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Kirsten Dunst has successfully made the transition from child actor to leading lady, all the while starring in a diverse and rewarding series of roles.
The Point Pleasant, New Jersey native got her show business start at age 3, acting in television commercials. After filming more than 100 of those, she made the jump to the big screen in Woody Allen's "Oedipus Wrecks" segment of New York Stories.
Ms. Dunst's performance opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles brought her worldwide acclaim. She received a Golden Globe Award nomination, as well as an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Young Actor. The performance, in tandem with her work in Gillian Armstrong's Little Women, brought her that year's Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. The latter film also brought her a Young Artist Award.
Her early films also included Joe Johnston's Jumanji, Keith Gordon's Mother Night, and Barry Levinson's Wag the Dog. She guest-starred on several episodes of NBC's top-rated ER, with her work opposite George Clooney on the show earning her Young Artist and YoungStar Award nominations.
Among the telefilms that Ms. Dunst has starred in are Donna Deitch's The Devil's Arithmetic, D.J. MacHale's Tower of Terror, Sam Pillsbury's 15 and Pregnant, and Roger Young's Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy. She won YoungStar Awards for the latter two performances.
Concurrently, on the big screen, she starred in Joe Dante's Small Soldiers, Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, and Peyton Reed's sleeper hit Bring It On. She next played Marion Davies in Peter Bogdanovich's The Cat's Meow and starred in John Stockwell's crazy/beautiful.
Ms. Dunst then landed the coveted role of Mary Jane Watson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, opposite Tobey Maguire. Her performance won her two MTV Movie Awards (for Best Female Performance and Best Kiss). The film was a blockbuster hit all over the world, and she has reunited with the creative team for the upcoming Spider-Man 2.
Her recent films have also included Ed Solomon's Levity (with Billy Bob Thornton) and Mike Newell's Mona Lisa Smile (with Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal). She has completed work on Richard Loncraine's Wimbledon (opposite Paul Bettany), and next will star for Cameron Crowe in Elizabethtown.
Ms. Dunst is active on behalf of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation charity.