Gillian Anderson

  • Birth Name: Gillian Leigh Anderson
  • Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Profession: Actor

Biography

The fantasy lover of geeks everywhere, Gillian Anderson became a huge star when cast as skeptical special agent Dana Scully on the sci-fi series The X-Files in 1993. While she radiated intelligence and a subtle sensuality, her lack of experience (she had only a handful of roles under her belt) and atypical beauty made her a hard sell to narrow-minded network executives. But series creator Chris Carter insisted that she be hired, and Anderson played the character throughout all nine seasons of the series and in two feature films. Anderson, although born in Chicago, was raised in London's North End until her family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, when she was 11. Her desire to become a marine biologist quickly faded when the acting bug bit as a teen. She studied acting in college and then moved to New York where she garnered good notices for the off-Broadway play Absent Friends. Another move, this time to Los Angeles to concentrate on a film career, resulted in her X-Files casting even though television wasn't something she wanted to immerse herself in. But after a year of not finding much work, she auditioned for Chris Carter and a star was soon born. During the show's nine-year run, Anderson nabbed several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and won both in 1997. But she didn't focus exclusively on the series. She turned her attention to the big screen for several projects including The Mighty with Sharon Stone, Playing by Heart with Angelina Jolie, and received critical praise for 2000's The House of Mirth, all while filming the series. When X-Files ended in 2002, Anderson left Hollywood and relocated to England, appearing on the London stage and in British films. She came to the attention of American audiences once again in 2005 with a stunning performance in TV's Bleak House and opposite future Oscar winner Forest Whitaker a year later in the theatrical The Last King of Scotland. She reprised Dana Scully for a second X-Files film (The X-Files: I Want to Believe) in 2008. In 2009 she returned to the London stage in a well-received version of A Doll's House.

Fast Facts

  • Wanted to be a marine biologist as a youth.
  • Spent much of her childhood (ages 2 to 11) in London's North End, before her family returned to the U.S. and settled in Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Studied with a National Theatre of Great Britain training class at Cornell University.
  • Won a Theatre World Award in 1991 for her role in Absent Friends.
  • Received her last unemployment check the same day she was cast in the pilot episode of The X-Files; was cast on the series at the insistence of show creator Chris Carter after the Fox network initially resisted hiring her.
  • Wrote and directed the 2000 X-Files episode "All Things."
  • In 2009 appeared in an acclaimed version of A Doll's House in London.
  • Devotes much of her free time to charities around the world.

Awards

  • 1996, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress for a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1997, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1998, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 1998, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1999, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Winner
  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1997, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1997, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2019, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 2015, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 2017, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Felix Griffiths — Son
  • Zoe Anderson — Sister
  • Aaron Anderson — Brother
  • Julian Ozanne — Ex-husband
  • Errol Clyde Klotz — Ex-husband
  • Piper Maru Anderson — Daughter
  • Rosemary Anderson — Mother
  • Edward Anderson — Father
  • Oscar — Son
  • Mark Griffiths — Ex-significant Other

College

  • DePaul University, The Theatre School, Chicago, Illinois, United States (BFA in Acting, 1990)
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