Hilarie Ross Burton (born July 1, 1982) is an American actress. A former host of MTV's Total Request Live, she portrayed Peyton Sawyer on The CW drama One Tree Hill for six seasons. Burton gained wider recognition with leading roles in the films Our Very Own, Solstice and The List, and currently stars as Sara Ellis on the USA dramedy White Collar. Hilarie Burton was born on July 1, 1982 in Sterling, Virginia. She graduated from Park View High School in 2000, where she was student council treasurer her sophomore year, vice-president her junior year, and head cheerleader, student council president, and homecoming queen her senior year. Burton attended New York University and Fordham University. Burton's first big break came when working as a VJ for the Total Request Live on MTV. She was supposed to be a guest commentator for one segment but producers decided to offer her a permanent job. Burton went on to present at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards and MTV's Iced Out New Year's Eve. Burton went on to portray herself on The WB Teen Drama television series Dawson's Creek in 2002 which was marked as her Acting debut. In April 2003 Burton was cast in The WB Drama pilot One Tree Hill.