Kicking off an impressive career in front of the camera at the tender age of five, it was a mere three years later that actress Dakota Fanning would become the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Screen Actor's Guild Award for her role in the Sean Penn drama I Am Sam. She subsequently appeared in such efforts as Sweet Home Alabama (2002) and director Steven Spielberg's sci-fi miniseries Taken.
A Conyers, GA, native whose acting abilities became apparent when, at the age of three, she acted out the entire process of pregnancy and childbirth (with her younger sister Elle substituting for the newborn baby) to her amused parents. Advised by an agent to take their daughter to Los Angeles, it wasn't long before young Fanning was cast in a commercial for Tide detergent. Television appearances in ER and Ally McBeal were quick to follow, and in 2001 she made her feature debut in the comedy Tomcats. Though the film was only seen by an unlucky few, her role in the same year's I Am Sam was a wide release that found the adorable young starlet a solid fan base.