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Kirsten Caroline Dunst (born 30 April 1982; age 40) is the actress who played the role of Hedril in the Star Trek: The Next Generation seventh season episode "Dark Page" when she was eleven years old. She is perhaps best known for her role as Mary Jane Watson in the blockbuster Spider-Man films.

Early life

Dunst was born in Point Pleasant located along coastal Ocean County, New Jersey, USA. At the age of three, she began appearing in television commercials as a child fashion model. She attended the Ranney School in northern neighboring Monmouth County.

She was raised in New Jersey until 1991, when, at the age of 9 (?), she moved to Los Angeles, California, with her mother and younger brother. Her parents divorced in 1995, after which Dunst began attending Notre Dame High School. Upon graduating from Notre Dame, she continued the acting career she began when she was eight.

Acting career

1989 – 1994

Dunst made her acting debut in Oedipus Wrecks, a short film directed by Woody Allen which was part of the 1989 anthology New York Stories. Her first credited film role came a year later in the comedy-drama The Bonfire of the Vanities, in which she played the daughter of the characters played by Tom Hanks and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country actress Kim Cattrall. F. Murray Abraham, John Hancock, Richard Libertini, and Saul Rubinek also appeared in this film.

Dunst subsequently appeared in the films High Strung (with Denise Crosby) and Greedy (with Ed Begley, Jr. and Olivia d'Abo) and the 1993 TV movie Darkness Before Dawn, in which she played Gwynyth Walsh's character as a child. She also had a recurring role on the NBC drama series Sisters, where she acted alongside Ashley Judd and Dan Gauthier.

Her breakthrough performance came at the age of 12, when she played Claudia in the 1994 horror film Interview with the Vampire. Dunst received several accolades for her performance in this film, including a Golden Globe nomination and a Saturn Award. Interview with the Vampire was written by Anne Rice and also starred Christian Slater. Later in 1994, Dunst was seen in the drama Little Women, in which she and Winona Ryder played two of the four March sisters. Dunst's fellow TNG guest performer John Neville also appeared in the film.

1995 – 2001

In 1995, Dunst starred opposite Robin Williams in the family fantasy film Jumanji. Star Trek: Voyager guest actor Bradley Pierce played Dunst's brother in the film, while TNG guest actress Bebe Neuwirth played their aunt. In 1996, Dunst appeared in the TV movie The Siege at Ruby Ridge, which also featured Bob Gunton, Gary Graham, Hal Landon, Jr. and Joel Swetow. That same year, she appeared in the romantic drama film Mother Night, along with Zach Grenier. Dunst also played the recurring role of Charlie Chiemingo, a child prostitute, during the third season of NBC medical drama ER (1996-97).

Dunst appeared in several films released in 1997, including the family adventure True Heart (with Dey Young) and Wag the Dog (with Andrea Martin and Suzie Plakson). She also had a voice-over role in the animated 1997 film Anastasia, in which she played the title character as a child. Kelsey Grammer, Glenn Harris, Christopher Lloyd, and the aforementioned Andrea Martin also supplied voices in this film. Dunst and Christopher Lloyd later supplied voices for the 1998 direct-to-video movie, The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

In 1998, Dunst starred in the Lifetime Television movie Fifteen and Pregnant (with David Andrews playing her father) and the film Small Soldiers (with Wendy Schaal and the late Phil Hartman portraying her parents. Gregory Itzin, Dick Miller, and Voyager star Robert Picardo also appeared in the film while Frank Langella and Michael McKean had voice-over roles). In 1999, Dunst starred in the Showtime movie The Devil's Arithmetic with Louise Fletcher. That same year, she was seen in three high-profile feature films: The Virgin Suicides, Drop Dead Gorgeous (with Kirstie Alley, Matt Malloy, and Patti Yasutake), and Dick (with Terri Garr and the aforementioned Saul Rubinek).

In 2000, Dunst starred in the hit cheerleader comedy film Bring It On. She acted opposite Gabrielle Union in the film (Dunst and Union played rival cheerleaders), while Holmes R. Osborne played Dunst's father. Dunst starred in three films in 2001: Get Over It (with the aforementioned Ed Begley, Jr., and Zoë Saldana), Crazy/Beautiful (in which Dunst and Bruce Davison played daughter and father), and Peter Bogdanovich's The Cat's Meow, in which Dunst portrayed screen actress Marion Davies.

2002 – present

Dunst's best-known screen role is that of Mary Jane Watson in the blockbuster Spider-Man films. She first played the role in 2002's Spider-Man (in which Tim de Zarn played her father and Jill Sayre also appeared) and reprised her role in 2004's Spider-Man 2 (with Donna Murphy, Daniel Dae Kim, Rachelle Roderick, Jill Sayre, Zachry Rogers, and Ella Rogers) and 2007's Spider-Man 3 (with James Cromwell).

In addition to the Spider-Man films, Dunst has starred in such films as Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), and Elizabethtown (2005, with Bruce McGill). She played the title role in the 2006 film Marie Antoinette, which also featured Tom Hardy. More recently she can be seen in the 2008 comedy How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, in which she starred opposite Simon Pegg, the mystery film All Good Things (2010, along with Frank Langella and Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Lars von Trier's science fiction drama Melancholia (2011), the comedy Bachelorette (2012, with Adam Scott), and the drama On the Road (2012, with Joe Chrest).

In 2011, in keeping with her heritage, Dunst became a naturalized citizen of Germany enjoying dual citizenship of the Teutonic nation as well as her birth citizenship of the United States. Politically Dunst is a liberal and a registered New Jersey Democrat who endorsed both presidential campaigns of Barack Obama.

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