Hannah Dakota Fanning is an American actress who began her career as a child actress with the NBC drama ER. Having being nominated for a Screen Actors Award for her performance in the movie I AM Sam (2001) she went on to star in films such as Man On Fire
(2004), War of the Worlds
(2005) and Charlotte’s Web (2006). Fanning is also a model and has appeared on cover pages of magazines like Elle, Vanity Fair and Cosmopolitan. She has won the Screen Actors Guild award for her role in the movie Dreamer (2006) and The Secret Life of Bees (2009) and the TV Series Taken (2003).
Fanning was born in Conveyrs, Georgia on February 23rd, 1994 to Heather Joy – a professional tennis player - and Steven J. Fanning – minor league baseball player. She attended Montessori School of Covington, then completed her schooling from Campbell Hall School and graduated from New York University with a major in women’s studies focused on portrayal of women in film and culture.
Fanning dated her school mate Logan Markley in high school for a year. After that she was reportedly dating English actor Freddie Highmore
during the year 2009. Once she broke up with Freddie, she started seeing her twilight co-star Cameron Bright. Their relationship lasted for three years till 2012. Fanning then started dating another British actor Jamie Strachan. However, the couple got separated in 2016.
Dakota Fanning first faced the camera at the age of five when she featured in a Tide commercial. She later went on to appear in minor roles on TV shows like ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Ally McBeal and The Ellen Show. In 2002,Steven Spielberg
cast her in the lead role of Allison “Allie” Clarke/Keys in the science fiction miniseries Taken that aired on Sci-Fi Channel in 2002.
In 2001, after appearing in the short film Father Xmas, she was seen in the movie Tomcats. However, her maiden lead role came with the movie I Am Sam, released in the same year. Starring alongsideSean Penn
, Fanning essayed the role of his 7 year-old daughter Lucy Diamond Dawson. Fanning’s performance in the film won her a lot of accolades. She was the youngest person to be nominated for the Screen Actors Guild awards and won the Young Artist Award in the Best Young Actress category. Steven Spielberg cast her in the lead role of Allison “Allie” Clarke/Keys in the science fiction miniseries Taken that aired on Sci-Fi Channel in 2002.
After essaying small roles in films like Trapped (2002), Sweet Home Albama (2002) and Hansel & Gratel (2002) and doing voice over work for animated projects like My Neighbour Totoro (2004), Fanning appeared in the film Man On Fire
(2004) as a little child who charms a retired mercenary (Denzel Washington
) hired to protect her from abductors. She was nominated in the Leading Young Actress category at the Young Artist Awards for her role and even got praised for her performance by critics like Roger Ebert.
Steven Spielberg then cast her in the role of Tom Cruise
’s daughter in his science fiction disaster film War of the Worlds
(2005). The film was a commercial blockbuster and even got Fanning critical acclaim for her acting. Her next film to release in the theaters was Dreamer (2005), which also starredKurt Russell
in the lead role. Based on a true story, the film showcases a father-daughter relationship getting stronger, as both of them tend to an injured racehorse. Fanning again won the Young Artist Award in the Leading Young Actress category.
In the 2006 commercial hit Charlotte’s Web, Fanning played the role of Fern – a little girl who convinces her father to keep a newborn pig as a pet who otherwise would have been sent to a slaughterhouse. A couple of years later, Fanning won her third Young Artist Award in the Leading Young Actress category for The Secret Life of Bees (2008) in which she played the lead role of a 14 year old girl named Lily who escapes with her black caregiver Rosaleen to South Carolina wherein she finds solace in the mesmerizing world of beekeeping.
She later appeared in the three films in the massively popular Twilight Saga series as the character Jane in The Twilight Saga: New Moon
(2009)The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
(2010) and The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2
(2012). Fanning then won hearts with her performance in the emotional drama Now Is Good (2012). In the film, she essayed the role of a dying leukemia patient who compiles a list of things to do before she passes away. The indie film was declared a box office hit by the trade analysts, but received mixed reviews. Her next film, Night Moves (2013), however, was a critics' favorite and was universally praised for its outstanding performances. Fanning essayed the role of a radical environmentalist who blows up a dam, but later feels guilty about it. The film was also screened at the main competition of the Venice International Film Festival that year.
In 2014, Dakota Fanning continued to impress the critics with her acting in films like Every Secret Thing (2014) and Effie Gray (2014). She gave a display of her versatility in the films by essaying two very different characters. While in Every Secret Thing she was a free-spirited young American girl with a criminal bent of mind, Effie Gray had her essaying the role of the wife of an Victorian era art critic in England.
Her 2018 releases include the movie Bell Jar - a film based on Sylvia Plath’s book - and the spin off on the Ocean’s Trilogy titled Ocean’s Eight.