Child star Taylor Dooley grew up in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. She got started with acting at a summer camp run by the Phoenix Theater, which led to her involvement in the Phoenix Theater Performance Troupe, a traveling group that performed for Arizona-based schools. She was recruited by an agent after a performance and traveled to Los Angeles for a trip that led to a one national commercial and a fruitless round of pilot-season auditions. When she returned home to Arizona, she rejoined the Phoenix Theater and found work doing print modeling. In 2004, her family relocated to California so she could pursue acting more seriously in the hopes of following in the footsteps of her heroes, Kate Winslet and Natalie Portman. A month later, she landed a major role as the unstoppable pink-haired superhero Lava Girl in Robert Rodriguez's family-friendly action adventure film "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl in 3D." Though the multi-ethnic Dooley received a precious "introducing" credit in "Whitepaddy," indie director Gerretta Gerretta's interracial romance, that film didn't get a release until 2006. That year the former superhero also braved a haunted house as Dana in "Monster Night," a little-seen attempt at teen horror from National Lampoon's Clubhouse shingle. She remains close friends with her "Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl" co-star Taylor Lautner.