Dakota Blue Richards (born 11 April 1994) is an English actress. Her debut was in the movie The Golden Compass, as the main character Lyra Belacqua. She was also called the lead of two other films, Dustbin Baby and The Secret of Moonacre, the latter was released February 2009. She also played the character Franky Fitzgerald in the Third generation of the E4 Teen Drama Skins.
Richards was born in South Kensington, London. She was called Dakota Blue because her mother wanted a combination of a place name and a color.
The family moved to Sussex shortly after Dakota was born. At school, she took very few drama classes and she was not an active participant in class meetings or school games. She missed the part of Mary in the crib. She had always enjoyed acting, but it was called “just a funny little hobby thing” and “never really thought [they] ‘get to it professionally.”
When she was nine years old, Richards had read the “His Dark Materials” books from her mother and felt that she could be “her”. After seeing the stage adaptation in the National Theater, she says she was “just wanting to be Lyra.” They received private lessons from two individual tutors on set, she stated, “I think I’ve really improved academically from private.”