|Real Name:||Heather Joy Arrington|
|Birthday:||July 1, 1967|
|Occupation:||Mother of Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning|
Every parent wants his children to be successful. As parents, we try to push our children to be the best version of themselves. And when they finally make it, we are there to enjoy their success. Supporting an actress is not an easy task. Just ask Heather Joy Arrington. She has not one, but two celebrity daughters to support.
And when you see actors and actresses thank their mothers in their Oscar acceptance speeches, you know why it is.
Heather is the mother of Dakota and Elle Fanning, and she definitely deserves an award. She has always done a great job of supporting her daughters in their careers.
But unlike them, she wants privacy. And the Fanning sisters respect her wishes. They love her unconditionally, and occasionally, post a picture with her on social media. You can find several photos on Instagram.
Who Are Her Daughters?
To understand the life of Heather Joy Arrington, you have to know a little bit more about her children, the Fanning sisters.
First, let’s start with the older one. Born Hannah Dakota Fanning in February 1994, she is an American actress that rose to prominence at the age of seven years. Critics applauded her performance in the drama film I am Sam in 2001. For this role, Dakota received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. At age 8, she was the youngest nominee in SAG history.
Born in Conyers, Georgia, she attended a Montessori School in Covington. Born to mother Heather Joy Arrington, a professional tennis player, and Steven Fanning, a minor league baseball player, she began her career at the age of five. Dakota’s professional acting career started with a Tide television commercial.
After a few guest roles, she got her first major breakthrough, appearing opposite Sean Penn in I Am Sam. The story follows a mentally challenged man who fights for the custody of his daughter.
One year later, director Steven Spielberg cast her in the lead child role of Allison Allie Clarke, in the science fiction miniseries Taken.
Over the years, she has also appeared in movies like Uptown Girls, and The Cat in the Hat, and did voiceover for television series like Family Guy.
In June 2011, Dakota Fanning graduated from Campbell Hall School in California. From 2011 to 2014, she attended the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. She majored in women’s studies, focusing on the portrayal of women in film and culture.
Her sister, Mary Elle Fanning was born in April 1998. She is also an American actress. Fun fact: Elle Fanning made her acting debut as the younger version of her sister’s character in I am Sam.
As a child actress, Elle Fanning has appeared in many movies, including Babel, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Phoebe in Wonderland, Somewhere, Super 8, We Brought a Zoo and many more.
But her bigger role arguably is as Princess Aurora in the fantasy film Maleficent in 2014. Elle reprised her role in Maleficent Mistress of Evil in 2019.
Following the success of the first Maleficent movie, she worked in independent cinema, collaborating with auteurs in lead and supporting roles.
As we can see, both Fanning sisters began acting quite young. Dakota at 7, while Elle at 3 years of age. At 4, Elle had her first role independent of her sister in the comedy movie Daddy Day Care.
Raising Celebrity Daughters
Heather Joy Arrington has managed to raise two extremely successful and talented actresses. Usually, when we talk about celebrity mothers, we think they are aggressive stage moms. But that is not the case with this celebrity mother.
Elle describes her mother as a very hard-working mother that sacrificed so much moving the family to Los Angeles for a child’s dream.
When Dakota’s career was starting up, the Fanning family moved from Georgia to Los Angeles. At the time, Elle wasn’t far behind her big sister.
Speaking of her mother’s sacrifice, Elle says, “I had the luxury of knowing what I want to do because of her”.
Arrington knows what is like to chase your dreams. After all, she went to college on a tennis scholarship and turned professional later on. Her father, Rick Arrington, was a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Steven Fanning, her husband, was also a athlete. Steven played minor league baseball. Elle says, “I have the sports drive. It is in my blood. I cannot help it. Actors and athletes are similar, I Think. You set a goal for yourself, and you are ready for a challenge. You prepare for the match or you are getting ready for the role”.
When the girls were little, Arrington tried to encourage sports. And at a young age, Dakota could play the sport without help from her professional mother. But Dakota wanted to act.
She says, “I was being groomed to be a tennis player for sure. My grandparents and parents realized I had a natural athletic ability, and if I was forced to do it, I could probably do well. But all I wanted was to play pretend”.
Once the girls decided to pursue acting, Arrington wanted to make sure they have good old Southern manners. Elle says that if they misbehaved, their mother would embarrass them. They understand the phrase “go back and apologize” from a young age.
Another southern thing they inherited? Going by their middle name, not their real name. Elle’s real name is Mary Fanning, while Dakota’s is Hannah Fanning. Arrington also goes by her middle name.
Speaking about her upbringing, Dakota says, “My parents never talked to me like I was a kid. Maybe that is why I’ve been seen as mature. I think I was a little bit scary. But you know, I was my mom’s first child. She thought it was normal”.
That maturity helped both Fanning sisters navigate adult roles in their youth as successfully as they did.
Let’s take a look at the biography of Heather Joy Arrington. There is one thing she is not completely comfortable with, and that is stardom.
Unlike her daughters, Heather is a quite shy and private person. You can hardly see her in public. While she doesn’t accompany her daughters on the red carpet, she does hang out with them in a casual setting.
Dakota and her sister Elle respect their mother’s wishes for privacy. They are not upset about it. Yet, now and then, they publish a photo with her on social media.
Heather Joy comes from a sports-loving family. Her father was a professional footballer, while she and her sister grew up playing tennis.
Born in July 1967, she attended college on a tennis scholarship. Speaking of her character, she is against the spotlight.
Her daughter Elle says, “I dare you to find a picture of my mom on the Internet that’s not a paparazzi photo of her walking with us”.
The only privacy breach she has had over the years came in 2018. It was announced that she will get a divorce from her husband Steven Fanning after 25 years of marriage.
Since then, the sisters enjoy spending time with their mother during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Born in July 1967, in the United States, she is the daughter of Rick Arrington and Mary Jane Odum. She grew up with her sister Jill Arrington, who is now a well-known sportscaster and correspondent for KCBS-TV and KCAL 9 in Los Angeles.
She has not mentioned her educational background, but we know a thing or two about her professional career.
Growing up in a sports family, she was destined to do something around sports. And she and her sister choose tennis.
They grew up competing in tennis tournaments. Heather even got a tennis scholarship to college, but she has not revealed her exact profession.
We do not know the net worth of Heather Arrington. As with all things, she keeps it private and is a bit secretive.
But we do know the net worth of her daughters. American actress Dakota Fanning has a net worth of $12 million.
Her sister, American actress Elle Fanning has a net worth of $6 million. Since Dakota started her career before her younger sister, it is no surprise she has a higher net worth.