Fanning learned to read at age two. She rose to stardom quickly, being chosen for a Tide commercial at age five. Fanning went on to earn, in 2001, the Best young actor/actress award, given by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, for her work in I Am Sam, where she starred as the seven year old daughter of a mentally challenged man.
Dakota Fanning's sister, Elle Fanning, is a budding actress. Elle's first roles were as the younger version of Dakota's character in I Am Sam and Taken. Dakota appeared on The Tonight Show on November 10, 2003, where she declared that she and her sister shared room, and described co-star Mike Myers as very funny.
- Hide and Seek (2004)
- Man on Fire (2004, alongside Denzel Washington)
- The Cat in the Hat, (2003, Sally)
- Uptown Girls (2003, Lorraine Schleine)
- Steven Spielberg Presents Taken, (2002, mini-series, Allie Keys)
- Hansel & Gretel (2002, Katie)
- Sweet Home Alabama (2002, young Melanie)
- Trapped (2002, Abigail Jennings)
- Father Xmas (2001, Clairee)
- I Am Sam, (2001, Lucy Diamond Dawson, alongside Sean Penn)
- Tomcats (2001)