Dakota Blue Richards
Dakota Blue Richards may have an unusual name by conventional standards but how she got to be called Dakota Blue is pretty straightforward. In short, her name is a combination of her father's nickname, Blue, and her mother's experience working as an anthropologist with Native American tribes in the Dakotas. Richards' career as an actor, however, goes well beyond just her name. After appearing in plays and other theatrical productions at her primary school in London, Richards began auditioning for more serious work in both movies and television. It wasn't long before she was given the opportunity to screen test for the lead role in the fantasy-adventure film, "The Golden Compass." Richards beat out dozens of other girls to play Lyra Belacqua, a young girl who embarks on a long journey to save her best friend. Richards' performance received warm praise from critics when the film was released in December of 2007, thus launching her career as an actress. The following year Richards appeared as the lead in another film adaptation of a popular fantasy novel, with her role as Maria Merryweather in 2008's "The Secret of Moonacre." By 2011 she had made the move to TV, appearing as the shy teen Franky Fitzgerald in the British teen drama, "Skins."