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.
Quinn was born in Yardley, Pennsylvania, on June 28, 1971. She graduated from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, New Jersey. Quinn was introduced to show business by her mother, who was a TV, radio, and stage singer/actress when Quinn was young. Quinn begged to audition for a part in a local community theater production of Annie Get Your Gun and won a part. She then did a few additional shows in community theater, which then led to getting an agent, a small role in the film Paternity, and commercial work in NYC. She began to appear in a string of television commercials including "Northern Bathroom Tissue". While in NYC, she auditioned, and landed the role of the "swinging orphan" (understudy to all of the orphans except Molly and Annie) in the Broadway production of Annie. After almost a year of a grueling audition process, and up against over 8,000 other competitors, Quinn received the title role in the 1982 movie Annie directed by John Huston. 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. Aileen is the oldest child of Helenann Quinn and Andrew Quinn Sr. She is the older sister of Andrew Quinn Jr. Aileen Quinn began dance lessons when she was 4 at Knecht Ballet Academy. She studied ballet and tap.
Aileen Quinn was under contract for several years with Columbia Pictures to make other Annie sequels which never materialized. During her contract with Columbia Pictures Quinn continued to perform 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 TV, The Charmkins and The Wizard of Oz. In addition to her Annie film album, which went double platinum, Quinn released her debut album titled Bobby's Girl in 1982. Soon after, Quinn 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.
At the age of 18, Quinn decided to take some time off from acting and focus on school. She graduated from Drew University in 1994. She was a language major with a minor in political science, and is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, a Spanish honor society, as she 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.
After graduation from college, Quinn once again took to the stage. In 1994, she appeared as "Bette" in Oliver at Paper Mill Playhouse. She then toured the United States for over five years with three Broadway national tours: Fiddler on the Roof (Chava), Peter Pan (Tootles/Jane) and Saturday Night Fever (Annette). Her quest to study Shakespeare led her to 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.
Quinn also 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, starring Timothy Hutton and Mira Sorvino. Quinn is an adjunct theater professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. She was awarded an honorary degree from Monmouth University in 2009.
Quinn was also a Spanish, drama, and dance teacher at Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City, New Jersey. Quinn now has her own band called Aileen Quinn and The Leapin' Lizards. Quinn met her bandmates through her neighbor after she was heard singing in her apartment one day. In 2015 they released their first album, Spin Me. They released their second album, "Lightning and Thunder" in November 2019.