Aileen Quinn

Aileen Quinn (born June 28, 1971) is an American actress, singer and dancer. She is best known for her role as Annie Bennett Warbucks in Annie.

Aileen Quinn
Quinn in Woodridge, Illinois in December 2019
Background information
Birth nameAileen Marie Quinn
Born (1971-06-28) June 28, 1971
Yardley, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation(s)Actress, singer, dancer
InstrumentsVocals, tambourine
Years active1981–present

Early life, family and education

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

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.[1] Quinn begged to audition for a part in a local community theater production of Annie Get Your Gun and won a role.[1] She performed in additional community productions.

She attended Grey Nun Academy during elementary school[3] and graduated from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, New Jersey.

Taking a break between her child acting career, at the age of 18, Quinn decided to focus on school. She graduated from Drew University in 1994.[4] 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,[3] Northern Bathroom Tissue. At age 8,[3] she landed the role in New York City of the "swing orphan"[1] (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,[2] 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.[5]

Aileen Quinn was under contract for several years with Columbia Pictures to make other Annie sequels which never materialized.[6] 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 double 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). Her 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 is an adjunct theater professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey.[7] Some of the school's campus was the site of the film version of Annie.[4][8] She was awarded an honorary degree from Monmouth University in 2009.[9] 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.[4][10] Quinn met her bandmates after a neighbor heard her singing in her apartment, then introduced Quinn to the other musicians.[11] They released their first album, Spin Me, in 2015.[12] They released their second album, Lightning and Thunder, in November 2019.[13]

Personal life

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. As of 2012, she had no children and was an aunt and godmother.[4]


1981PaternityLittle Girl at ParkUncredited
1982AnnieAnnie Bennett WarbucksGolden 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
1982The Wizard of OzDorothy GaleVoice role
1982Lights, Camera, Annie!Herself
1982Andy Williams Early New England ChristmasHerselfTV special
1983The CharmkinsBrown-Eyed SusanTV special
1986The Frog PrincePrincess Zora
1986The Great Space CoasterHerself
2010Multiple SarcasmsSchool secretary
2014The Comeback KidsDr. Quinn2 episodes
2020Will & GraceRamona DelaneyEpisode: "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. Quindlen, Anna (May 16, 1982). "The Film Annie Speaks Her Mind". The New York Times. p. B1. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  2. Rein, Richard K. (July 12, 1982). "Freckles and Charm". People.
  3. Doty, Meriah (October 4, 2012). "'Annie' 30th anniversary Blu-ray: Star Aileen Quinn recalls little-known facts". Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  4. Labrecque, Jeff (October 2, 2012). "'Annie' Blu-ray: Catching up with Aileen Quinn". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  5. "Pennsylvania girl will play America's favorite orphan". UPI. January 14, 1981.
  6. "32 years later, Annie still singing 'Annie' songs". New York Post. July 16, 2014.
  7. "Aileen Quinn biography, photos, news, movies". Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  8. "When 'Daddy' Warbucks moved into Monmouth U". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  9. BranchNJ07764732.571.3400, Monmouth University 400 Cedar AvenueWest Long. "News". Monmouth University. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  10. "'Annie' star Aileen Quinn on new band The Leapin' Lizards". September 13, 2016.
  11. "Aileen Quinn and The Leapin' Lizards bring rockabilly to Carson".
  12. "Red Aunts Say Goodbye to Bassist Debi Martini".
  13. "Aileen Quinn & The Leapin' Lizards and a serious giant Jenga match – a photo essay".
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