The younger sister -- by four years -- of actress Dakota Fanning (The Cat in the Hat, War of the Worlds), angel-faced Elle Fanning broke into show business as a child star about three years after her ascendant sibling. Born in 1998, Elle started out as an actress with traditionally child-oriented roles in family-friendly material; she provided a voice for the American version of Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro, then appeared in such pictures as the 2003 Daddy Day Care (as one of Eddie Murphy's young charges) and the 2005 Because of Winn-Dixie before making the broad leap to adult-oriented content. Subsequent projects included Babel (2006) and The Nines (2007). Fanning first received premier billing in not a feature but a short -- Brent Hanley's Day 73 with Sarah (2007) -- as a little girl who teams up with the ghost of her dead father to liberate her beleaguered mom from an abusive relationship. She played the young Daisy in the Oscar nominated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008. And two years later earned strong reviews as the daughter of a spoiled, emotionally stunted actor in Sofia Coppola's Somwhere. In 2011 she earned the best reviews of her career in Super 8, and appeared in the hit family film We Bought a Zoo. In 2012 she appeared in Francis Coppola's unique horror film Twixt.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Made her debut as an actor playing a younger version of her sister Dakota's character in the 2001 film I Am Sam.
- Played the daughter of Cate Blanchett's character in Babel (2006) and a younger version of Blanchett's character in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).
- Received critical acclaim for her starring role in the 2008 film Phoebe in Wonderland.
- Starred in the short film The Curve of Forgotten Things for the fashion label Rodarte in 2011.
- Has a fondness for Marilyn Monroe and owns jars of face cream and powder that once belonged to the actress.
- Studies ballet.