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Abigail Breslin
Abigail Breslin by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Breslin at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
Abigail Kathleen Breslin

(1996-04-14) April 14, 1996 (age 27)
New York City, U.S.
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active 1999–present
Partner(s) Ira Kunyansky
(2017–present; engaged)
Relatives Spencer Breslin (brother)

Abigail Kathleen Breslin (born April 14, 1996) is an American actress and singer. She rose to prominence with the comedy-drama film Little Miss Sunshine (2006), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 10. She went on to establish herself as a mainstream actress with roles in the films No Reservations (2007), Nim's Island (2008), Definitely, Maybe (2008), My Sister's Keeper (2009), Zombieland (2009), Rango (2011), The Call (2013), August: Osage County (2013), Maggie (2015), Freak Show (2017), Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), and Stillwater (2021). Between 2015 and 2016, she had a starring role in the horror-comedy series Scream Queens on Fox, her first regular role in a television series.

Early life

She was born in New York City, the daughter of Kim (née Walsh), a talent manager, and Michael Breslin, a telecommunications expert, computer programmer, and consultant. She has two older brothers, Ryan Breslin (b. 1985) and Spencer Breslin (b. 1992), who are also actors. The Breslin siblings were raised in New York in a "very close-knit" household. Her father was of Jewish heritage.

Breslin is named after Abigail Adams, the first Second Lady of the United States. As of 2013, she was still residing in the same Lower East Side apartment in which she was raised.


Early roles

Breslin's career began at the age of three when she appeared in a Toys "R" Us commercial. Her first acting role was in Signs (2002), directed by M. Night Shyamalan, where she played Bo Hess, the daughter of the main character, Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). Signs garnered mostly positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing $408 million worldwide. Breslin's performance in the film was praised by critics. David Ansen of Newsweek wrote that she and co-star Rory Culkin gave "terrifically natural, nuanced performances". In 2004, she appeared in Raising Helen, in which she and her brother Spencer played siblings, but the film fared poorly.

Breslin had a small role in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. In the independent film Keane, she played Kira Bedik, a young girl who reminds the mentally disturbed protagonist William Keane (Damian Lewis) of his missing, abducted daughter. Keane had a limited theatrical release and grossed only $394,390 worldwide but it received positive reviews and Breslin's performance was praised by critics. Meghan Keane of The New York Sun wrote that "the scenes between Mr. Lewis and the charmingly fragile Kira, winningly played by Ms. Breslin, bring a captivating humanity to the film".


Abigail Breslin
Breslin in January 2007

Breslin's breakthrough role was in the 2006 comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine, where she played Olive Hoover, a beauty pageant contestant, the youngest in a dysfunctional family on a road trip. She was cast at the age of six, years before filming was started. Her co-stars, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, both stated that they were "astounded by her seriousness of purpose during shooting." Little Miss Sunshine was a critical and commercial success, grossing $100 million worldwide. Her performance was highly praised; Claudia Puig of USA Today wrote that, "If Olive had been played by any other little girl, she would not have affected us as mightily as [she] did." She received nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the fourth youngest actress to be nominated in that category. Although Jennifer Hudson won the Oscar, Breslin co-presented with actor 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 Dame 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, including Cate Blanchett, Dianne Wiest, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard. In 2007, Breslin was ranked No. 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 2007 romantic comedy No Reservations, playing the niece of master chef Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The film garnered mostly negative reviews but was successful at the box office, grossing $92 million worldwide. Roger Ebert wrote that Breslin "has the stuff to emerge as a three-dimensional kid, if she weren't employed so resolutely as a pawn." In 2007, she also starred in Definitely, Maybe, as the daughter of a recently divorced father (played by Ryan Reynolds); the film garnered generally favorable reviews, with Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer writing that Breslin is "alarmingly cute – but she backs the cuteness up with serious acting instinct."

In 2008, Breslin starred with Jodie Foster in the film Nim's Island as Nim Rusoe, a young girl who lives on a remote tropical island. Nim's Island received mixed reviews but was successful financially, grossing $100 million worldwide. In 2008, she appeared in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl as the title role. The film was based on the American Girl line of dolls, books, and accessories of which Breslin is a fan. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl garnered favorable reviews and grossed $17 million at the box office. Breslin's performance in the film was praised by critics; Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote that she "carries the event-stuffed story with unflagging grace."

In 2009, Breslin appeared in My Sister's Keeper, where she played the role of Anna Fitzgerald, a young girl who was conceived to be a donor for her sister, Kate, who suffers from leukemia. Elle and Dakota Fanning were slated to play the roles of Anna and Kate respectively; however, Dakota refused to shave her head for the role, so she and Elle were replaced by Sofia Vassilieva and Breslin. My Sister's Keeper received mixed reviews but was a financial success, grossing $95 million worldwide. James Berardinelli wrote that Breslin and Vassilieva "display a natural bond one might expect from sisters, and there's no hint of artifice or overacting in either performance." Also in 2009, Breslin appeared in the horror comedy Zombieland as Little Rock. Director Ruben Fleischer said that "the dream was always to get Abigail Breslin" for the role. The film received positive reviews and was successful at the box office, grossing $102 million worldwide.


With previews beginning in February 2010, she made her Broadway debut as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Breslin has said that she was honored to play Keller, who is one of her "biggest heroes". The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, an advocacy group for blind and deaf actors, criticized the play's producers for not casting a deaf or blind actor in the role. Lead producer David Richenthal defended the decision, saying that he needed a well-known actress: "It's simply naïve to think that in this day and age, you'll be able to sell tickets to a play revival solely on the potential of the production to be a great show or on the potential for an unknown actress to give a breakthrough performance." Vision-impaired actress Kyra Siegel was cast as Breslin's understudy. Breslin's performance was praised by critics; Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that she "well portrays Helen's feral rebelliousness in the play's early sections and is deeply touching as her character's bond with her teacher grows." Ticket sales for the play, however, were considered disappointing, and the show closed in April 2010. In September 2009, Breslin filmed in Des Moines, Iowa, playing the title role in the film Janie Jones: a 13-year-old girl who is abandoned by her former-groupie mother (Elisabeth Shue), and informs Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola), a fading rock star, that she is his daughter. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

2013 Toronto Film Festival August 31 (9737568384)
Breslin at the premiere of August: Osage County in 2013

In 2011, Breslin voiced Priscilla, a cactus mouse in the Nickelodeon Movies' animated comedy Rango, and appeared in the romantic comedy New Year's Eve. In 2013, she appeared in the thriller The Call. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Andrew Barker of Variety wrote that Breslin "acquits herself well enough for a problematic role in which she's forced to cry and scream nearly continuously." The Call grossed $68 million worldwide. In 2013, Breslin also appeared in Haunter in the role of Lisa, a ghost who bonds with a future girl living in her house to stop an evil killing spirit with the help of his many victims.

Breslin also starred in the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel, Ender's Game The film received mixed reviews from critics but it was a disappointment at the box office, grossing only $125 million worldwide from a $110 million budget. In July 2012, she was cast in August: Osage County, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, alongside Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Meryl Streep. August: Osage County was released in December 2013, and received mostly positive reviews. In 2014, Breslin appeared in the crime drama Perfect Sisters. In January 2015, she was cast in Fox's horror-comedy series Scream Queens, which aired from September 2015 to December 2016.

In 2019, Breslin reprised her role as Little Rock in the horror comedy sequel film Zombieland: Double Tap.


In 2021, Breslin starred opposite Matt Damon in the crime drama film Stillwater, directed by Tom McCarthy.

Personal life


Her father, Michael, died on February 26, 2021, of complications related to COVID-19.

In February 2022, Breslin revealed on Instagram that she was engaged to her longtime boyfriend Ira Kunyansky.



Year Title Role 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
2006 Air Buddies Rosebud / Alice Voice
Little Miss Sunshine Olive Hoover
The Ultimate Gift Emily Rose
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Trish
2007 No Reservations Zoe Armstrong
2008 Definitely, Maybe Maya Hayes
Nim's Island Nim Rusoe
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Kit Kittredge
2009 My Sister's Keeper Anna Fitzgerald
Zombieland Little Rock
2010 Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey Jeana Voice
Janie Jones Janie Jones
2011 Rango Priscilla Voice
New Year's Eve Hailey Doyle
2012 Zambezia Zoe Voice
2013 Haunter Lisa Johnson
The Call Casey Welson
August: Osage County Jean Fordham
Ender's Game Valentine Wiggin
2014 Wicked Blood Hannah Lee Direct-to-video
Perfect Sisters Sandra Andersen
2015 Maggie Maggie Vogel
Final Girl Veronica
2016 Fear, Inc. Jennifer
2017 Freak Show Lynette
Yamasong: March of the Hollows Nani
2019 Zombieland: Double Tap Little Rock
2021 Stillwater Allison Baker
2022 Slayers Jules Post-production
TBA Miranda's Victim Trish Weir Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2002–2009 Fairfax Brooke Jacoby Main role
2002 What I Like About You Josie Episode: "The Teddy Bear"
Hack Kayla Adams Episode: "Domestic Disturbance"
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Patty Branson Episode: "Birthright"
NCIS Sandy Watson Episode: "See No Evil"
2005 Family Plan Nicole Television film
2006 Ghost Whisperer Sarah Applewhite Episode: "Melinda's First Ghost"
Grey's Anatomy Megan Clover Episode: "Sometimes a Fantasy"
2015–2016 Scream Queens Libby Putney / Chanel #5 Main role
2017 Dirty Dancing Frances "Baby" Houseman Television film

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2019 Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip Little Rock


Soundtrack Album

Title Details
Janie Jones
  • Released October 11, 2011
  • Format: Digital download, CD, streaming
  • Label: Nettwerk Productions / Janie Jones, Llc

Extended plays

Title Details
  • Released: February 14, 2022
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: TBA


Title Year Album
"Fight For Me" 2011 Janie Jones
"Christmas In New York" 2013 Non-album singles
"You Suck" 2014
"Sleepwalking" 2018 rowspan="3" 0TBA
"90s Honey" 2019
"Steve McQueen" 2021
"W I T C H C R A F T" Witchcraft

As featuring artist

Song Year Album
"Well Wishes"
(Cabb featuring Abigail Breslin & Cassidy Reiff)
2011 Non-album singles
"New Year's Eve"
(Cabb featuring Abigail Breslin & Cassidy Reiff)
"Within Me A Lunatic Sings" 2012 Stargroves
"Westfjords" 2014
(Stargroves featuring Abigail Breslin)
2017 Non-album Singles
"We Are Legend"

(Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs Steve Aoki featuring Abigail Breslin)


Other appearances

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Hurricane" 2011 None Janie Jones
"Find Love" Alessandro Nivola
"Just A Game" None
"House of the Rising Sun"
"The Worst Part / Auld Lang Syne" 2014 Cassidy Reiff Perfect Sisters


Year Award Category Work Result
Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Performance by a Youth - Female Signs Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Young Actress in a Feature Film - Ten or Under Nominated
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Best Breakthrough Performance for a Young Actress Little Miss Sunshine Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Dublin Film Critics' Circle Best Supporting Actress Won
Gotham Awards Breakthrough Actor Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Youth in Film Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Performance by a Youth - Female Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
St. Louis Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Tokyo International Film Festival Best Actress Won
Women Film Critics Circle Best Young Actress Won
Academy Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
Critics Choice Movie Awards Best Young Actress Won
Empire Awards Best Female Newcomer Nominated
Gold Derby Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Iowa Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Won
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure Nim's Island Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Leading Young Actress - Feature Film No Reservations Nominated
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle Best Young Actress Won
Young Artist Award Best Leading Young Actress - Feature Film My Sister's Keeper Won
Best Performance in a Voice-over Role, Young Actress Rango Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture August: Osage County Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Award Best Actress Maggie Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Abigail Breslin para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Notable Hispanic authors
Gustavo Gac-Artigas
Lucia M. Gonzalez
Meg Medina
R. J. Palacio
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