Aileen Quinn

Aileen Marie Quinn (born June 28, 1971) is an American actress, singer and dancer. She is best known for her role as the title character in the 1982 film Annie.

Aileen Quinn
Quinn in Woodridge, Illinois in December 2019
Quinn in Woodridge, Illinois in December 2019
Background information
Birth nameAileen Marie Quinn
Born (1971-06-28) June 28, 1971 (age 51)
Yardley, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation(s)Actress, singer, dancer
Years active1981–present
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Early lifeEdit

Quinn was born on June 28, 1971, and raised in Yardley, Pennsylvania. The oldest child of Helen Ann Quinn and Andrew Quinn Sr., she is the older sister of Andrew Quinn Jr.[1] She began dance lessons when she was 4 at Knecht Dance Academy in Levittown, Pennsylvania, learning ballet and tap dance.[2]

When she was young, Quinn was introduced to show business by her mother, who was a TV, radio, and stage singer/actress then elementary school teacher. Quinn begged to audition for a part in a local community theater production of Annie Get Your Gun and won a role.[2] She performed in additional community productions.

Raised in Far Hills, New Jersey, she attended Grey Nun Academy during elementary school[3] and attended Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, New Jersey for high school.[4]

Taking a break after her child acting career, at the age of 18, Quinn decided to focus on school. She graduated from Drew University in 1994.[5] She was a language major with a minor in political science, and is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, a Spanish honor society.


After obtaining an agent, Quinn won a small role in the film Paternity and commercial work in New York City. She began appearing in television commercials including Planters Cheez Balls, Shake ‘n Bake and Northern Bathroom Tissue. At age 8 she landed the role in New York City of the "swing orphan"[2] (understudy to all of the orphans except Molly and Annie) in the Broadway production of Annie.[3]

After eight auditions over the course of a year, and up against over 8,000 other competitors,[1] Quinn received the title role in the 1982 movie Annie, directed by John Huston.[3] Annie earned Quinn two Golden Globe nominations, a win for "Best Actress" from the Youth in Film Awards, and a Razzie for "Worst New Star". Aileen was 9 years old when she was cast as Annie.[6]

Aileen Quinn was under contract for several years with Columbia Pictures to make other Annie sequels which never materialized.[7] During this time, she continued performing in lead roles in regional theater in such shows as The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Bye, Bye Birdie (Kim), Annie (Annie), Shenandoah (Jenny), and A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine (Harpo). She also lent her voice to two animated cartoon specials which aired on national television, The Charmkins and The Wizard of Oz. The Annie film soundtrack album went platinum, and subsequently Quinn released her own album, Bobby's Girl, in 1982. Soon after that release, she starred as Princess Zora in the classic fairy tale The Frog Prince, which was released on videocassette and aired on the Disney Channel several times.

After graduation from college, Quinn once again took to the stage. In 1994, she appeared as Bette in Oliver! at Paper Mill Playhouse. She toured the US for more than five years with three Broadway national tours: Fiddler on the Roof (Chava), Peter Pan (Tootles/Jane) and Saturday Night Fever (Annette). She studied Shakespeare in London, where she appeared in As You Like It and Twelfth Night at LAMDA. Off-Broadway productions include Dreamstuff (Princess), Creature (Elizabeth) and Yiddle With a Fiddle (Yiddle). Regional theater credits up to the present include The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Molly), That Was Then (World Premiere Play-April Gregory), and Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother (her Daughter).

Quinn appeared in a few small roles in independent films between 2006 and 2010, most notably portraying Lily in Annie at Theatre Aspen. She hosted Generation Gap, an interactive sitcom used to teach kids how to resolve conflicts. It was written and directed by filmmaker Edna Harris and aired on PBS in 2004. Quinn played a minor role in the 2009 film Multiple Sarcasms which stars Timothy Hutton and Mira Sorvino.

Quinn was an adjunct theater professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey.[8] Some of the school's campus was the site of the film version of Annie.[5][9] She was awarded an honorary degree from Monmouth University in 2009.[10] Quinn was also a Spanish, drama, and dance teacher at Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City, New Jersey.

She has her own band, Aileen Quinn and The Leapin' Lizards.[5][11] Quinn met her bandmates after a neighbor heard her singing in her apartment, then introduced Quinn to the other musicians.[12] They released their first album, Spin Me, in 2015.[13] They released their second album, Lightning and Thunder, in November 2019.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Quinn is fluent in Spanish. She spent six months with a family in Chile as part of an exchange program, and considers it one of her life's most rewarding experiences.[15] As of 2022, she has never been married and has no children, and is an aunt and godmother.[5]


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Paternity Little Girl at Park Uncredited
1982 Annie Annie Bennett Warbucks Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
Young Artist Award for Best Young Motion Picture Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star
1982 The Wizard of Oz Dorothy Gale Voice role
1982 Lights, Camera, Annie! Herself
1982 Andy Williams Early New England Christmas Herself TV special
1983 The Charmkins Brown-Eyed Susan TV special
1986 The Frog Prince Princess Zora
1986 The Great Space Coaster Herself
2007 30 Maggie
2010 Multiple Sarcasms School secretary
2014 The Comeback Kids Dr. Quinn 2 episodes
2020 Will & Grace Ramona Delaney Episode: "Performance Anxiety"



  • Bobby's Girl released November 17, 1982, Columbia Records
  • Spin Me released 2015, Independent Label
  • Lightning and Thunder released 2019, Independent Label


  • Annie Original 1982 Motion Picture Soundtrack released May 1982, Columbia Records


  • Tomorrow released 1982, Columbia Records
  • At Christmas Time released December 20, 2016, Independent Label
  • Auld Lang Syne released December 20, 2016, Independent Label


  1. ^ a b Rein, Richard K. (July 12, 1982). "Freckles and Charm". People.
  2. ^ a b c Quindlen, Anna (May 16, 1982). "The Film Annie Speaks Her Mind". The New York Times. p. B1. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Doty, Meriah (October 4, 2012). "'Annie' 30th anniversary Blu-ray: Star Aileen Quinn recalls little-known facts". Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  4. ^ "Students Get Oak Knoll Honors". Bernardsville News. April 25, 1985. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Aileen Quinn of Far Hills has been named to the first honor roll at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit for having achieved not less than an 'A' in all subjects. Aileen is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Quinn of Far Hills.
  5. ^ a b c d Labrecque, Jeff (October 2, 2012). "Catching Up With...Aileen Quinn, 30 years after 'Annie'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 18, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania girl will play America's favorite orphan". UPI. January 14, 1981.
  7. ^ "32 years later, Annie still singing 'Annie' songs". New York Post. July 16, 2014.
  8. ^ "Aileen Quinn biography, photos, news, movies". Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  9. ^ Larsen, Erik (December 16, 2014). "When 'Daddy' Warbucks moved into Monmouth U". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  10. ^ BranchNJ07764732.571.3400, Monmouth University 400 Cedar AvenueWest Long. "News". Monmouth University. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Valcourt, Keith (September 13, 2016). "'Annie' star Aileen Quinn on new band The Leapin' Lizards".
  12. ^ Klix, Kyler (July 25, 2018). "Aileen Quinn and The Leapin' Lizards bring rockabilly to Carson". Archived from the original on July 26, 2018.
  13. ^ Falling James (March 7, 2019). "Red Aunts Say Goodbye to Bassist Debi Martini". Archived from the original on March 11, 2019.
  14. ^ Bahouth, Brian; Bly, Joe (July 31, 2018). "Aileen Quinn & The Leapin' Lizards and a serious giant Jenga match – a photo essay". Archived from the original on April 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Marrero, Pedro (November 11, 2019). "Little Girl Who Played Annie Is All Grown up and Almost Looks Unrecognizable". AmoMama. Retrieved October 4, 2022.

External linksEdit