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Hannah Dakota Fanning (born February 23, 1994), better known simply as Dakota Fanning, appears in New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn - Part 2 as Jane. Fanning's breakthrough performance was Lucy in I Am Sam in 2001. As a child actress, she appeared in high-profile films such as Man on Fire, War of the Worlds, and Charlotte's Web. Fanning began transitioning to more adult roles with Hounddog and The Secret Life of Bees. She has won numerous awards and is currently the youngest person ever to have been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Personal life[]

Fanning was born in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Joy (née Arrington), who played tennis professionally, and Steve Fanning, who played minor league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals 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, who is also an actress.

Normal DakotaHomecomingPrincessOct302009 005.jpg

Her father had wanted to name her "Dakota" and her mother wanted to name her "Hannah", So they named her "Hannah Dakota".

Fanning is of half German descent and her last name is of Irish origin. Fanning and her family are members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Fanning attended Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, California and was on the varsity spirit cheerleading squad. She graduated in June 2011 at the age of 17. She is now attending New York University. She is enrolled in the class of 2015.


Fanning 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, 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 eight years of age at the time. She also won the Best Young Actor/Actress award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her performance.

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."

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.

Dakota Fanning in Uptown Girls

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; as Satsuki in Disney's English language release of My Neighbor Totoro, as Kim Possible in preschool in the Disney Channel series Kim Possible, as a little girl in the Fox series Family Guy, and as 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 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."

Man on Fire

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 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, though it wasn't released until February 6, 2009.

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.

Fanning in War of the Worlds.

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. Released on December 15, 2006, Web met generally warm critical acclaim. 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."

Over 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." Director Deborah Kampmeier addressed the controversy in the January 2007 edition of Premiere: "The assumption that [Dakota] was violated in order to give this performance denies her talent."

In 2006, at the age of 12, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, becoming the youngest member in the Academy's history.

Dakota Fanning as Jane in Eclipse

In March and April 2007, she filmed Winged Creatures. She played Anne Hagen, a girl who witnesses her father's murder and who turns to religion in the aftermath. In July 2007, Fanning appeared in a short film titled Cutlass, which also featured Kristen Stewart. 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 plays Cassie Holmes, a thirteen-year-old psychic. Push was released on December 6, 2009.

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 her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father by running away with her caregiver and only friend to a South Carolina town where they are taken in by an eccentric trio of beekeeping sisters.

Fanning was cast as Jane in the 2009 film New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer. Fanning reprises her role as Jane in the film Eclipse, the novel sequel to New Moon. For her role in the Twilight saga she appeared in a few teen magazines. In one of them she told the world she isn't a little girl anymore comparing pictures of Jane to pictures of her younger roles.

She appears in The Runaways alongside Kristen Stewart and Scout Taylor-Compton where she plays Cherie Currie, the lead singer of the titular band.



Year Film Role Notes
2001 Father Xmas Claire Short subject
Tomcats Little Girl in Park
I Am Sam Lucy Diamond Dawson Dakota's younger sister, Elle Fanning, plays the younger version of Lucy
2002 Trapped Abigail "Abbie" Jennings
Sweet Home Alabama Young Melanie
Hansel and Gretel Katie
2003 Uptown Girls Lorraine "Ray" Schleine
The Cat in the Hat Sally Walden
Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time Preschool Kim Voice
2004 Man on Fire Lupita "Pita" Martin Ramos
My Neighbor Totoro Satsuki Kusakabe Voice (English version)
In the Realms of the Unreal Narrator Voice
2005 Hide and Seek Emily Callaway
Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch Lilo Voice
Nine Lives Maria
War of the Worlds Rachel Ferrier
Dreamer Cale Crane
2006 Charlotte's Web Fern Arable Elle Fanning plays Fern's granddaughter in alternate ending
2007 Hounddog Lewellen
Cutlass Lacy Short film
2008 The Secret Life of Bees Lily Owens
2009 Coraline Coraline Voice
Push Cassie Holmes
Fragments - Winged Creatures Anne Hagen
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Jane
2010 The Runaways Cherie Currie
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Jane
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 Jane
Celia Hannah Jones Short film
The Motel Life Annie James
Now is Good Tessa Scott
2013 Night Moves Dena Brauer
The Last of Robin Hood Beverly Aadland
2014 Very Good Girls Lilly Berger
Effie Gray Euphemia 'Effie' Gray
Every Secret Thing Ronnie Fuller
Yellowbird Delf Voice role; English version
2015 The Benefactor Olivia
2016 Brimstone Liz
American Pastoral Merry Levov
The Escape Lily Short film
Viena and the Fantomes Viena
2018 Please Stand By Wendy
Ghost Wars Marina Richards
The Bell Jar Esther Greenwood
Ocean's Eight Penelope Stern
2019 Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Squeaky Fromme


Year Title Role Episode(s)
2000 ER Delia Chadsey "The Fastest Year"
Ally McBeal Young Ally "Ally McBeal: The Musical, Almost"
Strong Medicine Edie's Girl "Misconceptions"
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Brenda Collins "Blood Drops"
The Practice Alessa Engel "The Deal"
Spin City Cindy "Toy Story"
2001 Malcolm in the Middle Emily "New Neighbors"
The Fighting Fitzgeralds Marie "Pilot"
Family Guy Little girl "To Love and Die in Dixie"
The Ellen Show Young Ellen "Missing the Bus"
2004 Justice League Unlimited Young Wonder Woman (voice) "Kid Stuff"
Friends Mackenzie "The One with Princess Consuela"


Year 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
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Satellite Award Outstanding New Talent Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award Most Promising Performer Nominated
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
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series Nominated
2004 Man on Fire Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Nominated
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
Nine Lives Gotham Award Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
Locarno International Film Festival Best Actress Won
Hide and Seek MTV Movie Award Best Frightened Performance Won
N/A Relly Awards Best Junior Achiever Won
War of the Worlds Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards Youth in Film Won
Irish Film and Television Award Best International Actress Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Won
2006 War of the Worlds MTV Movie Award Best Frightened Performance Nominated
Saturn Award Best Performance by a Younger Actor Won
Dreamer Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favourite Movie Actress Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Won
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
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favourite Movie Actress Won
2008 The Secret Life of Bees Black Reel Award Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
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
The Runaways MTV Movie Award Best Kiss - With co-star Kristen Stewart Nominated


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