Alisan Leigh Porter (born June 20, 1981) is an American pop, rock & country singer, actress, and dancer. As a child, Porter made acting appearances in Parenthood, Stella and I Love You to Death. Her breakout role came in 1991, when she played the lead in the film Curly Sue opposite Jim Belushi.
As an adult, Porter pursued roles in musical theatre, including a run in The Ten Commandments: The Musical and as an original cast member of the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. A solo album followed in 2009. In 2016, she auditioned for NBC’s The Voice, earning a spot on Team Christina. In May of that same year, Porter was named the winner of season 10.
Life and career
Born to Jewish parents in Worcester, Massachusetts, Porter is the great-granddaughter of prominent Worcester rabbi Joseph Klein. Her grandmother ran the Charlotte Klein Dance Center. Porter’s father, Ric Porter, was co-founder, lead singer, and songwriter of the Worcester-based band Zonkaraz. Her mother, Laura Klein, also taught dance, coaching Diane and Elaine Klimaszewski, who appeared on Star Search in 1987 in the junior dance category before they became known as the Coors Light Twins. While in Los Angeles for the twins’ appearance on Star Search, the show’s producer heard Porter singing in the hotel lobby and booked her to appear on the next episode. Porter has been singing and performing since age three; at age five, she became the youngest Star Search participant ever to win the competition. That same year, she also appeared on Pee Wee’s Playhouse as one of the playhouse gang in Season 2.
Porter acted in several films as a child; she became known for playing the title role in the 1991 movie Curly Sue opposite Jim Belushi. On television, she played the youngest daughter of Lynn Redgrave on the short-lived ABC sitcom Chicken Soup in 1989. The following year, she was slated to be a new regular cast member on Perfect Strangers, but her character was dropped after only one episode.
Porter has openly discussed her battles with alcoholism and drug addiction. She says she has been sober since October 28, 2007.
Since December 2008, Porter is a contributing columnist for movmnt magazine.Porter created a closed Facebook page for mothers called Lil’ Mamas and then, in 2012, a related blog website of the same name that she runs with her business partner, Celia Behar.
On March 10, 2012, Porter married Brian Autenrieth, a fruit exporter and former child soap opera actor, in California. The couple have two children: son Mason Blaise (b. July 17, 2012) and daughter Aria Sage Autenrieth (b. May 8, 2014). On December 18, 2017, Porter announced on Twitter that the couple had separated in March. She said, “In a sad and honest note Brian and I ended our relationship in March. We remain close friends and are committed to always doing our best for our amazing kids.”