Dakota Fanning

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Dakota Fanning
Dakota Fanning VF 2012 Shankbone 3.JPG
Fanning at the Vanity Fair party for the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
BornHannah Dakota Fanning
(1994-02-23) February 23, 1994 (age 20)
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
Alma materNew York University (attending)
Years active2000–present
RelativesElle Fanning (sister)
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Dakota Fanning
Dakota Fanning VF 2012 Shankbone 3.JPG
Fanning at the Vanity Fair party for the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
BornHannah Dakota Fanning
(1994-02-23) February 23, 1994 (age 20)
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
Alma materNew York University (attending)
Years active2000–present
RelativesElle Fanning (sister)

Hannah Dakota Fanning (born February 23, 1994),[1] known professionally as Dakota Fanning, is an American actress who rose to prominence after her breakthrough performance at age seven in the 2001 film I Am Sam. Her performance earned her a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award at age eight in 2002, making her the youngest nominee in history.[2] As a child actress, she went on to appear in high-profile films such as Man on Fire (2004), War of the Worlds (2005) and Charlotte's Web (2006). Fanning then began the transition to more adult roles with Hounddog (2007) and The Secret Life of Bees (2008). Her recent film roles have included the eponymous character in Coraline (2009), Cherie Currie in The Runaways (2010), Annie James in The Motel Life (2013), and Jane in The Twilight Saga (2009–12).

Early life[edit]

Fanning was born in Conyers, Georgia. Her mother, Heather Joy (née Arrington), played tennis professionally and her father, Steven J. Fanning, played minor league baseball and now works as an electronics salesman in Los Angeles, California.[3][4] Her maternal grandfather is former American football player Rick Arrington, and her aunt is former ESPN reporter Jill Arrington.[5] Dakota is the elder sister of Elle Fanning, also an actress.

Fanning has English, French, German and Irish ancestry. She and her family are Southern Baptist.[6]

Acting career[edit]


When Fanning was a small child, she was an actress at the Towne Lake Arts Center in Woodstock, Georgia starring in small plays, then in 2000, Fanning began acting at the age of five after appearing on a Tide commercial. Her first significant acting job was a guest 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.").[7]

Fanning subsequently had several guest roles on 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.[8] She also won the Best Young Actor/Actress award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her performance.[9]

In 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."[10] 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.

A year later, she starred in two prominent films: playing the uptight child to an immature nanny played by Brittany Murphy in Uptown Girls and as Sally in The Cat in the Hat. In addition, 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.


Fanning at the London premiere of War of the Worlds, June 2005

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 ten years old, and creates a heart-winning character."[11]

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."[12] 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 García 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."[13] Fanning also recorded voice work for Coraline during this time.[14]

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."[15] Kris Kristofferson, who plays her character's grandfather in the movie, said that she's like Bette Davis reincarnated.[16] 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.[17]

She then went on to star in 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 a critical success. 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."[18] Afterwards, 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."[19]

Fanning in January 2009

During 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."[20] Fanning's parents have been criticized for allowing her to film a scene in which her character is raped. However, Fanning defended the film by saying "It's not really happening," to Reuters. "It's a movie, and it's called acting."[21] In the same year, 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.[22] Later that year, she was ranked 4th in Forbes list of "Top Earning Stars Aged Under 21", having earned an estimated $4 million in 2006.[23]

In the spring of 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, Fanning appeared on a short film titled Cutlass, one of Glamour's "Reel Moments" based on readers' personal essays. Cutlass was directed by Kate Hudson. Then from September to the end of the year, 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.[24] 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.[25] Set in South Carolina in 1964, the story centers on Lily Owens (Fanning), who escapes her lonely 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 at the Eclipse premiere in June 2010[26]

Fanning played Jane, a member of the Volturi Guard, in New Moon and reprised the role in Eclipse, based on novels by Stephenie Meyer.[27] New Moon was released on November 20, 2009, and Eclipse was released on the following June. In 2010, she starred in the movie The Runaways, alongside Kristen Stewart, Stella Maeve, and Scout Taylor-Compton, where she played Cherie Currie, the lead singer of the band. Then from the end of the year until early 2011, Fanning filmed Breaking Dawn, reprising the role of Jane.[28]

Fanning's voice was heard in Rise, a documentary film commissioned by U.S. Figure Skating to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the crash of Sabena Flight 548 which resulted in the loss of the entire American team and subsequent cancellation of the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships. She read a poem written by U.S. national champion Laurence Owen (who died in the crash) that was said to be an eerie premonition of the afterlife.[29][30]

During the summer of 2011 she played Tessa in Now Is Good. Fanning also became the face of Marc Jacobs' Oh, Lola! perfume campaign, but the ad was banned in the UK as the Advertising Standards Authority judged that "the ad could be seen to sexualize a child."[31][32] In 2011, she played Annie James in The Motel Life, which was released on November 8, 2013. In the fall of 2011, Fanning played the starring role in Effie, directed by Richard Laxton, written and co-starred by Emma Thompson, with Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Derek Jacobi and Claudia Cardinale.


In August 2012, she signed on to play the lead role of a wealthy financial eco-terrorist, Dena Brauer, who finances a plan, in a thriller film Night Moves opposite actors Jesse Eisenberg and Peter Sarsgaard. The movie was to be directed by Kelly Reichardt.[33] Night Moves tells the story of three Eco-terrorists who work at an organic farm and collaborate on a plot to blow up a hydroelectric dam.[34]

In January 2013, she was cast as Beverly Aadland in the Errol Flynn biopic The Last of Robin Hood.[35] Later that year in September, Fanning was cast as Olivia in Franny.[36] In November, she was cast in an 'Untitled Gerardo Naranjo Project' as Viena; about a roadie traveling across America with a punk rock band in the 1980s.[37] The film is set to be released in 2015.[38]

In February 2014, she recorded a voice role for the animated movie Yellowbird.[39] In May, it was announced that Fanning would be starring in Brain on Fire, a film adaption of Susannah Cahalan's memoir of the same name. Fanning will be portraying Cahalan and the film is being co-produced by Charlize Theron.[40][41]

Personal life[edit]

In June 2011, Fanning graduated from Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, California,[42] where she participated on the varsity spirit cheerleading squad and was voted homecoming queen.[43][44] Since 2011, she has attended New York University.[45]

In January 2012, it was reported that Fanning signed to be represented by WME (William Morris-Endeavor),[46] thus ending a ten-year-plus relation with Osbrink Talent Agency.[47] In April 2014, it was announced that Fanning switched agencies again and is now represented by CAA.[48]

Fanning began dating model Jamie Strachan in 2013.[49]



2001Father XmasClaireeShort
2001TomcatsLittle Girl in Park
2001I Am SamLucy Diamond Dawson
2002TrappedAbigail "Abbie" Jennings
2002Sweet Home AlabamaYoung Melanie
2002Hansel and GretelKatie
2003Uptown GirlsLorraine "Ray" Schleine
2003Cat in the Hat, TheThe Cat in the HatSally Walden
2003Kim Possible: A Stitch in TimePreschool KimVoice
2004Man on FireLupita "Pita" Martin Ramos
2004My Neighbor TotoroSatsuki KusakabeVoice
2004In the Realms of the UnrealNarratorVoice
2005Hide and SeekEmily Callaway
2005Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a GlitchLiloVoice
2005Nine LivesMaria
2005War of the WorldsRachel Ferrier
2005DreamerCale Crane
2006Charlotte's WebFern Arable
2008Secret Life of Bees, TheThe Secret Life of BeesLily Owens
2009CoralineCoraline JonesVoice
2009PushCassie Holmes
2009Fragments – Winged CreaturesAnne Hagen
2009Twilight Saga: New Moon, TheThe Twilight Saga: New MoonJane Volturi
2010Runaways, TheThe RunawaysCherie Currie
2010Twilight Saga: Eclipse, TheThe Twilight Saga: EclipseJane Volturi
2012The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2Jane Volturi
2012CeliaHannah JonesShort
2012The Motel LifeAnnie James
2012Now Is GoodTessa Scott
2013Night MovesDena Brauer
2013The Last of Robin HoodBeverly Aadland
2014Very Good GirlsLilly Berger
2014EffieEuphemia 'Effie' Gray
2014Every Secret ThingRonnie Fuller
2014FrannyOliviaIn post-production
2014YellowbirdDelfIn post-production
2015Untitled Gerardo Naranjo ProjectVienaIn post-production


2000ERDelia Chadsey"The Fastest Year"
2000Ally McBealAlly (5 years old)"Ally McBeal: The Musical, Almost"
2000Strong MedicineEdie's Girl"Misconceptions"
2000CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationBrenda Collins"Blood Drops"
2000Practice, TheThe PracticeAlessa Engel"The Deal"
2000Spin CityCindy"Toy Story"
2001Malcolm in the MiddleEmily"New Neighbors"
2001Fighting Fitzgeralds, TheThe Fighting FitzgeraldsMarie"Pilot"
2001Family GuyLittle girl"To Love and Die in Dixie"
2001Ellen Show, TheThe Ellen ShowYoung Ellen"Missing the Bus"
2002TakenAllie KeysMiniseries; 10 episodes (voice only in 6)
2004Justice League UnlimitedYoung Wonder Woman (voice)"Kids' Stuff"
2004FriendsMackenzie"The One with Princess Consuela"

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearTitle of workAwardCategoryResult
2001I Am SamBroadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young ActressWon[50]
2002Las Vegas Film Critics Society AwardYouth in FilmWon[51]
2002Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting RoleNominated[52]
2002Satellite AwardOutstanding New TalentWon
2002Chicago Film Critics Association AwardMost Promising PerformerNominated
2002Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film – Young Actress Age Ten or UnderWon[53]
2003TakenYoung Artist AwardBest Performance in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Special – Leading Young ActressWon[54]
2003Saturn AwardBest Supporting Actress in a Television SeriesNominated
2004Man on FireBroadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young ActressWon
2004Cat in the Hat, TheThe Cat in the HatYoung Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young ActressNominated[55]
2005Man on FireYoung Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young ActressNominated[56]
2005Nine LivesGotham AwardBest Ensemble CastNominated[57]
2005Locarno International Film FestivalBest ActressWon
2005Hide and SeekMTV Movie AwardBest Frightened PerformanceWon[58]
2005War of the WorldsLas Vegas Film Critics Society AwardsYouth in FilmWon
2005Irish Film and Television AwardBest International ActressNominated[59]
2005Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young ActressWon
2006War of the WorldsMTV Movie AwardBest Frightened PerformanceNominated[60]
2006Saturn AwardBest Performance by a Younger ActorWon[61]
2005DreamerNickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Movie ActressNominated
2005Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young ActressWon[62]
2006Charlotte's WebBroadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young ActressNominated
2007Charlotte's WebYoung Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young ActressNominated[63]
2007Nickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Movie ActressWon
2008Secret Life of Bees, TheThe Secret Life of BeesBlack Reel AwardBest Ensemble CastNominated
2008Broadcast Film Critics Association AwardBest Young ActressNominated
2009Secret Life of Bees, TheThe Secret Life of BeesYoung Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young ActressWon[64]
2010CoralineYoung Artist AwardBest Performance in a Voice-Over Role – Young Actor/ActressNominated[65]
2010Runaways, TheThe RunawaysMTV Movie AwardBest Kiss (shared with Kristen Stewart)Nominated[66]


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  4. ^ "Twilight's evil vampire Dakota Fanning shows her sweet side as she unveils adorable childhood photos". Daily Mail (London). June 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Stein, Joel (February 27, 2005). "The Million-Dollar Baby". Time. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
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  34. ^ Jesse and Dakota making Night Moves - News, Film & TV - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk
  35. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/dakota-fanning-errol-flynn-kevin-kline-last-of-robin-hood/
  36. ^ http://www.eonline.com/news/463513/dakota-fanning-theo-james-team-up-with-richard-gere-for-franny
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  38. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3344686/
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  48. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/dakota-fanning-caa/
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External links[edit]