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Jennifer Jason Leigh

Alison Pill Biography


Home > Actresses > P > Pill, Alison > Biography


Birth Name: Alison Pill
Born: 11/27/1985
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario, CA


Alison Courtney Pill was born Nov. 27, 1985 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At the mere age of three, Pill's parents enrolled her in private dance and voice lessons, which led her to study at both the National Ballet School and the Toronto Children's Chorus. At age 10 she was approached by a CBC Radio producer to narrate books on tape after hounding her mother for headshots. Pill booked her first job in "The New Ghostwriter Mysteries" (CTW, 1997), and quickly accumulated work in the Mario Puzo crime/drama miniseries, "The Last Don II" (CBS, 1998), and several television movies where she played key roles, including her Young Artist Award-nominated lead as a ballerina in "Degas and the Dancer" (HBO, 1998), as Annabeth Gish's daughter in the drama "God's New Plan" (CBS, 1999), and opposite Naomi Judd in "A Holiday Romance" (CBS, 1999). Pill was again nominated for a Young Artist Award for the family 'clone' fantasy "The Other Me" (Disney, 2000), was Farrah Fawcett's willful daughter in the family drama "Baby" (TNT, 2000), and played a young Lorna Luft in the critically acclaimed biopic, "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (ABC, 2001).

After she stood by her mother (Sissy Spacek) in "Midwives" (Lifetime, 2001), and then rebelled against her dying mother in her Young Artist Award-nominated performance "What Girl's Learn" (Showtime, 2001), Pill headed to New York City after landing a role as Katie Holmes' younger, tightly-strung sister in Peter Hedges' critically praised "Pieces of April" (2003). She next starred as the plain-Jane foil to Lindsay Lohan's big screen antics in the 'tween hit, "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" (2004), followed by a role as the Amish girl accused of murdering her newborn in the television movie, "Plain Truth" (Lifetime, 2004). On stage, Pill shared the 2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble for her work in Neil LaBute's "The Distance from Here." Back on TV, she challenged her morally flawed priest father (Aidan Quinn) in the drama series that was hotly disputed by religious conservatives, "The Book of Daniel" (NBC, 2006). She was also Tony Award-nominated that same year for her Broadway debut as a teen terrorist in Martin McDonagh's black comedy "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." Reunited with Peter Hedges again, she starred in the box office disappointment "Dan in Real Life" (2007) in which she played the eldest, tolerant daughter to Steve Carell, before returning to the stage where she was again nominated for Outer Critics Circle and Drama League awards in 2007 for her Lolita-style affair opposite Jeff Daniels in "Blackbird," as well as highly praised for her tour-de-force alongside F. Murray Abraham in "Mauritius."

In the Oscar-winning feature drama "Milk" (2008), Pill portrayed Harvey Milk's campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg, who infiltrates the boy's club as the lone lesbian and successfully orchestrates Milk's election. Pill shared in the kudos with her castmates as a 2009 SAG nominee for Outstanding Cast, and also was one of the winners of the Critic's Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble by the Broadcast Film Critics. Pill went on to wow viewers of the gritty HBO series "In Treatment" (2008- ), the heavily awarded program about a psychotherapist and his patients, in which the actress played a student diagnosed with lymphoma, who views her illness as a disgraceful secret. Next on the docket, Pill portrayed Maud, the daughter and heir of King Henry I of England - as well as the first, albeit brief, female ruler of the kingdom - in the miniseries about the building of a cathedral in Kingsbridge, England, "The Pillars of the Earth" (Starz, 2010). Making a decidedly 180 degree turn into hip comedy territory, Pill starred alongside actors Michael Cera and Anna Kendrick in the comedy-fantasy-adventure "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" (2010). She also found time to return to Broadway in 2010, assuming the role of Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker," opposite Abigail Breslin as Helen Keller.