By the time this pretty, porcelain-skinned actress essayed her breakthrough role as a tween bloodsucker in Interview with the Vampire at age 11, she was already a veteran of the entertainment industry. At age 3 Dunst began appearing in commercials and by the early '90s she was landing small parts on television and the big screen. Her captivating performance as a woman trapped in a child's body in 1994's Vampire proved that she was more than just a precocious youngster. As she grew up in front of the cameras, she effortlessly alternated between kid-oriented fare (Jumanji) and edgier projects, such as her recurring role as a troubled teen on ER. In the early '00s, Dunst blossomed into a young adult capable of tackling myriad genres, including comedy (Bring It On), drama (Crazy/Beautiful, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and action (Spider-Man). As the webbed superhero's love interest, Dunst became a star and fashion plate, frequently pictured in celebrity magazines, often alongside boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal. The Hollywood couple parted amicably in 2004, and Dunst remained at the top of her game with a number of high-profile activities, including two Spider-Man sequels and activities in support of voting, and AIDs research. Dunst also provided heightened awareness of the importance of treatment for depression in 2008 when she acknowledged her own battles with it, going public, as she told E!, because "depression...should not be gossiped about."
Signed by Ford Modeling Agency; began modeling by the time she was 4.
Appeared in more than 70 TV commercials.
Made her live television debut in a 1988 episode of Saturday Night Live, playing the granddaughter of Dana Carvey's President George H.W. Bush. She went on to host SNL in 2002.
Made her film debut in the Woody Allen-directed segment of 1989's New York Stories.
Beat out Christina Ricci for roles in Interview with the Vampire (1994) and Little Women (1994).
Turned down a key role in the acclaimed 1999 film American Beauty because she felt it was too suggestive.
Appeared on Mr. Blackwell's 2005 best-dressed list.
Active in politics (supported John Kerry for president in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008, and narrated a documentary that year about voting) and in charity work, including efforts to combat AIDS.
Holds dual citizenship with Germany.
1995, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
2012, Robert Awards — Best Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
2016, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie: Nominee
2016, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
2011, Cannes Film Festival — Best Actress: Winner
2012, Bodil Awards — Best Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
2016, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
2015, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Winner
2019, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee