Heather Joy Arrington is a former professional tennis player and daughter of late NFL quarterback Rick Arrington. The native of Georgia is however more famous for being the mother of actresses Dakota and Elle Fanning. Given the family that she was born into and the career she once had, you would think that Heather would embrace all the fame that came her way but this is very far from the truth as she is a very private person who stays away from public attention. Regardless, we’ve been able to dig out a thing or two about her.
Heather Joy Arrington Profile
- Date of Birth: 1 July 1967 (age 54 years)
- Place of Birth: Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
- Zodiac Sign: Cancer
- Ethnicity: White
- Nationality: American
- Marital Status: Divorced
- Heather Joy Arrington Ex-Husband: Steven Fanning
- Children: 2 (Elle Fanning and Dakota Fanning)
- Parents: Mary Jane (nee Odum) and Rick Arrington
- Siblings: Jill Arrington
- Grandparents: Hazel (nee Cameron) and Richard Adler Arrington, Jr.
- Niece: Presley Kate Panaro
- Facebook: Heather Joy Fanning
Heather was Raised in a Sports Loving Family
Heather Joy Arrington was born on the 1st of July, 1967 in the Atlanta suburb of Conyers, Georgia. While it is not clear what her mother Mary Jane did for a living, her father Rick was a professional athlete in the NFL.
Rick Arrington attended and played college football at the University of Tulsa and the University of Georgia before going undrafted in 1970. That, however, did not stop him from having a pro career as he would end up joining the Philadelphia Eagles, playing as a quarterback for the team from 1970 to 1973.
Heather was clearly inspired to be an athlete by her father. She and her sister Jill chose to play tennis and turned out to be very good at it from a young age. Heather and her sister’s exploits as junior tennis players got them scholarships to attend the University of Miami.
When she was done at the institution, Jill ended up becoming a sportscaster and reporter for networks like Fox Sports 1, Fox SportsNet, and ESPN, being voted the sexiest sportscaster by Playboy in 2001. Heather, on the other hand, turned pro. Unfortunately, details about her time as a professional tennis player are not widely reported.
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Actresses Dakota and Elle Fanning are Heather Joy Arrington’s Daughters
There are conflicting reports in regard to when exactly Heather Joy Arrington got married. Some reports put the date at 1989 while others report it to be four years later in 1993. Whatever the case is, Heather was in her mid-20s when she married Steven J. Fanning.
Like her, Steven was also an athlete. He played minor league baseball for teams affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals before abandoning his baseball career to work as an electronics salesman. It’s not clear how Steven and Heather met or whether they went to the same college. But one thing that evidently brought them together was their love for sports.
About five years after they exchanged marital vows, the couple became first-time parents with the birth of their daughter Hannah Dakota Fanning. The little one was born on the 23rd of February 1994. Four years later, on the 9th of April 1998, the number of people in their family increased with the birth of another daughter, Mary Elle Fanning.
Heather and her husband brought up their children in the Southern Baptist denomination and tried to veer them towards having a sporting career. Dakota began playing tennis at a young age and was pretty good at it. However, she was more comfortable “playing pretend” and so chose to take up acting instead. In no time, her younger sister Elle followed in her footsteps and their parents encouraged them as they went on to achieve greatness in the profession.
Heather and Steve Called Quits On Their Marriage In 2018
After an almost three-decade-long marriage, Heather Joy Arrington and her husband Steven Fanning opted to go their separate ways in 2018. According to reports, this was not the first time that the former tennis player and her husband had taken steps towards separating. A few years earlier in 2016, Steven had filed for divorce but the couple later reconciled and called it off. This time, however, there was no going back as the pair were able to finalize proceedings on the 24th of August, 2018 after papers were filed in January.
According to court documents obtained by People magazine, neither party is seeking spousal support from the other. Child support was not also in question as their daughters were adults at the time. The duo instead had a marital settlement agreement that indicated how they divided their assets, including property.