23 February 1994, Conyers, Georgia, USA
Hannah Dakota Fanning
5' 4" (1.63 m)
Hannah Dakota Fanning (born February 23, 1994), better known as Dakota Fanning, is an American actress who rose to prominence after her breakthrough performance in the 2001 film I Am Sam. As a child actress, she appeared in high-profile films such as Man on Fire, War of the Worlds, and Charlotte's Web.
In 2006, Fanning began the transition to more adult roles with Hounddog and The Secret Life of Bees. Her recent films have included The Twilight Saga, the fantasy/horror animated children's movie Coraline, and The Runaways. In 2002, she became the youngest nominee for a Screen Actors Guild Award. 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 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 elder sister of Elle Fanning, also an actress.
Fanning has German and Irish ancestry (her paternal grandmother was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany). She and her family are Southern Baptist.But the people running the playhouse noticed that Dakota stood out, and advised her parents, Joy and Steven Fanning, to take her to an agency. They believed that she was extremely talented.
The Fanning family were advised to spend six weeks in Los Angeles, a long way from their home in Georgia. But there Dakota managed to get her first work; to star in a national Tide commercial. She was chosen out of many, many other children.
The family then decided to move to Los Angeles permanently, for it looked like Dakota's career was looking very good. After they moved, Dakota signed with a professional agency, and soon won a role in the movie Tomcats (2001). She then went onto a small project called Father Xmas (2001) as Clairee.
But Dakota's big break-through was yet to come. She auditioned for one of the main characters in I Am Sam (2001), and the director and the rest of the crew were amazed by her extraordinary talent. Dakota was cast, and starred in the movie as Lucy Diamond Dawson, alongside major Hollywood stars Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer.
After I Am Sam (2001) her talent was immediately recognized around the world. She went straight onto Trapped (2002) as Abby Jennings, alongside Charlize Theron, then played the younger version of Reese Witherspoon in 2002's Sweet Home Alabama (2002) But Dakota still had two more movies to come in 2002. Firstly she got a huge role in Steven Spielberg's "Taken" (2002), the mini-TV series, and narrated the ten whole episodes, as well as having a part. This was a little more challenging, as she was playing a troubled alien child, but she managed to do brilliantly. Her last movie for 2002 was the children's movie Hansel & Gretel (2002) as Katie.
2003 was also a brilliant year for Dakota, as she starred in a number of exciting projects. Firstly, it was as Sally Walden in Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (2003) with Mike Myers, then she played Lorraine "Ray" Schleine, a bratty little girl, in the sweet comedy Uptown Girls (2003) alongside Brittany Murphy. She then voiced preschool Kim in Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time (2003) (TV).
In 2004, Dakota appeared in the violent thriller, Man on Fire (2004), alongside Denzel Washington. Her reviews were excellent.
First in 2005 was Nine Lives (2005), as Maria, then the chilling Hide and Seek (2005) alongside Robert De Niro. By now, she was the busiest child actress in Hollywood, with a resume to die for. Her younger sister, Mary Elle Fanning (Elle Fanning), had also been discovered a few years earlier.
After Hide and Seek (2005) came War of the Worlds (2005), which was one of her major movies out of everything she'd worked in. Not only did it make her more popular, but she got to play the daughter of A-list Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. They had four very successful premieres; the first in Tokyo, Japan, the second in France, the third in London, England and the fourth in New York, USA. The reviews were outstanding, especially Dakota's. She then voiced Lilo in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005) (V), which she has just completed.