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quvenzhané wallis

Source: Kelsey McNeal / Getty

Actress Quvenzhané Wallis turns 16 today, and it feels like it was just yesterday that we were being introduced to her as the bold, bright-eyed little girl named Hushpuppy in the critically-acclaimed drama, Beasts of the Southern Wild. The role, which she filmed when she was five, earned her an Academy Award nomination and made her a star overnight. After that opportunity thrust her into the spotlight, the Houma, Louisiana native nabbed roles in 12 Years a Slave and Annie, became the face of Armani (the Junior collection), and was featured in Beyoncé’s Lemonade short film.

For a few years there, we saw a lot less of the young actress and author (she’s behind four books with the Shai & Emmie children’s books series), but she stepped back into the spotlight in 2019 to appear on the hit ABC series Black-ish as Kyra. The vibrant red hair and mature look probably could have caused viewers to mistake her for someone else, but that smile is still the same and a dead giveaway that you’re looking at the little girl from Annie. She just so happens to not be a little girl anymore.

ABC's "Black-ish" - Season Five

Source: Kelsey McNeal / Getty

It’s crazy how time flies. With that being said, in honor of the teen’s 16th birthday, take a walk back down memory lane to see photos of her from the beginning of her career to now.

Array

Source: WENN / WENN

Array

Source: WENN / WENN

85th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon

Source: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com / WENN

Opening night of Broadway's Big Fish-Arrivals

Source: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com / WENN

New York Premiere of 'Annie'

Source: HRC/WENN.com / WENN

Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards

Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty

2016 BET Awards - Arrivals

Source: Jason LaVeris / Getty

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty

Essence 10th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards Gala - Arrivals

Source: WENN.com / WENN

ABC's "Black-ish" - Season Five

Source: Richard Cartwright / Getty

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