Dakota Fanning: Snapshot

Dakota Fanning
Date of Birth
February 23, 1994
Birth Place
Conyers, Ga.
Doe-eyed Dakota Fanning has been charming audiences since she was a little girl, but after darker roles in The Twilight Saga and The Runaways, the teen star is breaking through the child star mold.

At age 7, Fanning scored her big break opposite Sean Penn in I Am Sam, becoming the youngest performer ever to be nominated for an individual SAG Award. She then spent her childhood building a résumé most actresses spend decades accomplishing – working with heavy hitters like Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro, Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts.

With an already impressive body of work and the Twilight series under her belt, Fanning manages to maintain a "normal life" away from Hollywood.

Dakota Fanning: Video


The New Moon actress still loves costumes – and trick or treating! (00:23)

More Videos

Dakota Fanning: Five Fun Facts

  1. Over the years, Dakota Fanning has received some pretty impressive presents on the set: Tom Cruise gave her "a razor-thin silver" cell phone; Steven Spielberg gave her a camcorder; and Robert De Niro threw her a surprise 10th birthday party.
  2. Dakota Fanning had her first onscreen kiss at age 7, playing a young Reese Witherspoon in 2002's Sweet Home Alabama.
  3. As a kid, Dakota Fanning wore a dental device called a flipper to cover up the holes her baby teeth left after falling out.
  4. While filming The Runaways, Dakota Fanning became BFFs with Kristen Stewart. "She's one of my best friends," Fanning told The Miami Herald. "I couldn't have asked for a better person to go through this with."
  5. Dakota Fanning spends her downtime on sets knitting – even making a gift for Tom Cruise. "I gave Tom a scarf that was brownish and black, [to match] his hair," she told PEOPLE. "He wore it around the [War of the Worlds] set."

Dakota Fanning: Biography


Dakota Fanning

A Star Is Born

At 5, Fanning's mother Joy enrolls her in a local acting workshop near their Conyers, Ga., home, and shortly after, she books a Tide commercial. Sensing her promise, the Fannings – including father Steve, a former minor league shortstop, and younger sister Elle – relocate to L.A. The budding actress soon makes her TV debut in an episode of ER.


Dakota Fanning

December 28

Daughter Duty

Fanning catches Hollywood's attention as Sean Penn's daughter in I Am Sam, a story about a man with a developmental disability fighting for custody of his child. The role earns Fanning a SAG Award nomination for best supporting actress. In 2002, she plays a young Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama and stars as Charlize Theron's daughter in Trapped.


Dakota Fanning

August 15

Leading Lady

Headlining her first film at age 9, Fanning plays a neurotic grade-schooler opposite Brittany Murphy's ditzy nanny in Uptown Girls. Though the movie tanks at the box office, the actress continues scoring high-profile roles, opposite Denzel Washington in 2004's Man on Fire and Robert De Niro in 2005's Hide and Seek. "Dakota is a wonderful, special, gifted actress," De Niro tells USA Today.

Read More on Dakota Fanning's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Debbie VanStory/IPHOTO

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett; Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Dakota Fanning

Celebrity Central / Top 25 Celebs