Dakota Mayi Johnson (born October 4, 1989) is an American fashion model and actress, best known for her lead role in the short-lived Fox sitcom Ben and Kate (2012–2013). Her parents are actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith.
Johnson was born in Austin, Texas, the daughter of actor Don Johnson and actress Melanie Griffith. On her mother’s side, she is a granddaughter of advertising executive and former child actor Peter Griffith and actress Tippi Hedren. She is a stepdaughter of Antonio Banderas.
Johnson attended Aspen Community School in Aspen, Colorado. She was an avid dancer as a youngster. She became interested in modeling at age 12 after a photo shoot with other children of celebrities for Teen Vogue.
In 1999, Johnson made her film debut in Crazy in Alabama where she and her half-sister, Stella Banderas, played daughters to their real-life mother, Melanie Griffith. The film was directed by her stepfather, Antonio Banderas.
She was voted Miss Golden Globe 2006, where she served as the first second-generation Miss Golden Globe in the Globes’ history.
In 2006, she signed with IMG Models. In 2009, she modeled for MANGO brand’s jeans line.
Once Johnson graduated from high school, she signed with William Morris Agency and started her acting career. She appeared in the critical and box office hit in 2010 with David Fincher’s film The Social Network, in which she had a scene with Justin Timberlake. The film earned eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and she quickly landed more films. She appeared in Beastly; Ezna Sands’ film Theo; So Yong Kim’s film For Ellen; and Larry Clark’s film Savage Innocent. She has roles in several 2012 films: Christopher Neil’s film Goats, with David Duchovny; Nicholas Stoller’s film Five Year Engagement for producer Judd Apatow, and the successful feature film version of the 1987 hit television show 21 Jump Street. She also won the female lead in Chris Nelson’s film “Gay Dude,” written by Alan Yang.
In March 2012, Johnson was cast as Kate in the Fox comedy series Ben and Kate, marking her television debut. The show was cancelled on January 25, 2013 after one season. Johnson quickly resumed her film career, joining the cast of Need for Speed. She also has been cast in the modern-day film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.
In 2010, Dakota traveled to Sydney, Australia, where she shot the “Rising Star” campaign for fashion label Wish.
In 2013, she made a cameo appearance as one of the new hires on the finale of The Office.
On September 2, 2013, author E. L. James announced that Johnson would play Anastasia Steele in the upcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.