Early and personal lifeFanning was born February 23, 1994 in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Joy (née Arrington), who played tennis professionally, and Steve J. Fanning, who played minor league baseball and now works as an electronics salesman in Los Angeles. Her maternal grandfather was former American football player, Rick Arrington, and her aunt is former ESPN reporter Jill Arrington. Dakota is the older sister of Elle Fanning, also an actress.
Fanning has German and Irish ancestry. She and her family are Southern Baptist. In June 2011, she graduated from Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, California, where she participated on the varsity spirit cheerleading squad and was voted homecoming queen.
Fanning has been accepted early into New York University and will enroll in Fall 2011.
Early yearsFanning began acting at the age of five after appearing on a Tide commercial. Her first significant acting job was a guest-starring role in the NBC prime-time drama ER, which remains one of her favorite roles ("I played a car accident victim who has leukemia. I got to wear a neck brace and nose tubes for the two days I worked.").
Fanning subsequently had several guest roles on established television series, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Practice, and Spin City. She also portrayed the title characters of Ally McBeal and The Ellen Show as young girls. In 2001, Fanning was chosen to star opposite Sean Penn in the movie I Am Sam, the story of a mentally challenged man who fights for the custody of his daughter (played by Fanning).
Her role in the film made Fanning the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, being seven years of age at the time. She also won the Best Young Actor/Actress award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her performance.
2002–2003In 2002, director Steven Spielberg cast Fanning in the lead child role of Allison "Allie" Clarke/Keys in the science fiction miniseries Taken. By this time, she had received positive notices by several film critics, including Tom Shales of The Washington Post, who wrote that Fanning "has the perfect sort of otherworldly look about her, an enchanting young actress called upon ... to carry a great weight."
In the same year, Fanning appeared in three films: as a kidnap victim who proves to be more than her abductors bargained for in Trapped, as the young version of Reese Witherspoon's character in Sweet Home Alabama, and as Katie in the movie Hansel and Gretel.
Fanning was featured even more prominently in two films released in 2003: playing the uptight child to an immature nanny played by Brittany Murphy in Uptown Girls and as Sally in The Cat in the Hat.
Fanning did voice-over work for four animated projects during this period, including voicing Satsuki in Disney's English language release of My Neighbor Totoro, a little girl in the Fox series Family Guy, and a young Wonder Woman in an episode of Cartoon Network's Justice League.
In 2004, Fanning appeared in Man on Fire as Pita, a nine-year-old who wins over the heart of a retired mercenary (Denzel Washington) hired to protect her from kidnappers. Roger Ebert wrote that Fanning "is a pro at only 10 years old, and creates a heart-winning character."
Hide and Seek was her first release in 2005, opposite Robert De Niro. The film was generally panned, and critic Chuck Wilson called it "a fascinating meeting of equals – if the child star [Fanning] challenged the master [De Niro] to a game of stare-down, the legend might very well blink first." Fanning voiced Lilo (succeeding Daveigh Chase) in the direct-to-video film Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. She also had a small part in the Rodrigo Garcia film Nine Lives (released in October 2005), in which she shared an unbroken nine-minute scene with actress Glenn Close, who had her own praise for Fanning: "She's definitely an old soul. She's one of those gifted people that come along every now and then." Fanning also recorded voice work for Coraline during this time.
Fanning completed filming on Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (opposite Kurt Russell) in late October 2004. Russell declared he was astonished by his co-star's performance in the film. Russell, 54, who plays her father in the movie, says, "I guarantee you, (Dakota) is the best actress I will work with in my entire career." Kris Kristofferson, who plays her character's grandfather in the movie, said that she's like Bette Davis reincarnated.
While promoting her role in Dreamer, Fanning became a registered member of Girl Scouts of the USA at a special ceremony, which was followed by a screening of the film for members of the Girl Scouts of the San Fernando Valley Council. She is not a member of a troop, but rather registered as a "Juliette", GSUSA's title for independently registered girls.
She then went directly to the set of War of the Worlds, starring alongside Tom Cruise. Released in reverse order (War in June 2005 and Dreamer in the following October), both films were critical successes. War director Steven Spielberg praised "how quickly she understands the situation in a sequence, how quickly she sizes it up, measures it up and how she would really react in a real situation."
After filming was completed on War of the Worlds, Fanning moved straight to another film without a break: Charlotte's Web, which she finished filming in May 2005 in Australia. Producer Jordan Kerner said, "...when she was so caught up in War of the Worlds, we had to end up going on a search for other young actresses. They would have been nothing compared to her."
2006–2007Over the summer of 2006, Fanning worked on the film Hounddog, described in press reports as a "dark story of abuse, violence and Elvis Presley adulation in the rural South." Fanning's parents have been criticized for allowing her to film a scene in which her character is raped. However, in response, Fanning said that "It's not really happening," to Reuters. "It's a movie, and it's called acting."
In 2006, at the age of twelve, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, becoming the youngest member in the Academy's history. Her income for 2006 was $4 million, earning her the fourth place in Forbes Magazine's list of top-earning stars aged under 21.
In March and April 2007, she filmed Fragments – Winged Creatures alongside Kate Beckinsale, Guy Pearce, Josh Hutcherson, and Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson. She plays Anne Hagen, a girl who witnesses her father's murder and who turns to religion in the aftermath.
In July 2007, Fanning filmed for three days a short film titled Cutlass, one of Glamour's "Reel Moments" based on readers' personal essays. Cutlass was directed by Kate Hudson.
From September to December 2007, Fanning filmed Push, which centers on a group of young American expatriates with telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities who hide from a U.S. government agency in Hong Kong and band together to try to escape the control of the division. Fanning played Cassie Holmes, a 13-year-old psychic.
In January 2008, Fanning began filming the movie adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees, a novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Set in South Carolina in 1964, the story centers on Lily Owens (Fanning), who escapes herlonely life and troubled relationship with her father by running away with her caregiver and only friend (played by Jennifer Hudson) to a South Carolina town where they are taken in by an eccentric trio of beekeeping sisters (played by Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo, and Alicia Keys). Her movies Coraline and Push were released on the same day, February 6, 2009.
Fanning played Jane, a member of the Volturi Guard, in New Moon and reprised the role in Eclipse, based on novels by Stephenie Meyer. New Moon was released on November 20, 2009, and Eclipse was released on June 30, 2010.
The Runaways, alongside Kristen Stewart, Stella Maeve, and Scout Taylor-Compton, where she played Cherie Currie, the lead singer of the band. In late 2010/early 2011, Fanning filmed Breaking Dawn, reprising the role of Jane.
Dakota was originally set to star as Mia, the lead role in the film adaption of If I Stay based on the novel, but later withdrew from the project. In December 2010, it was announced that Fanning would not be filming any lead roles until after she finishes high school in 2011.
Dakota Fanning will play Princess Margaret in the upcoming film Girls' Night Out. She will play Annie James in "The Motel Life" in February. She has also signed onto "Mississippi Wild", which will begin production in Atlanta on March 21, 2011 and will be released into theaters in 2012.
|2001||Father Xmas||Clairee||Short film|
|2001||Tomcats||Little Girl in Park|
|2001||I Am Sam||Lucy Diamond Dawson||Dakota's younger sister, Elle Fanning, plays the younger version of Lucy|
|2002||Taken||Allie Keys||Television miniseries |
Elle Fanning plays the younger version of Allie
|2002||Trapped||Abigail Jennings, "Abbie"|
|2002||Sweet Home Alabama||Young Melanie|
|2002||Hansel and Gretel||Katie|
|2003||Uptown Girls||Lorraine Schleine, "Ray"|
|2003||The Cat in the Hat||Sally Walden|
|2003||Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time||Preschool Kim||Voice|
|2004||Man on Fire||Lupita Martin Ramos, "Pita"|
|2004||My Neighbor Totoro||Satsuki Kusakabe||Voice (English Version)|
|2004||In the Realms of the Unreal||Narrator||Voice|
|2005||Hide and Seek||Emily Callaway|
|2005||Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch||Lilo||Voice|
|2005||War of the Worlds||Rachel Ferrier|
|2006||Charlotte's Web||Fern Arable||Elle Fanning plays Fern's granddaughter in alternate ending|
|2008||The Secret Life of Bees||Lily Owens|
|2009||Fragments – Winged Creatures||Anne Hagen|
|2009||The Twilight Saga: New Moon||Jane|
|2010||The Runaways||Cherie Currie|
|2010||The Twilight Saga: Eclipse||Jane|
|2011–2012||The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn||Jane||Post-production|
|2000||ER||Delia Chadsey||"The Fastest Year"|
|2000||Ally McBeal||Ally (5 years)||"Ally McBeal: The Musical, Almost"|
|2000||Strong Medicine||Edie's Girl||"Misconceptions"|
|2000||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Brenda Collins||"Blood Drops"|
|2000||The Practice||Alessa Engel||"The Deal"|
|2000||Spin City||Cindy||"Toy Story"|
|2001||Malcolm in the Middle||Emily||"New Neighbors"|
|2001||The Fighting Fitzgeralds||Marie||"Pilot"|
|2001||Family Guy||Little girl||"To Love and Die in Dixie"|
|2001||The Ellen Show||Young Ellen||"Missing the Bus"|
|2004||Justice League Unlimited||Young Wonder Woman (voice)||"Kids' Stuff"|
|2004||Friends||Mackenzie||"The One with Princess Consuela"|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Title of work||Award||Category||Result|
|2001||I Am Sam||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award||Best Young Actress||Won|
|2002||I Am Sam||Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award||Youth in Film||Won|
|2002||I Am Sam||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|2002||I Am Sam||Satellite Award||Outstanding New Talent||Won|
|2002||I Am Sam||Chicago Film Critics Association Award||Most Promising Performer||Nominated|
|2002||I Am Sam||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Actress Age Ten or Under||Won|
|2003||Taken||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Special – Leading Young Actress||Nominated|
|2003||Taken||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series||Nominated|
|2004||Man on Fire||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award||Best Young Actress||Nominated|
|2004||The Cat in the Hat||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress||Nominated|
|2005||Man on Fire||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress||Nominated|
|2005||Nine Lives||Gotham Award||Best Ensemble Cast||Nominated|
|2005||Nine Lives||Locarno International Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|
|2005||Hide and Seek||MTV Movie Award||Best Frightened Performance||Won|
|2005||N/A||Relly Awards||Best Junior Achiever||Won|
|2005||War of the Worlds||Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards||Youth in Film||Won|
|2005||War of the Worlds||Irish Film and Television Award||Best International Actress||Nominated|
|2005||War of the Worlds||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award||Best Young Actress||Won|
|2006||War of the Worlds||MTV Movie Award||Best Frightened Performance||Nominated|
|2006||War of the Worlds||Saturn Award||Best Performance by a Younger Actor||Won|
|2005||Dreamer||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favourite Movie Actress||Nominated|
|2005||Dreamer||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress||Won|
|2006||Charlotte's Web||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award||Best Young Actress||Nominated|
|2007||Charlotte's Web||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress||Nominated|
|2007||Charlotte's Web||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favourite Movie Actress||Won|
|2008||The Secret Life of Bees||Black Reel Award||Best Ensemble Cast||Nominated|
|2008||The Secret Life of Bees||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award||Best Young Actress||Nominated|
|2009||The Secret Life of Bees||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress||Won|
|2010||Coraline||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role – Young Actor/Actress||Nominated|
|2010||The Runaways||MTV Movie Award||Best Kiss||Nominated|