What the Little Girl From "Curly Sue" Looks Like Now
Alisan Porter has been a recording artist, a Broadway star, and even a reality competition winner.
In 1991, then 10-year-old Alisan Porter charmed audiences as the title character in John Hughes' Curly Sue. The movie follows Sue and the man who has raised her, Bill Dancer (John Belushi), as they take on cons to keep a roof over their heads. That is, until they meet rich divorce lawyer Grey Ellison (Kelly Lynch), who ends up changing their fortunes for the better. While critics may not have taken kindly to the film, it was hard not to feel fondness for Curly Sue herself, and for Porter's endearing performance. But where is Alisan Porter from Curly Sue now?
Porter stepped away from professional acting for several years, but she didn't stop acting entirely. At Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, she starred in school musicals, playing Anita in West Side Story and the title role in Cinderella. Her undeniable stage presence made it clear that she might be destined for bigger things—and soon enough, she was on Broadway.
After high school, Porter made her Broadway debut in Footloose, then went on to play Bebe in the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line. In fact, her most recent film credit is as herself in the 2008 documentary Every Little Step, which follows the casting of that revival.
More recently, Porter has had a second career as a recording artist—and a reality TV contestant. In 2016, she auditioned for The Voice and impressed all four judges, ultimately joining Christina Aguilera's team. She ended up winning Season 10 of the series, with knockout performances of her original song "Down That Road," James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend," and "Somewhere" from West Side Story.
Porter is still writing and performing her own music: The music video for her song "The Wild One" was released in Aug. 2019. She maintains an active presence on Instagram where she posts dispatches from pandemic life, original videos, and photos of her kids. Porter has two children, an 8-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter, with her ex-husband, Brian Autenrieth.
According to Instagram, Porter is also using her time to teach master classes on songwriting, vocals, and performance. Of course, when you've had a career as long and varied as Porter has, you probably have a few words of wisdom to impart on others! And for more young stars all grown up, check out 25 Child Actors When They Got Their Start Vs. Now.