Date of Birth: April 30, 1982
Born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Kirsten Dunst had an agent at the age of three. She secured her first film role at the age of five as Woody Allen and Mia Farrow's daughter in 1989's New York Stories; she then played Tom Hanks' kid in 1990's The Bonfire of the Vanities. Her big break came in 1993 when she beat out 5,000 other young actresses to get the role of Claudia, the child blood-sucker in Interview With the Vampire. It was a big leap that earned her much recognition: she was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress, up against Sophia Loren, Uma Thurman, Dianne Wiest and Robin Wright.
The combination of the film's success and that of the same year's Little Women (in which she played the frivolous Amy) made Kirsten one of the most bankable child actors in Hollywood. The following year she starred in the Robin Williams action-fantasy Jumanji and then lent her voice to the animated feature Anastasia (1997). The same year, she had a small but memorable role in Barry Levinson's highly praised Wag the Dog, and subsequently starred in the children's action flick Small Soldiers (1998). The year 1999 marked a turning point in Kirsten's career, as she began appearing in films that cast her as a young woman rather than a precocious child. She had a lead role as a small-town beauty contestant in the comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous and co-starred with Michelle Williams as one of the teenage girls who unwittingly uncovers the Watergate scandal in the comedy Dick.
The actress further lived up to her title as one of Teen People's "21 Hottest Stars Under 21" with her leading role as the sexually rebellious Lux in Sofia Coppola's highly anticipated film adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides' novel The Virgin Suicides, which premiered at Cannes in May of 1999. In 2000, she had a total of five films released. In 2002, she starred as Mary Jane Watson in the Hollywood blockbuster Spider-Man, opposite Tobey Maguire. The film was so successful that a sequel was immediately planned. She continued to work non-stop with appearances in Mona Lisa Smile (2003) opposite Julia Roberts, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) with Jim Carrey and Elizabethtown (2005), co-starring Orlando Bloom.
In 2015, Kirsten worked on the hit series Fargo. She played Peggy Blumquist in 10 episodes of the show, for which she won a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination. The following year, she starred in the indie drama Midnight Special with Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton. She also appeared in Hidden Figures (2017), alongside Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner. Most recently, she starred in dramas Woodshock (2017) and The Beguiled (2017).
In 2007, while struggling with depression, Kirsten entered a facility in Utah. In 2008, she admitted she regretted having been a child actress, saying: "I have had to grow up very fast in the adult world of acting. I already know that if I have a child, I will never put them through this."