Mary Elle Fanning was born on the 9th of April 1998 in Conyers, Georgia, USA, to Heather Joy (Arrington) and Steven J. Fanning. Her mother played professional tennis, and her father, now an electronics salesman, played minor league baseball. She is of German, Irish, English, French, and Channel Islander descent.
Elle's ascent into stardom began when she was almost three years old, when she played the younger version of her sister, Dakota Fanning's, character Lucy in the drama film I Am Sam (2001). She then played younger Dakota again in Taken (2002) as Allie, age 3. But her first big independent movie without her sister was in 2003's Daddy Day Care (2003) as Jamie. She then had two guest appearances on Judging Amy (1999) and CSI: Miami (2002).
Elle was becoming more successful and she got another role, in 2004's The Door in the Floor (2004) with Kim Basinger. Her career kept improving, as she had two movies in 2005, Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) and I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (2006).
She has since starred in a number of prominent films, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Super 8 (2011), We Bought a Zoo (2011), and Maleficent (2014).