Anna Helene Paquin (pronounced /ˈpækwɪn/; born July 24, 1982) is a Canadian-born New Zealand actress. Paquin's first critically successful film was The Piano, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1994 at the age of 11 – the second youngest winner in history. Her acting career took off almost half a decade later when she appeared in a string of successful films including She's All That, Almost Famous and the X-Men franchise.
Paquin has received critical acclaim for her role as Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO series True Blood, for which she won the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.
Paquin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the daughter of Mary Paquin (née Brophy), an English teacher and native of Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a high school physical education teacher. Paquin is the youngest of three children; she has two older siblings: brother Andrew, born in 1977, and sister Katya, born in 1980. Paquin moved to New Zealand when she was four. She attended the Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School until she was eight or nine. Her musical childhood hobbies in New Zealand included playing the viola, cello and piano. She also did gymnastics, ballet, swimming and downhill skiing, though she did not have any hobbies related to acting.