Born in Chicago in 1968, Gillian Anderson is an award-winning actress who gained fame for her portrayal of Special Agent Dana Scully on the hit television series The X-Files (1993-2002). Since the show ended, Anderson has appeared in several film, television and theater roles in the United States and England. Among her later roles are The Last King of Scotland (2006) and the TV series The Fall, which premiered in 2013.
Actress Gillian Leigh Anderson was born on August 9, 1968, in Chicago, Illinois. During her infant years, her family moved to Puerto Rico before relocating to England. Here she spent the next nine years in London's North End while her father Edward attended the London School of Film Technique in Covent Garden to study film production. After a few years, her father moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to run a film post-production company while her mother worked as a computer analyst.
As a child, Anderson showed interest in archeology and marine biology, but her passion changed to acting after auditioning for a community play while a student at City High School. Known as a somewhat wild and troubled teen, Anderson revealed that with acting, "My outlook changed, my grades went up and I was voted 'most improved student.'"
After graduating in 1986, Anderson enrolled in DePaul University's Goodman Theater and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. She then moved to New York City at age 22 to break into acting.
One of Anderson's first big roles was in the off Broadway play Absent Friends for which she won a Theater World Award in 1991. Shortly thereafter, she relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a film career. Her break came when she was casted to play agent Dana Scully in the television series The X-Files (1993–2002). The hit show with co-star David Duchovny evolved into a cult classic. Anderson's role garnered her numerous accolades including a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (1996), an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1997), a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series in Drama (1997) and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (1997).
During this time she also starred in the feature films The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998), The Mighty (1998) and The House of Mirth (2000). The latter won her a British Independent Film Award for Best Actress and a Best Performance Award from the Village Voice Film Critics' Poll. In 2000, Anderson made The X Files series history when she became the first woman to write and direct an episode.
After the series ended, Anderson starred in the play What the Night Is For, which garnered her a Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Best Actress Award in 2003. In 2005, she acted in an award-winning BBC television serialization of Charles Dickens' Bleak House, as well as appeared in the film The Last King of Scotland (2006). In 2009, she performed in the London show A Doll's House, for which she received a Laurence Olivier Nomination.
The next year, she appeared in the role of Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor whom King Edward VIII abdicated to marry, in the drama Any Human Heart (2010), and for this was nominated for a BAFTA award. The next year, she starred in the award-winning BBC adaptation of Great Expectations (2011).
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