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Elle Fanning
Born Mary Elle Fanning
April 9, 1998 (1998-04-09) (age 11)
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2001 – present

Mary Elle Fanning (born April 9, 1998), credited as Elle Fanning, is an American actress. She is the younger sister of actress Dakota Fanning.


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.[1] Her maternal grandfather is American football player Rick Arrington, and her aunt is ESPN reporter Jill Arrington.[2]

Fanning is the younger sister of Dakota Fanning, also an actress.[3] Fanning is of half German descent and her last name is of Irish origin.[4] She and her family are members of the Southern Baptist Convention;[5] she started attending private school recently.[citation needed] She was quoted as saying "We're just normal sisters. We both go to school and we just play together."[6]


Fanning began her acting career by playing the younger version of her older sister Dakota's characters in both the mini-series Taken and the movie I am Sam. In 2002, at the age of four, Fanning won her first role independent of her sister, in the comedy Daddy Day Care.

In 2003, Fanning filmed The Door in the Floor opposite Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger. Anecdotal evidence of her young skill was seen in the decision to cast her in the role of Ruth in The Door in the Floor. The film's producers had originally planned to hire identical twins for the intense shooting schedule, but were so impressed with Fanning that they used only her.[7]

Late in 2003, Fanning filmed Because of Winn-Dixie in the small role of Sweetie Pie Thomas. In 2004, she did voicework in the English dubbed version of Miyazaki's animated film My Neighbor Totoro, in the role of Mei. Later that same year, she filmed I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With. In early 2005, Fanning filmed scenes in Charlotte's Web as the "future granddaughter" of Fern Arable played by Dakota Fanning. However, the scenes didn't make the final cut. In mid 2005, she played Debbie, the daughter of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the Academy Award-winning film Babel. In early 2006, Fanning filmed scenes in both The Nines and Déjà Vu. In mid 2006 she filmed The Lost Room a sci-fi TV mini-series.

By the end of 2006, Fanning began to book lead roles. Her first being in Reservation Road playing Emma Learner, the grieving daughter of Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly. The film deals with the aftermath of a tragic car accident in which Emma's brother is killed. Late in 2008, she had a small part in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as a younger version of Cate Blanchett's character (as opposed to Babel where Fanning played her daughter). Mid-year 2007, Fanning filmed Phoebe in Wonderland as the title role Phoebe. It is the fantastical tale of a little girl who won't - or can't - follow the rules. It also stars Felicity Huffman and was released in March 2009.

From July to October 2007, Fanning filmed Nutcracker: The Untold Story, playing Mary. Set in 1920's Vienna, this is a tale of a little girl whose godfather gives her a special doll one Christmas Eve. The movie was filmed in Budapest, Hungary and is expected to be released late 2009.[8]

In March 2008, Fanning and her sister Dakota were scheduled to star in My Sister's Keeper, but the opportunity fell through when Dakota learned she would have to shave her head. They were immediately replaced by Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassilieva.[9]

Variety reported in April 2009 that Fanning would be starring in Academy Award-winning screenwriter Sofia Coppola's new film, Somewhere. The plot centres around a "bad-boy" actor who is forced to re-evaluate his life when his daughter, played by Fanning, arrives unexpectedly.[10]


Year Film Role Notes
2001 I Am Sam Lucy Diamond Dawson, Age 2 This role is the younger version of a character played primarily by Fanning's older sister Dakota Fanning
2003 Daddy Day Care Jamie
2004 The Door in the Floor Ruth Cole
2005 My Neighbor Totoro Mei (Voice) English language version voice
"P.N.O.K." Rebecca Bullard Short film
Because of Winn-Dixie Sweetie Pie Thomas
2006 The Lost Room Anna Miller (character) Sci-fi Channel Miniseries
Déjà Vu Abbey
Babel Debbie
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With Penelope
2007 The Nines Noelle
Reservation Road Emma
Day 73 with Sarah Sarah Short film
2008 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Daisy, Age 7
Phoebe in Wonderland Phoebe Lichten
2009 Nutcracker: The Untold Story Mary
2010 Somewhere Cleo post-production

Notable TV guest appearances

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Taken Allie Keys - Age 3 "Charlie and Lisa"
2003 Judging Amy Rochelle Cobbs "Maxine Interrupted"
CSI: Miami Molly Walker "Death Grip"
2004 CSI: NY Jenny Como "Officer Blue"
2006 House:MD Stella "Need to Know"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Eden "Cage"
The Lost Room Anna Miller 3 episodes
2006-2007 Criminal Minds Tracey Belle 2 episodes
2007 Dirty Sexy Money Kiki George "Pilot"


External links

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