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Gillian Leigh Anderson (born August 9, 1968) is an American actress.

After beginning her career in theatre, Anderson achieved international recognition for her role as Special Agent Dana Scully on the American television series The X-Files. During the show's nine seasons, Anderson won Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards. Her film work includes The House of Mirth (2000), The Mighty Celt (2005), The Last King of Scotland (2006), and two X-Files films, The X-Files (1998) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008). She was nominated for BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her role as Lady Dedlock in the BBC television adaptation Bleak House (2005).

Early life

Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Rosemary Anderson (née Lane), a computer analyst, and Edward Anderson, who owned a film post-production company.[1][2] Soon after her birth, her family moved to Puerto Rico for 15 months; she then lived for five years in Roseberry Gardens, Crouch End, and finally for 15 months in Albany Road, N4[3] in North London, so that her father could attend the London Film School. When Anderson was 11 years old, her family moved again, this time to Grand Rapids, Michigan.[4] She attended Fountain Elementary and then City High-Middle School, a program for gifted students with a strong emphasis on the humanities; she graduated in 1986.

With her English accent and background, Anderson was mocked and felt out of place in the American Midwest and soon adopted a Midwest accent. To this day, her accent depends on her location — for instance, in an interview with Jay Leno she spoke in an American accent, but in an interview with Michael Parkinson she spoke with an English accent.[5][6][7] In addition, she had her nose pierced in the early 1980s and dyed her hair various colors. Her high school classmates voted her as "Most Bizarre," "Class Clown", "Most Likely to go Bald" and "Most Likely to be Arrested." Fulfilling the latter prediction, she was caught trying to jam the high school doors by filling their locks with glue on the eve of her graduation, for which she was arrested.[8]

Anderson was interested in marine biology, but began acting her freshman year in high school productions, and later in community theater, and served as a student intern at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts. She attended The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago (formerly the Goodman School of Drama), where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990. She also participated in the National Theatre of Great Britain's summer program at Cornell University.


Anderson moved to New York when she was 20 years old. To support herself when she started her career, Anderson worked as a waitress. She began her career in Alan Ayckbourn's play, Absent Friends at the Manhattan Theatre Club alongside Brenda Blethyn; she won the 1990–91 Theatre World "Newcomer" Award for her role. Her next theatrical role was in Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.

Anderson moved to Los Angeles in 1992, spending a year auditioning. Although she had once vowed she would never do TV, being out of work for a year changed her mind. Anderson did Home Fires Burning for a cable station, as well as the audio book version of Exit to Eden. She broke into mainstream television in 1993, with a guest appearance on the collegiate drama, Class of '96, on the fledgling Fox Network.

As a result of her guest appearance in Class of 96, Anderson was sent the script for The X Files at the age of 24. She decided to audition because "for the first time in a long time, the script involved a strong, independent, intelligent woman as a lead character." Producer Chris Carter wanted to employ her, but Fox wanted someone with previous TV exposure and greater sex appeal.[9] Fox sent in more actresses, but Carter stood by Anderson, and she was eventually cast as Special Agent Dana Scully. Anderson got the part assuming it would run for 13 episodes, the standard minimum order for American TV networks. Filmed in Vancouver and then in Los Angeles, the series would run for nine seasons, and included two films, released in 1998 and 2008. During her time on The X Files, Anderson won several awards for her portrayal of Special Agent Scully, including an Emmy Award, Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for "Best Actress in a Drama Series." While filming, Anderson met assistant art director Clyde Klotz, whom she would eventually marry.

Anderson had roles in a handful of films during the run of The X-Files and starred in The House of Mirth, an adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel of the same name.

In 1999, Anderson had a supporting role in the English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, where she voiced the character of Moro. Anderson is a proclaimed lover of Miyazaki's work[citation needed]. She also took part in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.

When The X-Files ended, Anderson performed in several stage productions and worked on various film projects. She has participated in narrative work for documentaries on scientific topics. In 2005, she appeared as Lady Dedlock in the BBC television adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House, had a starring role in the Irish film The Mighty Celt (for which she won an IFTA award for Best International Actress) and performed in A Cock and Bull Story, a film version of the novel Tristram Shandy.

In 2006, Anderson was nominated for a British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for Best Actress and won the Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Award for Best Actress for her role in Bleak House. Anderson also received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie" for her performance as Lady Dedlock. Furthermore, she was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Bleak House and came in second place in the Best Actress category of the 2005 BBC Drama website poll for her performance as Lady Dedlock (Billie Piper came in first and Anna Maxwell Martin came in third).

During 2006 and 2007, Anderson appeared in two British films: The Last King of Scotland (2006) and Straightheads (2007).

Anderson hosted PBS' Masterpiece Theatre during the Jane Austen series.

On December 10, 2007, Anderson began filming for The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Filming concluded on March 11, 2008. The movie was released on July 25, 2008, with a DVD released on December 2, 2008.

Anderson portrayed Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House at the Donmar Warehouse in London's West End during a limited engagement which ran from May 14, 2009 until July 18, 2009.[citation needed]

Anderson had a nomination for Best Actress in the Lawrence Olivier Awards 2010, for productons which opened in the 2009 calendar year for her portrayal of Nora.[10]

Anderson will be appearing as MI7 Secret Agent Pamela Head in the sequel to Johnny English, set to start filming in September 2010.[citation needed]

Personal life


Anderson pregnant with her son Felix at the premiere of The X-Files: I Want to Believe, July 25, 2008

Anderson has a sister, Zoe, who appeared uncredited as 14-year-old Dana Scully on The X-Files episode "Christmas Carol".

Anderson has been married twice. She married her first husband, Clyde Klotz, The X-Files series assistant art director, on New Years Day, 1994, on the 17th hole of a golf course in Hawaii in a Buddhist ceremony. They divorced in 1997. In December 2004, Anderson married Julian Ozanne, a documentary filmmaker, in the village of Shella on Lamu, an island off the coast of Kenya. Anderson and Ozanne announced their separation on April 21, 2006, after 16 months of marriage.[11] After separating from Ozanne in 2006, Anderson became involved with her current partner, Mark Griffiths.[citation needed]

Anderson has three children. She has a daughter with ex-husband Klotz, Piper Maru (for whom The X-Files episode, "Piper Maru", was named), born on September 25, 1994, in Vancouver, Canada. During Anderson's pregnancy, The X-Files creator, Chris Carter, created an alien abduction storyline that kept Anderson off-camera long enough for labor, delivery and a 10-day maternity leave. Carter was named Piper's godfather. In 2000, Piper had a small (and uncredited) appearance in her mother's movie The House of Mirth. Anderson also has two sons, Oscar (born November 1, 2006)[12] and Felix (born October 15, 2008).

In 1996, Anderson was voted the "Sexiest Woman in the World" for FHM's 100 Sexiest Women poll.[13] In 2008 she also placed 21st in FHM's All Time 100 Sexiest Hall of Fame.[14]

Anderson provides philanthropic and charitable assistance in the support of finding a cure for neurofibromatosis. She serves as NF, Inc.'s Honorary Spokesperson and is a Patron of the Neurofibromatosis Association (based in the UK). Her support stems from her brother being diagnosed with NF-1.[15] She is also a member of the board of directors for Artists for a New South Africa and a campaigner for ACTSA: Action for Southern Africa. Furthermore, Anderson is an active member of PETA, and supports animal rights.[16][17]

Anderson has also stayed good friends with The X-Files co-star David Duchovny and has remarked that he is "hysterically funny".[citation needed]


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Three at Once Woman 1 B&W student production
1988 Matter of Choice, AA Matter of Choice B&W student production
1992 Turning, TheThe Turning April Cavanaugh
1998 Chicago Cab, aka Hellcab Southside Girl or Brenda
1998 Mighty, TheThe Mighty Loretta Lee
1998 X-Files, TheThe X-Files Dana Scully
1998 Playing by Heart Meredith
1999 Princess Mononoke Moro Voice
2000 House of Mirth, TheThe House of Mirth Lily Bart
2005 Mighty Celt, TheThe Mighty Celt Kate
2005 Cock and Bull Story, AA Cock and Bull Story Gillian Anderson/Widow Wadman
2005 Bleak House Lady Dedlock
2006 Last King of Scotland, TheThe Last King of Scotland Sarah Merrit
2007 Straightheads, aka Closure Alice Comfort
2008 X-Files: I Want to Believe, TheThe X-Files: I Want to Believe Dana Scully
2008 How to Lose Friends & Alienate People Eleanor Johnson
2009 Boogie Woogie Jean Maclestone
2011 Johnny English Reborn Pamela Head
2011 Smell of Apples, TheThe Smell of Apples
Other TV appearances
  • ReBoot as Agent Data Nully – "Trust No One" January 1996
  • Future Fantastic as herself – July/August 1996
  • The Simpsons as Agent Scully – "The Springfield Files" January 1997
  • Concert for Diana as herself – July 1, 2007
  • Robbie the Reindeer (Close Encounters of the Herd Kind) as Vorkana, Queen of the Nargathrons – December 25, 2007
  • Masterpiece Theater as herself (host) – January 2008[18]
Stage appearances
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1983) – City High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan, two performances, as "Officer Brophy"[19]
  • A Flea in Her Ear (1990) – The Theatre School, Depaul University
  • Absent Friends (1991) – Manhattan Theatre Club. Won a Theatre World Award for Best Performance
  • The Philanthropist (1992) – Long Wharf Theatre
  • The Vagina Monologues (1999, London)/(2000, LA)
  • What The Night Is For (November 7, 2002 to February 9, 2003). A new play which ran at the Comedy Theatre in London, and was Anderson's West End debut.
  • The Sweetest Swing in Baseball (2004). World premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London.
  • A Doll's House (2009) at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
Other works
  • Wrote and directed the X-Files episode all things.
  • Provided the voice for the ship's computer in the 1996 video game Hellbender by Terminal Reality and Microsoft.
  • Compiled a collection of Electronica music inspired by Future Fantastic, entitled Future: A Journey Through The Electronic Underground. Contributed vocals to one track "Extremis", with music by HAL. The song was distributed by EMI Records in 1997. It was a minor hit in Australia.
  • Appeared in two X-Files games, The X-Files Game and provided her voice and likeness for The X-Files: Resist or Serve.
  • Provided the voice for Jenny in the sitcom Frasier, Jenny calls Frasier's show for advice about her boyfriend.
  • Provided the voice for Moro in the US edition of the Japanese anime Princess Mononoke.


  1. "Gillian Anderson Biography (1968–)". Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  2. Merrell, Sue (2007-05-18). "Charity, celebrity blend well, actress says". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  3. email from Gillian's mother via The Official Gillian Anderson Website
  4. Thompson, Jonathan (November 17, 2002). "Gillian Anderson: Just don't ask her about aliens". The Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  5. Farndale, Nigel (2009-05-01). "Gillian Anderson bares all". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 
  6. 17 september 2007 (2007-09-17). "Gillian Anderson interview — Parkinson — BBC". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 
  7. 20 januari 2009. "Gillian Anderson on Jay Leno Part 1". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 
  8. Margy Rochlin (October 1997). "Gillian Anderson Uncensored". US magazine. Retrieved October 4, 2006. 
  9. "The Official Gillian Anderson Website — About Gillian — Biography". Retrieved October 4, 2006. 
  10. Bamigboye, Baz (February 8, 2010). "Keira Knightley wins Laurence Olivier Award nomination for debut West End performance". Mail Online. Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  11. "X Files star now to become X-wife". Daily Mail. April 22, 2006. Retrieved October 4, 2006. 
  12. "Boy for Scully and Mr X". London: The Times. November 19, 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2006. 
  13. Gillian Anderson Official Site. "FHM #81". 
  14. FHM.Com. "The All Time 100 Sexiest Hall of Fame". 
  15. "The Official Gillian Anderson Website — Charities". Retrieved October 4, 2006. 
  16. "Turkey Passes Its First Comprehensive Animal-Protection Law". Retrieved October 4, 2006. 
  17. "List of Famous Vegetarians". Retrieved April 29, 2008. 
  18. "Masterpiece Theatre Introduces Masterpiece Classic, Masterpiece Mystery! and Masterpiece Contemporary". 
  19. "The G-Files: the search for Gillian Anderson's roots". Retrieved October 4, 2006. 

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:AllRovi person
  1. REDIRECT Template:EmmyAward DramaLeadActress 1976–2000

Template:GoldenGlobeBestActressTVDrama 1990-2009 Template:ScreenActorsGuildAward FemaleTVDrama 1994-2009 Template:Xfiles

Preceded by
Russell Baker
Host of Masterpiece Classic
Succeeded by
Laura Linney

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