Gillian Anderson is an American actress best known for her roles as FBI Agent Dana Scully in the sci-fi television series The X-Files, and as Lady Dedlock in the BBC drama series Bleak House.
Anderson was born in Chicago to Edward and Rosemary Anderson. Soon after her birth, her family moved to Puerto Rico for fifteen months and then to Crouch End in London so her father could attend the London Film School.
When she was 11, her family moved again, this time to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she attended Fountain Elementary and then City Middle/High School, a program for gifted students with a strong emphasis on the humanities; she graduated in 1986.
With her English accent and background, she felt out of place in the American Midwest, and developed a reputation as a strong-willed and rebellious teenager. Anderson, mocked because of her British accent, soon developed a Midwest dialect. In addition, she had her nose pierced in the early 1980s, and dyed her hair various colours.
She found an outlet for her talents when she began acting in high school and community theatre productions. She had wanted to be a marine biologist, but at 17 after a couple of auditions for the Grand Rapids Community Theater, she gained a few roles and never looked back.
She attended Goodman Theater School of Drama at DePaul University in Chicago, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990, and a few summer schools with the National Theatre of Great Britain at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
Anderson moved to New York when she was 22, and started her career in Alan Ayckbourn's play Absent Friends at the Manhattan Theatre Club where she played alongside Brenda Blethyn.
For this role she won a 1990-91 Theatre World "Newcomer" Award.
Her next theatrical role was in Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT. To support herself when she started out, she worked as a waitress.
She 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 who was more "bimbo-like". Fox sent in more actresses, but Carter stood by Anderson, and she was cast as Special Agent Dana Scully. She got the part assuming it would run for 13 episodes, the standard run for American TV networks.
Filmed in Vancouver, the series eventually ran for nine seasons, and included one film.
During her time on The X Files, Anderson won several awards for her portrayal of Agent Scully, including an Emmy Award, Golden Globe, and two SAG awards for Best Actress in a Drama Series. While filming she met assistant art director Clyde Klotz, whom she married.
She 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.
Since The X-Files ended, she has performed in several stage productions and worked on various film projects. She has also done narrative work for documentaries on scientific topics.
In 2005, she appeared as Lady Dedlock in a 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 1999, Anderson starred in the English release of Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, where she voiced the character of Moro. Anderson is a proclaimed lover of Miyazaki's work.
She also took part in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.
In 2006, she 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. However, her co-star in Bleak House, Anna Maxwell Martin, walked away with the BAFTA.
Anderson also received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her performance as Lady Dedlock.
She was also nominated for a Golden Satellite Award 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 won, and Anna Maxwell Martin came in third.)
She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in Bleak House.
She also appears in the movie The Last King of Scotland released in late 2006 and the movie Straightheads in 2007.
On New Year's Day 1994, Anderson married Clyde Klotz, the The X-Files series assistant art director, on the 17th hole of a golf course in Hawaii in a Buddhist ceremony.
A few months later came the news that she was pregnant, and Chris Carter created an alien abduction storyline that kept Anderson off-camera long enough for labour, delivery, and a 10-day maternity leave.
Daughter Piper Maru was born by caesarean section on September 25, 1994, Vancouver, Canada - Chris Carter was named her godfather.
The X-Files finished its ninth and final season in May 2002, marking the end of a major period in her life - she started the show when she was 24, and finished it when she was 34. Her marriage ended and she moved to London.
From November 2002 to February 9, 2003, she starred in the Michael Weller play What the Night is For in London's West End.
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 21 April 2006, after 16 months of marriage.
On November 1, 2006, Anderson and boyfriend Mark Griffiths welcomed a son named Oscar.