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Actress. Born April 30, 1982, in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Unlike so many child actors whose promise diminishes with the onset of adulthood, Dunst has grown in both range and popularity. She has already garnered over 40 film and television credits and continues to command hefty sums for acting appearances.

Dunst made her acting debut before she was able to walk. She was signed to the Ford Modeling Agency as a child and by age 12, she had made over 100 commercials.

In 1989, Dunst made her film debut with a small role in Woody Allen’s New York Stories. This was soon followed by a role as Tom Hank’s daughter in the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s bestselling novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Dunst got her big break at the tender age of 11, when she played the pre-pubescent bloodsucker Claudia in the screen adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Although critical response to the film was mixed, Dunst received high marks from reviewers for her controlled portrayal of an adult perpetually trapped in a child’s body. Rice’s literary following flocked to the film and made Dunst a ghoulish cult favorite. For her performance, Dunst received the MTV Movie Award for best breakthrough performance and a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actress.

Dunst went on to appear in a string of major Hollywood productions including Little Women (1994), Jumanji (1995) and Wag the Dog (1997), but also received critical attention for her performances in the less-publicized mock-documentary Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) and the political spoof Dick (1999).

Dunst engineered a successful transition to “adult” roles with her 2000 appearance in Sophia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides. Dunst received positive critical attention for her facility with the movie’s weighty themes of teen suicide and burgeoning sexuality.

Dunst further cemented her move from darling daughter to femme fatale, playing Marion Davies, silent-film actress and mistress to William Randolph Hearst, in Peter Bogdanovich’s semi-biographical The Cat’s Meow (2002).

Dunst was chosen to play opposite fellow child-phenom Tobey Maguire in the 2002 adaptation of Spiderman. The film netted $114 million in its opening weekend, a box-office record, and proved Dunst and Maguire's ability to play bankable leading roles. Filming on the sequel is planned for 2003. Upcoming projects include Columbia Pictures' The Crimson Petal and the White, a period piece about a well-read prostitute taken in by a wealthy family in Victorian London, and Mike Newell's Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts. Dunst will also star in Wimbledom as an up-and-coming American tennis ace.

In her early teens, Dunst’s family moved to Los Angeles to further her career. When her parents separated, she and her brother remained with her mother, Inez. Film commitments required Dunst to abandon high school and finish her degree with private tutors. Plans for college have also been abandoned in favor of acting. Dunst continues to live Los Angeles.

 






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