About Bailee

Some people simply walk into this world smiling, as was the case for Bailee Madison, born on October 15th, 1999, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Even though nowadays Bailee spends most of her time in her residence in California or working on different projects all around the world, this Florida native still considers Fort Lauderdale home and goes back to visit as often as possible.

Bailee followed her older sister's —Kaitlin Riley, who is also an actress— footsteps at the tender age of two weeks, when she appeared in an Office Depot commercial. Then, at the age of five, she was discovered by casting director Phyllis Huffman, who was looking for someone to play Rainelle Downing in the feature film "Lonely Hearts". Todd Robinson, the writer and director of the movie, was so impressed by Bailee's natural talent (she cried on cue at the audition!) and professionalism, that he gave her the role immediately. After acting alongside big names such as John Travolta and Salma Hayek, Bailee moved on to working with talents closer to her own age: in 2006, she flew to New Zealand to shoot the book-to-movie adaptation of "Bridge To Terabithia" with AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson. Following its 2007 release, critics called Bailee's portrayal of May Belle Aarons "phenomenal" and declared her a "scene stealing newcomer". After that, she landed role after role, appearing in films like "Saving Sarah Cain", "Phoebe In Wonderland" and Nickelodeon's "Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh", and guest starring in hit television shows such as "House M.D.", Disney Channel's "Cory In the House", "CSI: NY" and "Unfabulous", in which she played the younger version of Emma Roberts' character.

2009 was a pivotal year in Bailee's career. In July, she traveled to Australia to work on her very first lead role: Sally Hurst in Guillermo del Toro's horror-thriller "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark", with Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce. When promoting the movie, del Toro told the press that Bailee came "highly recommended by Natalie Portman", who had said to him "If you want an actress in that role who can give and take, this is the girl." Portman would know: she had recently played Bailee's mom in "Brothers", which came out in December of the same year. Bailee's performance as Isabelle Cahill is her most critically acclaimed to date: the Los Angeles Times wrote it was "one of the most natural and effective child performances in a long while", she received a Critics' Choice Award nomination, and there was even Oscar buzz around it at some point.

In 2010, Bailee got to hone her comedy skills. During the beginning of the year, she spent two months in Hawaii for the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston comedy, "Just Go With It". Later that year, she shot six episodes of Disney Channel's "Wizards Of Waverly Place", taking over Jake T. Austin's character, Max Russo, who had accidentally been turned into a little girl by Alex (Selena Gomez) and Justin (David Henrie). 2010 did have its fair share of incredible dramatic performances, though: "Letters To God", "Conviction" and "An Invisible Sign" —in which she played younger versions of Hilary Swank's and Jessica Alba's characters, respectively— all came out that year and she had a heartbreaking guest spot in "Law & Order: SVU".

Bailee has always been very involved with some wonderful charities like Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Give Kids The World and Starlight Children's Foundation, and in 2011 Variety honored Bailee at their annual "Power Of Youth" event, which pays homage to the industry's most talented young activists, for her philanthropic efforts with the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Bailee's long relationship with the Hallmark Channel began in 2012 with the drama "A Taste Of Romance". Since then, she has been in another four of the network's movies, including their first full-length one, the highly successful "Northpole" (2014), and its sequel "Northpole: Open For Christmas" (2015). Bailee is currently starring as Grace Russell in Hallmark Channel's original series "Good Witch", which was renewed for a second season, set to air in 2016.

It was also during 2012 that Bailee booked one of her most popular (if not the most popular) television roles to date: young Snow White in ABC's "Once Upon A Time". Being a huge fan of the show, she was beyond excited to spend a week on the Canadian set in February. Some of the highlights of her time there were how kind and welcoming everyone was and the gorgeous costumes she got to wear. When the episode aired in April, the fans fell in love with Bailee's portrayal of a young Ginnifer Goodwin and they were in shock at how similar the actresses were, both in looks and expressions (there were even some time traveling theories). Bailee was incredibly happy with the fans' seal of approval, because she had put a lot of effort into studying Goodwin's expressions, watching short clips of her over and over again. Since then, Bailee has guest starred in another two "Once Upon A Time" episodes and is scheduled to return again in March 2016. Another one of Bailee's popular television roles is that of Sophia Quinn —the sister of Maia Mitchell's character— in "The Fosters". Sophia is a recurring character (Bailee has been in ten episodes so far!), but it's still unconfirmed whether Bailee will appear in the show's fourth season or not.

Even though Bailee loves acting and being in front of the camera, in 2015 she decided to put on her producer hat and work her magic from behind-the-scenes in "Annabelle Hooper And The Ghosts Of Nantucket". She says she "wanted to learn and be a part of an amazing team of mentors who can guide me and teach me, and help me be a part of the more hands-on process of script revisions, and character and casting and making notes and finding locations", and that's exactly what she got to do as a producer. The movie, in which she also stars, is about a teenage mystery writer and her friends, who must outwit two scheming thieves to solve the secret behind a legendary ghost story. During the same year, Bailee spent a weekend in Washington, D.C., to support the Creative Coalition and, later on, got to participate in the First Lady's public awareness campaign, Better Make Room.

Somehow, in the midst of all the excitement, Bailee still manages to find the time to play with her niece Riley and her dog Maddy, cook with her mom Patti and her sister Kaitlin, dance and sing-along to Taylor Swift, hang out with her friends, and edit fun videos for her YouTube channel.

Written by Dani exclusively for Belle: Bailee Madison.