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.
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.