began singing at the early age of three at The Carpenter’s Church in Lakeland, Florida. At the age of seven, Joy and her family moved to Arlington, Texas where she attended Pope Elementary. She was also enrolled in The Creative Arts Theater and School where she took dance, tap, jazz, acting and theater classes. At seven years old, Lenz landed her first stage role playing a Munchkin in a local production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Three years later, Lenz played Scout Finch in the production of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Irving Community Theater in Texas.
While on a trip to Los Angeles, Lenz landed her first professional job in a commercial for the teen drama series, Swans Crossing. Lenz eventually went on to appear in additional commercials for Eggo Waffles, Dr Pepper and others. Nevertheless, Lenz continued to find work steadily as an actress, and by her sophomore year in high school she landed the role of Linda Halleck in Stephen King’s Thinner. She continued the momentum by appearing in various pilots, commercials and films and performing regional theatre until she was eventually cast as a series regular on Guiding Light.
At the age of seventeen, Lenz earned a nine episode gig as the teenage clone of Reva Shayne on the CBS Daytime soap opera Guiding Light. Her stint earned her such favorable reviews from viewers, critics and Guiding Light executives alike that Lenz was eventually recast as Michelle Bauer Santos upon Rebecca Budig’s exit – an unusual move that was “unheard of” in the industry according to CBS producer, Mickey Dwyer-Dobbin. In 1999 while working on the demanding daytime serial Guiding Light, she graduated from Eastern Christian High School in New Jersey and landed the role of Rose Cronin in Mary and Rhoda, a made-for-television movie that reunited Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper as Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern. At the time Lenz juggled a heavy storyline, a television movie portraying Mary Tyler Moore’s daughter, a one-year run of a New York cabaret called Foxy Ladies Love/Boogie 70’s Explosion, and the lead role in an independent film. Lenz also filmed two pilots: one playing the daughter of Paul Sorvino, and the other as the lead in the WB’s 1972.
At the end of her two-year contract with The Guiding Light she seized the opportunity to leave her role as Michelle Bauer Santos and moved from New York City to Los Angeles to gain exposure in different avenues. Out west, Lenz was directed by Garry Marshall in “Happy Days: the Musical” (playing Pinky Tuscadero; musical directors Carole King and Paul Williams) and by Arthur Allan Seidleman in a staged reading of a musical version of The Outsiders. During this time Lenz also landed guest appearances on Off Centre, Charmed, Felicity, Maybe It’s Me and The Guardian. In 2002 Lenz joined the cast of Bring It On Again as the co-captain of the varsity squad, Marni Potts.
At the age of twenty two Lenz was cast in the WB’s television series One Tree Hill. Lenz originally auditioned for the roles of Brooke Davis and Haley James but ultimately landed the role of Haley James, the quintessential girl-next-door who is best friends with Lucas Scott, portrayed by Chad Michael Murray, and wife of Nathan Scott, portrayed by James Lafferty. During her time on One Tree Hill, Lenz was also offered the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast when it was still in production on Broadway, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with the show. Furthermore, Lenz appeared in an episode of Life Unexpected alongside Kate Voegele as part of a crossover-event between One Tree Hill and Life Unexpected.
In the sixth season, Lenz made her directorial debut and stepped behind the camera to call all the shots. Lenz initially approached producer Greg Prange in 2007 with the idea of directing but was not given the opportunity to direct until two years after her request. Over the course of season six Lenz shadowed several directors, watched them prep and went on [location] scouts. Since her directorial debut, Lenz directed two additional episodes.
After eight seasons on air, One Tree Hill came back for thirteen episodes in its ninth and final season. On November 17, 2011, Lenz filmed her last scenes as the character Haley James Scott on One Tree Hill.
In September 2012 it was confirmed that Lenz would be guest starring on an episode of Men at Work. She played the role of ‘Meg’ a single mother that the character, Tyler, begins to date. The episode aired on May 9, 2013. It is entitled “Tyler the Pioneer”.
In March 2013 it was confirmed that Lenz would have a recurring role on Dexter. Her character ‘Cassie’ is described as “an attractive former finance executive looking for a quieter life.” Lenz’s character is scheduled to appear in the fourth episode of the final season.
In late September 2013, Lenz landed the role Lauren Byrd on a new E! pilot “Songbyrd”. The show centers around Lauren, a genius songwriter who employs a small staff, including her sister, to enable and manage her eccentric, yet wildly successful process. Production for Songbyrd began in late January 2014 in New York City.
Since Lenz’s exit from Guiding Light she has completed a demo of original music. Trained by the director of The Brooklyn College of Opera, Lenz plays the guitar and piano, and writes her own music. Her first album, entitled Preincarnate, was released in October 2002 . Lenz continued to release new music, often through her character Haley James Scott. In 2005, after recording “When the Stars Go Blue” with costar Tyler Hilton, the duo joined The Wreckers (Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp), and Gavin DeGraw for a 25-city North American One Tree Hill Tour that started in Vancouver. Lenz and Hilton scored the #89 spot on February 2005’s Billboard Pop 100 chart with the duet “When the Stars Go Blue.” While on tour, Lenz debuted her second independent record entitled, Come On Home. Despite her hectic schedule during the tour, Lenz also filmed her first music video for “Songs in My Pockets” at Coney Island Beach and Astroland in Brooklyn, New York. In 2006, alongside ex-American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, Lenz co-wrote and recorded “Halo” which was released in the second volume of the One Tree Hill Soundtrack. During this time, Lenz inked a deal with Sony Epic Records and worked with her producer, Ron Aniello (Lifehouse, Guster, Barenaked Ladies) to record original material. However, in 2006 after changes within the company, Lenz split from the label. Despite the musical setback, that same year Lenz traveled to Los Angeles to write and record several songs for the soundtrack for Ten Inch Hero. Lenz’s split with Epic allowed her to open new doors in her music career and since then she has decided to sign under the independent record label Hillasterion. In 2008, Lenz took her music to new grounds and formed the band Everly with her lifelong friend, Amber Sweeney. Immediately after the duo was formed, Everly, musical act Angels & Airwaves, and Kate Voegele teamed up with the USO for a live concert event for military personnel. The USO concert was filmed and formed the basis for a One Tree Hill episode, titled Even Fairy Tale Characters Would Be Jealous.
In November 2012, Lenz joined fellow One Tree Hill co-star Michael Grubbs of the band Wakey!Wakey! and other singers at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City for the BTF Concerts: Rock The Schools 2012 concert. She performed the songs “Please”, “Flying Machine”, “Leaving Town Alive”, “Wicked Calamity Jane”, “Quicksand”, “Nothing New”, “One Man to Love”, “Simple Words” and two duets with Grubbs entitled “I Know” and “Irresistible”. At the concert, she sold a 9-song CD entitled “Then Slowly Grows”.
During an interview with Shine On Media in May 2013, Lenz stated she was meeting with long-time friend and music producer Jeff Cohen to record an album. On May 22, 2013, Lenz tweeted a picture of the recording studio. The caption read, “Recording new music in #Nashville with old pal Jeff Cohen! #LeavingTownAlive #CrazyGirls”
On June 4, 2013, Lenz tweeted “Sneak peek at my new album…” and linked a video on WhoSay to a new song “Please”.
During an interview with Mary Ann Albright in late July 2013, Lenz talked about her plans for her musical career. She plans on releasing her first full length studio album in the near future with the title Your Woman as an independent release on her blog. Lenz went on to say, “The best way I can describe this album is Patsy Cline meets Paula Cole meets Sam Cooke.”
After six months of writing a libretto of The Notebook Musical based on the New York Times best selling novel, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, Lenz brought the idea to her producer Ron Aniello. Shortly after they formed Galeotti & Aniello Productions. and presented their first-ever Live Theatrical Workshop in October 2009.
The workshop was a preliminary step toward an eventual opening in New York and consisted of basic sets, costumes and choreography. All actors were expected to be off-book for performance. The workshop was intended to assist the creative team in visualizing, editing and critiquing the play as well as to garner Producer interest and investors. Lenz has until now kept facts about the musical under wraps; however, in November 2010 in response to Twitter followers successfully raising more than $2000 in one day for the charity Love146, Lenz released the song “Troublesome Tongue”. The song features Noah’s father and his friends explaining Noah’s childhood stutter to new love Allie (Allie is played by Lenz in the recording).
When she was not filming One Tree Hill in Wilmington, North Carolina, Lenz lived in Battle Ground, Washington with her husband at the time, Michael Galeotti.
In February 2011, Lenz announced the arrival of their daughter, Maria Rose Galeotti, and a year later made the unexpected announcement that she would be divorcing her husband. Lenz released the following statement, “you’ll all be wondering soon why everyone is calling me “Bethany Joy Lenz” again. I’m sorry to say that Michael and I have decided to divorce. We remain friendly and dedicated to raising our beautiful girl in love and we appreciate your prayers and support during this difficult time.” Due to the divorce, Lenz now resides in Los Angeles with her daughter.
In December 2012, Lenz and her daughter, Maria were photographed shopping. With them was fellow actor and close friend, Wes Ramsey. Speculations began to surface whether the two were an item. On March 10, 2013, the pair was seen arriving and leaving the Lakers Youth Foundation event holding hands, confirming them as a couple.
Introduced to Love146 by former bandmate, Amber Sweeney (Everly), Lenz has been actively supporting the international human rights organization largely through social media outlets. On June 12, 2011, through her official Twitter account, Lenz revealed details of her newest project; an online boutique called “Lark”. The boutique sells apparel with original designs by Lenz and all proceeds benefit Love146, To Write Love On Her Arms, as well as Reading is Fundamental.