Already an industry veteran when Hollywood finally took notice, versatile Canadian actress Alison Pill amassed an impressive list of television, film and theatrical roles which jettisoned her to the top list of in-demand actors of her generation. Known initially as the introspective, earthy and baby-faced rebel in a host of television movies like "Baby" (TNT, 2000), "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (ABC, 2001), "Midwives" (Lifetime, 2001) and "What Girls Learn" (Showtime, 2001), Pill churned out memorable turns in feature films "Pieces of April" (2003), and "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" (2004), as well as became a theater force when she earned a Tony Award nomination for her Broadway debut in "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." Pill gained a wider following after her work on the controversial television series "The Book of Daniel" (NBC, 2006) and in feature films like "Dan in Real Life" (2007). After garnering critical raves for her skilled portrayal of Anne Kronenberg in the Oscar-winning biopic "Milk" (2008), she continued amassing accolades for her work on the dark HBO series "In Treatment" (2008-10) and landed choice placement in the miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth" (Starz, 2010), and teen comedy "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" (2010). Along with roles in two Woody Allen projects, her starring roles in the Aaron Sorkin drama "The Newsroom" (HBO 2012-14) and the thriller "The Family" (ABC 2016) proved the actress was a powerhouse, able to excel in all genres of film and television projects.
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" (2008-10), 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.
After appearing as Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen's "Midnight In Paris" (2011) and co-starring in his Italian-set follow-up "To Rome With Love" (2012), Pill co-starred in the aaron Sorkin cable drama "The Newsroom" (HBO 2012-14). Small roles in the ineternational apocalyptic thriller "Snowpiercer" (2014) and the tongue in cheek horror film "Cooties" (2014) were followed by a key role in the Coen brothers' salute to Golden Age Hollywood, "Hail, Caesar!" (2016). Pill next returned to television in the thriller "The Family" (ABC 2016).
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Portrayed the young Lorna Luft, Judy Garland's (Judy Davis) daughter in ABC's "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows"
Landed breakout role as the high-strung younger sister of Katie Holmes' rebellious title character in Peter Hedges' critically acclaimed drama "Pieces of April"
Co-starred with Lindsay Lohan in the coming-of-age comedy "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen"
Nominated for a Tony Award (Actress, Featured Role - Play) for "The Lieutenant of Inishmore"
Portrayed Anne Kronenberg, Harvey Milk's (Sean Penn) campaign manager in the award-winning biopic "Milk"; nominated (along with the cast of "Milk") at the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Cast in a featured role as a young woman with lymphoma on the HBO drama "In Treatment"
Assumed the role of Annie Sullivan opposite Abigail Breslin (as Helen Keller) in the Broadway production of "The Miracle Worker"
Co-starred opposite Michael Cera in the comic book adaptation "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"
Portrayed Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"
Cast alongside Seann William Scott in the sport comedy "Goon"
Again directed by Woody Allen in the romantic comedy "To Rome with Love"; also reunited with "Life with Judy Garland" co-star Judy Davis
Played wide-eyed associate producer Maggie Jordan on Aaron Sorkin's drama series "The Newsroom" (HBO)
Appeared alongside Chris Evans in the sci-fi action film "Snowpiercer"
Appeared in the Coen brothers movie "Hail, Caesar!"
Took on the role of Willa on the series "The Family"