Top 10 Best Dakota Fanning Movie and TV Roles of All Time Dakota Fanning is a child actress who continues perfecting her craft.

Hannah Dakota Fanning is an American actress and former child star who’s been working on screen in Hollywood since the age of seven. She was already winning awards back then, and much of her teen years and early twenties were dedicated to more serious roles, especially in indie movies. She honed her chops and still comes up with hits well into her twenties. Check out these impressive highlights from the filmography of Dakota Fanning.

10. Coraline


Character: Coraline Jones

Although directed by Henry Sellick, Coraline is very much a Tim Burton film in its aesthetic. Fanning takes the lead role in an imaginative children’s classic.

9. The Alienist


Character: Sara Howard

This period mini-series was such a hit with TNT that a sequel series was ordered. One could argue (which many critics have) that Fanning’s role is an important one for the show.

8. The Twilight Saga

Dakota Fanning Twilight Eclipse

Character: Jane

Fanning isn’t the main character in the Twilight Saga, but her role is mesmerizing, and her portrayal even more so. She’s worth watching this entire thing for.

7. Very Good Girls

Dakota Fanning Very Good Girls

Character: Lilly

This indie coming-of-age drama proved Fanning will forever have what it takes to play any part she wants on screen. It’s a masterful performance that’s sure to keep her on directors’ minds for decades to come.

6. Please Stand By

Dakota Fanning Please Stand By

Character: Wendy Welcott

I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan, but this story of an autistic writer on a *ahem* trek to submit a story reminds me of a childhood favorite movie. Not Rain Man, but The Wizard with Fred Savage.

5. The Secret Life of Bees

Dakota Fanning Secret Life of Bees

Character: Lily Owens

This award-winning film shows an older (but still child) Fanning with some serious acting skills.

4. Ocean’s Eight

Dakota Fanning Oceans 8

Character: Penelope Stern

It’s only a cameo, but Fanning’s presence is felt in this star-studded feminist remake of a Hollywood classic.

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


Character: Squeaky Fromme

Charles Manson’s reign of terror in Hollywood is one of many stories woven into this 2019 Quintin Tarantino film. Fanning excels as a Manson girl.

2. Man on Fire

Dakota Fanning Man on Fire

Character: Lupita Ramos

Denzel Washington is on the warpath in Mexico’s underworld looking for this little girl. And somehow her complete innocence and seemingly blindness to what’s happening is the heart of this movie.

1. I Am Sam

Dakota Fanning Girl Scout I Am Sam

Character: Lucy

OMG how adorable is this little girl still to this day? Little Fanning hit audiences right in the heart in her debut film alongside Sean Penn.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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