Dakota Mayi Johnson was born October 4, 1989 and is an American actress and model. The daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, she made her film debut at age 10 with a minor appearance in Crazy in Alabama (1999), a dark comedy film starring her mother.
She was cast in a minor part in The Social Network (2010), and subsequently had supporting roles in the comedy 21 Jump Street, the independent comedy Goats, and the romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement (all 2012). In 2015, Johnson had her first starring role as Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades film series (2015–18).
Following her Fifty Shades success, Johnson appeared in the crime biopic Black Mass (2015) and Luca Guadagnino’s drama A Bigger Splash (2015). She reunited with Guadagnino, portraying the lead role in Suspiria (2018), a supernatural horror film based on the 1977 film by Dario Argento. The same year, she appeared in an ensemble cast in the thriller film Bad Times at the El Royale (2018). In 2019, Johnson had a starring role in the psychological horror film Wounds and the comedy-drama film The Peanut Butter Falcon.
She was born at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas. Her maternal grandparents are advertising executive and former child actor Peter Griffith and actress Tippi Hedren, and she is the niece of actress Tracy Griffith and production designer Clay A. Griffin. Her former stepfather is actor Antonio Banderas. She has four paternal siblings, including actor Jesse Johnson, and two maternal siblings.
Because of her parents’ work, Johnson spent the majority of her childhood in various locations with them on film sets. Though she spent extended amounts of time in Aspen and Woody Creek, Colorado, where she worked during summers at the local market as a teenager. She attended the Aspen Community School for a time. At an early age, Johnson was diagnosed with hyperactivity (ADHD) and changed schools seven times. She attended the Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California, for her freshman year of high school before transferring to New Roads School in Santa Monica, California.
Johnson became interested in modeling at age 12 after a photo shoot with children of other celebrities for Teen Vogue, and subsequently earned an income modeling while attending high school in Santa Monica. Johnson has said that she was interested in acting as a child, having spent significant time on film sets with her parents, but that they discouraged her from pursuing it until she finished high school. After high school, she applied to the Juilliard School in New York City, but was not accepted.
In 2006, Johnson signed with IMG Models. Though acting is her primary work, she has since modeled for MANGO brand’s jeans line in 2009 and shot the “Rising Star” campaign for Australian fashion label Wish in 2011.