On 23 February 1994, in Conyers, Georgia, Hannah Dakota Fanning was born to a mother who liked "Hannah" and a father who liked "Dakota". Eventually, she chose "Dakota" as her professional name.
Her dream of becoming an actress was realized in 1999, when the talented five-year-old was chosen from thousands of young hopefuls to star in a nationwide commercial campaign for Tide dish-washing liquid. Several small television roles followed, including a guest appearance as a leukemia patient on ER, which remains one of her favorite characters.
I Am Sam would catapult young Dakota to stardom around the globe. By this time, the family had relocated from Georgia to Los Angeles under the recommendation of an agent who predicted a glittering future for Dakota. She was quite justified — at the age of eight, Dakota became the youngest person in history to receive a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild award, and won the prestigious Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.
Since then, she has played opposite Jim Carrey, Eric Close, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Brittany Murphy, Denzel Washington and more in such films as The Cat in the Hat, Hide and Seek, Man on Fire and War of the Worlds.
Fanning is filming Charlotte's Web, also featuring the voice of Julia Roberts. The Nickelodeon movie is set to release sometime December 2006. Dakota has been the spotlight, when on July 21, 2006, it was revealed in her new film, Hounddog (set to release in 2007) featured a scene where young Fanning is raped. Her mother commented, saying the scene was tastefully put together. Dakota and her mother believe she may be even nominated for an Academy Award, if the film is a success.