Dakota Fanning

Biography

Date of Birth 23 February 1994, Conyers, Georgia, USA Birth Name Hannah Dakota Fanning Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m) Mini Biography Hannah Dakota Fanning was born on the 23rd of February 1994, in Conyers, Georgia, USA. Before her debut into the cinematic world, Dakota did her own acting around her house. She was very active for her age, and often put a blanket under her shirt and pretended to be having a baby, using her younger sister, who is also an actress now, Elle, as the baby. Dakota went to a playhouse near her home, where the children that attended put on a play every week to show to their parents. But the people running the playhouse noticed that Dakota stood out, and advised her parents, Joy and Steve 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 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. Trivia Learned to read at age 2. At the age of 8, became the youngest person to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, for her supporting performance in I Am Sam (2001). When she received the Best Young Actor/Actress award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her performance in I Am Sam (2001), she was too short to reach the microphone to give her acceptance speech. Presenter Orlando Bloom held her up to the mike for the duration of her speech, which turned out to be quite long. Began her acting career at 5 when she was picked for a Tide commercial. Older sister of Elle Fanning. Her father named her Dakota, her mother named her Hannah. She then was named Hannah Dakota Fanning. Dakota is one of 14 grandchildren. Parents: Joy and Steve Fanning. Her favourite films include Gone with the Wind (1939), Titanic (1997) and Steel Magnolias (1989). Collects dolls. Home-schooled. Looks up to Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank, "not just because they're great actresses, but because they are amazing people". Her last name "Fanning" is of Irish origin. Also, she is of half-German descent. She donated many signed items to Rocky Stone to be given away as prizes in a Dakota Fanning Contest to benefit less fortunate kids as part of the Toy Mountain Campaign 2005 and Toy Mountain Campaign 2006. First time she visited England was on the 19th June 2005 with Tom Cruise, to attend the premiere of War of the Worlds (2005) at London's Leicester Square. Loves to knit and has knitted scarfs for Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Tim Robbins. For the 'sad' scenes in I Am Sam (2001), she thought of her pet goldfish, Flounder, dying. Carries a book of baby names with her wherever she goes. Has been to Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, England, France and Canada. Is a member of the Red Cross. On her eleventh birthday, Tom Cruise gave her a cell phone. Is friends with Daveigh Chase. Can play the violin. Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2004 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actress category for her role in The Cat in the Hat (2003). She was also suggested in the Worst Screen Couple couple category with co-star Spencer Breslin in the The Cat in the Hat (2003). She failed to receive either nomination. Is a member of the Girl Scouts USA, and her sister Elle Fanning is a Brownie. Is learning to speak French. She also learned to speak some Spanish for her role in Man on Fire (2004). Missed the premiere of Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005) (V) to go to Mexico while her sister Elle Fanning filmed Babel (2006). Started kindergarten at age 4½ and will start her freshman year of high school (9th grade) in the fall of 2007. During filming of War of the Worlds (2005), Tom Cruise gave her an iPod. Is now a Girl Scout [Oct. 2005]. After filming Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005), Kurt Russell, who plays her father, bought her a palomino horse, whom she named Goldie. Goldie lives on a ranch near Dakota's home where she can visit him often. Tutor is Jan Cerwonka. Her scene in Nine Lives (2005) was done in one take. She got to work on the movie only for one day. Has said she would love to be a director. On her 10th birthday, Robert De Niro gave her a doll that looked like Dakota's character in Hide and Seek (2005), with the brown hair and blue eyes. Plays the piano, knits, collects dolls, ride horses and dances ballet. Niece of Jill Arrington. Is the youngest member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (she joined in 2006). Was ranked #9 in E's most cutest child stars all grown-up even if she still is a child.(2005) Has been in three productions with her sister Elle Fanning, yet they have never shared scenes. Elle played the younger version of Dakota's characters in I Am Sam (2001) and "Taken" (2002), and the two girls voiced sisters in a dub for Tonari no Totoro (1988). While she was filming Man on Fire (2004) in Mexico, her sister Elle Fanning was filming The Door in the Floor (2004), so their parents had to go to and from their daughters' destinations. Her first word was "Momo," which was the family cat's name. Has mentioned in numerous interviews that she would love to work with her sister, Elle Fanning. For her, the hardest thing at the end of a movie is saying goodbye to the cast. A doll was made of her (as her character, Cale) for the movie Dreamer (2005). Friends with her Uptown Girls (2003) co-star Brittany Murphy. Is a fan of US designer Belle of the Ball. She has worn many Belle of the Ball dresses to events such as the Hide and Seek (2005) premiere. Was originally offered the part of Leslie in Bridge to Terabithia (2007), but turned it down because of conflicting schedules. AnnaSophia Robb was later given the part. Has naturally curly hair. Whilst in Georgia, she attended a Montessori school. Was ranked #14 on Forbes List of The 20 Top-Earning Young Superstars (2007). Was ranked #94 on Forbes List of The Celebrity 100 (2007). In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated her earnings for the year to be $4 million. Ranked #6 on interview magazines Hollywood faces to watch "Future Stars of Tomorrow". Was ranked #19 alongside her sister Elle on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' actress list (2008). Was ranked #8 alongside Abigail Breslin on TV Guide Top 10 Teen Star Countdown (2008). Was ranked #4 on Moviefone's 'The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25'(2008). Is German/Irish. For the 2008-2009 school year she is a cheerleader for Campbell Hall, a private Episcopal college-preparatory school in North Hollywood, California, which fields a number of sports teams under the nickname "The Vikings". Her favorite scary movie as a child, was The Wizard of Oz (1939). Hadn't read all the books from the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer before she was cast in The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) but she wanted to do it, because she loved the cast, and the movie. Started voicing Coraline (2009) when she was 10 years old. However the movie was released when she was 15. She chose her costumes and looks in Push (2009). Some of the clothes were actually her own. When the production of Coraline (2009) started, it was originally going to be a live action, still with Dakota in the lead. While filming Push (2009) in Hong Kong, she wasn't recognized. Because of her rape scenes, her movie Hounddog (2007) was banned in a lot of cities. Has the rare distinction of being in two movies that opened on the same day in the U.S. - Coraline (2009) and Push (2009) (February 6, 2009). Personal Quotes I've always wanted to be an actress, ever since I was a little girl. I've always played the mom and I play my sister as the daughter. I wanted to be an actress on television and movies instead of just around the house. "Working with him, I loved every minute of it. I couldn't wait to see him everyday. He's one of the best actors in the world and I loved observing him." - on working with Denzel Washington on Man on Fire (2004). I think Orlando Bloom is cute. I met him at an awards show. I was actually nominated and I won that one. When I went up on stage, they didn't have a step for me to step on at the Critics' Choice Awards so he had to hold me up. He held me for a LONG, LONG time! I've been very lucky enough to do all kinds of movies. All the movies that I've done have been very different and all the characters I've done have been very different. I feel very lucky to have been able to do the movies that I've done. I want to keep acting. I want to go to college, sure, but I really want to keep acting right now. It's so fun. I'm just a normal kid, really. I just love to act. I learned that it can be very hurtful to talk about others. You know, I read a quote by Oprah Winfrey where she said, "Turn your wounds into wisdom". It's not nice to spread rumors. Acting is what I love to do. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I don't think of it as work. It's really fun for me. And home-schooling works out perfectly. It's fun to know what I want to do - you know, when I grow up. I have friends who say, 'Oh, maybe I'll be an astronaut or whatever.' But it's cool to want to do this forever. I knew from my first commercial that I wanted to be an actress. When I go on a movie set, I'm learning about movies. I learned 100 lessons a day from Steven [Spielberg]. I always think I might not have this opportunity again, so I try to cram a lot of information into my brain. My dad named me Dakota and my mom came up with my first name Hannah. So it's Hannah Dakota Fanning. [Talking about Hounddog]: It was a script that I loved and it's, you know, ultimately my decision because I'm playing the character, but of course my mom and my agent read everything, but it was no different than anything else. I have no problem shooting emotional scenes. I feel so blessed to have been able to be in War of the Worlds. I think it's everyones dream to win an Oscar. I'd love just to go to the Oscars and it would be fun. That would be great!

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Person Photo

Birth Name

Hannah Dakota Fanning

Birth Place

Conyers, Georgia, USA

Birth Date

2/23/1994
Known For
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War of the Worlds

Rachel Ferrier

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Coraline

Coraline Jones (voice)

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Man on Fire

Pita

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Hide and Seek

Emily Callaway

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Push

Cassie Holmes

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Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch

Lilo Pelekai (voice)

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The Secret Life of Bees

Lily Owens

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The Equalizer 3

Emma Collins

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I Am Sam

Lucy Diamond Dawson

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Now Is Good

Tessa Scott

Starring In
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The Watchers

Mina

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The Equalizer 3

Emma Collins

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The Nightingale

Vianne

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Viena and the Fantomes

Viena

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Sweetness in the Belly

Lily Mitchell Abdal

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Squeaky Fromme

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Ocean's 8

Penelope Stern

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Please Stand By

Wendy

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American Pastoral

Merry Levov

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Brimstone

Liz

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The Escape

Lily

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The Benefactor

Olivia

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Yellowbird

Delf (voice)

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Effie Gray

Effie Gray

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Every Secret Thing

Ronnie Fuller

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Very Good Girls

Lilly

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Night Moves

Dena

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The Last of Robin Hood

Beverly Aadland

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2

Jane

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The Motel Life

Annie James

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Now Is Good

Tessa Scott

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Jane

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The Runaways

Cherie Currie

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Jane

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Coraline

Coraline Jones (voice)

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Push

Cassie Holmes

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Coraline

Coraline Jones (voice)

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The Secret Life of Bees

Lily Owens

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Fragments

Anne Hagen

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Hounddog

Lewellen

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Charlotte's Web

Fern

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Dreamer

Cale Crane

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Nine Lives

Maria

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Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch

Lilo Pelekai (voice)

Movie Poster

War of the Worlds

Rachel Ferrier

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Hide and Seek

Emily Callaway

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Dreamer

Cale Crane

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Man on Fire

Pita

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Uptown Girls

Lorraine "Ray" Schleine

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Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time

Preschool Kim (voice)

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In the Realms of the Unreal - The Mystery of Henry Darger

Narrator / Vivian Girls (voice)

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Trapped

Abby Jennings

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Sweet Home Alabama

Young Melanie

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Hansel & Gretel

Katie

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I Am Sam

Lucy Diamond Dawson

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Tomcats

Little Girl in Park

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My Neighbor Totoro

Satsuki (2005 Disney version) (voice: English version)

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The Oprah Winfrey Show

Herself (3 episodes, 2003-2006)

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