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Abigail Kathleen Breslin (born April 14, 1996) is an American teen actress. The fourth youngest actress ever to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award , Breslin is best known for portraying Bo Hess in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, Olive Hoover in the film Little Miss Sunshine, Anna Fitzgerald in My Sister's Keeper, and most recently, Little Rock in Zombieland.

Personal life

Breslin was born in New York Citymarker, the daughter of Kim, who manages Abigail's career, and Michael Breslin, a telecommunications expert, computer programmer and consultant. Her maternal grandparents, Catherine and Lynn Blecker, are from New Jerseymarker, and now live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvaniamarker. She has two older brothers, Ryan and Spencer Breslin, who is also an actor. Breslin lives in New Yorkmarker with her family, which her maternal grandparents have described as "very close-knit". She is named after First Lady of the United States Abigail Adams and collects American Girl dolls, stuffed animals, Webkinz, and Hot wheels car models.


Prior to her star-making turn in Little Miss Sunshine, Breslin appeared in the films Signs (2002), Raising Helen (in which Breslin and her brother Spencer played siblings), The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (which Spencer also appeared in), Keane, Chestnut: Hero of Central Park, and The Family Plan. In 2004 she made a guest appearance on the television show NCIS, playing the role of a Navy Captain's blind daughter. In 2006, she starred in the comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine, playing a beauty pageant contestant, the youngest in a dysfunctional family on a road trip. Her co-stars, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, both mentioned that they were "astounded by her seriousness of purpose during shooting". For her performance, Breslin received nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (on January 23, 2007). At the time of her nomination and at the age of ten years old, Breslin became the fourth youngest actress to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The three actresses younger than Breslin to receive the nomination were Tatum O'Neal, Mary Badham, and Quinn Cummings. Breslin's co-star, Alan Arkin, did not want her to win the award, specifying that he thought that she has "had enough attention" and "needs to have a childhood".

Although Breslin did not win the Oscar, she co-presented with Jaden Smith at the 79th Academy Awards on February 25, 2007. Breslin was part of the Disney Year of a Million Dreams celebration. Annie Leibovitz photographed her as Fira from Disney Fairies with Julie Andrews as the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. On October 27, 2007, Breslin made her stage debut in the play Right You Are (If You Think You Are) in New York City at the Guggenheim Museum starring in an ensemble cast alongside Cate Blanchett, Dianne Wiest, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard. In 2007, Breslin was ranked #8 in Forbes Magazine's list of "Young Hollywood's Top-Earning Stars", having earned $1.5 million in 2006.

Breslin next appeared in the romantic comedies No Reservationsmarker, playing the niece of a chef, and Definitely, Maybe, in which her character is the daughter of a recently divorced father (Ryan Reynolds). In 2008, Breslin starred with Jodie Foster in the film Nim's Island and also headlined Kit Kittredge: An American Girl as the title character.

In 2009, Breslin starred in My Sister's Keeper, where she played Anna Fitzgerald alongside Cameron Diaz, and also starred in Zombieland.

In September 2009, Breslin was spotted filming in Des Moines, IA as the title character in the film Janie Jones. "I can’t say too much about it, but it is a drama,” Breslin said. “It has some funny parts in it, but for the most part it’s drama.” The film is surrounded by a fair amount of secrets, and Breslin is one of the first main roles to be cast.

Beginning in February 2010, she will be making her Broadway theatremarker debut as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker at the Circle in the Square Theatremarker.


Year Film Role Other notes
2002 Signs Bo Hess
2004 Raising Helen Sarah Davis
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Parade Girl Carolina
Keane Kira Bedik
Chestnut: Hero of Central Park Ray Television
NCIS Sandy Watson Television
2005 Family Plan Nicole television movie
2006 Little Miss Sunshine Olive Hoover Oscar nomination
Imaginary Friend Hally
The Ultimate Gift Emily Rose
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Trish
Air Buddies Rosebud voice
2007 No Reservationsmarker Zoe Armstrong Supporting Role
2008 Definitely, Maybe Maya Hayes
Nim's Island Nim Rusoe main role
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Kit Kittredge main role
2009 My Sister's Keeper Andromeda "Anna" Fitzgerald
Zombieland Little Rock

TV guest appearances

Awards and nominations

Award Year Category Result Role
Academy Awards 2007 Best Actress in a Supporting Role Olive Hoover in
Little Miss Sunshine
Alliance of Women Journalists (EDA Awards) 2006 Best Breakthrough Performance for a Young Actress
BAFTA Awards 2007 Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2006 Best Supporting Actress
Critics Choice Awards 2007 Best Young Actress
Best Ensemble Cast (Shared with cast)
2008 Best Young Actress Zoe Armstrong in No Reservationsmarker
Empire Awards 2006 Best Female Newcomer Olive Hoover
Gotham Awards 2006 Breakthrough Actor
Iowa Film Critics Awards 2006 Best Supporting Actress
MTV Movie Awards 2007 Best Breakthrough Performance
Online Film Critics Awards 2006 Best Supporting Actress
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards 2006 Youth in Film
Phoenix Film Critics 2006 Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Female
2003 Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Female Bo Hess in Signs
Satellite Awards 2006 Best Actress in a Supporting Role Olive Hoover
Screen Actors Guild 2007 Supporting Actress
Cast in a motion picture (Shared with cast)
St. Louis Film Critics Best Supporting Actress
Teen Choice Awards 2008 Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure Nim Rusoe in Nim's Island
Tokyo International Film Festival 2006 Best Actress Olive Hoover
Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2006 Best Young Actress
Young Artist Award 2003 Best Performance in a Feature Film Young Actress Age Ten or Under Bo Hess
2007 Best Performance in a Feature Film Young Actress Age Ten or Under Olive Hoover
2008 Best Performance in a Feature Film Leading Young Actress Zoe Armstrong
2009 Best Performance in a Feature Film Leading Young Actress Kit Kittredge in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl


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