Abigail Kathleen Breslin was born to a computer programmer dad and a stay-at-home mom in New York City. She has two older brothers, Ryan and Spencer. Spencer, who is also an actor, was discovered in a playground when he was three, and paved the way for his little sister’s acting career.
Abigail began making commercials when she was three and was cast as Mel Gibson’s daughter in the movie Signs when she was only five. The younger sister of another child star, Spencer Breslin, she followed her brother’s footsteps and began her acting career at the age of three! She first appeared in an advertisement for toys as a chubby three year old who melted the hearts of the viewers with her cuteness and innocence.
Soon flooded with movie offers, she played the on-screen daughter of Mel Gibson in ‘Signs’, a role for which she received critical praise. She went on achieve greater success when she played a beauty pageant contestant in the movie ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.
Not only was her acting much appreciated, but she was also nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actress for this role—and she was just ten years old at that time! As someone who entered the world of show business while very young, the actress possesses a very high degree of confidence.
In 2002, she made her feature film debut with a role in the Night Shyamalan science fiction thriller, ‘Signs’ where she played Bo Hess, the reel-life daughter of the character played by Mel Gibson. She became popular following the success of ‘Signs’ in which she got noticed for her confidence and acting skills which were commendable for someone so young.
She appeared in the film ‘Raising Helen’ in 2004, but the film did not do well. It was in 2006 when Breslin’s star really took off. She played a major role in the acclaimed movie Little Miss Sunshine. Her final scene in the movie is one of the most memorable in films.
Both Abigail and the movie enjoyed critical success. The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and won for Best Screen Play. Abigail was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The same year she acted in Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause (with her brother Spenser) and had a voice part in Air Buddies.
The budding star flexed her acting chops as a grieving child opposite Catherine Zeta Jones in the feature film No Reservations (2007). Then she charmed opposite Ryan Reynolds in the role of an inquisitive daughter in the romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe (2008).
After starring in kid-friendly flicks such as Nim’s Island (2008) and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008), Breslin returned to more adult-focused fare in the tear-inducing drama My Sister’s Keeper (2009) and the zombie-fighting horror comedy Zombieland (2009).
In 2010, she took her already diverse career into a new direction for her Broadway debut as Helen Keller in Circle in the Square Theatre’s revival of The Miracle Worker.