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For her performance on The X-Files, Gillian Anderson has earned worldwide respect from TV fans and critics, who have cited her character's intelligence, wit and integrity. One U.K. interviewer told her that British fans loved her as "the thinking man's crumpet" - to which she could only reply, "Well, it's more flattering than being a lobotomized man's crumpet, I suppose!"

Born August 9, 1968, in Chicago, the eldest child of Edward and Rosemary Anderson, she moved at age 2 with her family (which eventually included youger siblings Aaron and Zoe) to London, England, U.K. Her father was studying production at the London Film School, and the family stayed on until Gillian was 11. Returning to the United States, they settled in Grand Rapids, Mich., where her father ran a film post-production facility and her mother became a computer analyst. Anderson attended Fountain Elementary School followed by City High School, a small, exclusive magnet school for the academically gifted.

In high school, Anderson enjoyed her role as Police Officer No. 2 in Arsenic and Old Lace, and in her junior year won a part in a community-theater production. In college, Anderson studied with the National Theatre of Great Britain at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and then at the Goodman Theatre School at Chicago's DePaul University, where she obtained her BFA degree.

A New York City showcase performance for an audience of agents was arranged for Anderson's graduating class. Anderson's monologue prompted a William Morris agent to offer her representation if she would move to New York. Finding an apartment in Greenwich Village, she waitressed at the still-extant Dojo Restaurant on St. Mark's Place in the nearby East Village in-between auditions, and in just six months, she got what seemed a major break: a role in a limited run of the challenging Alan Ayckbourn black comedy Absent Friends at the prestigious Manhattan Theater Club. She played Evelyn, a moody young woman attending a reunion of old friends. Anderson's first New York stage role snared the fledging actress and her veteran British cast-mate, Brenda Blethyn, a big write-up in The New York Times. Anderson won a 1990-91 Theatre World Award for Outstanding New Talent.

Then... it was back to waitressing. Months later, she starred in her first film, a low-budget adaptation of Chris Ceraso's play Home Fires Burning, in Pocohontas, Va. Retitled The Turning, the film was released direct-to-video years later following her X-Files fame. Her co-stars included Karen Allen, Tess Harper and Raymond J. Barry (who would later play Senator Matheson in episodes of The X-Files). Eventually relocating to Los Angeles, Anderson broke into TV with the March 9, 1993, episode of the FOX series Class of '96. Some time previously, she'd also provided the voice of Lisa Kelly on the audiocassette abridgement of Anne Rice's erotic novel Exit to Eden.

According to Anderson, FOX "wanted someone taller, leggier and bustier" for Dana Scully. "I guess they were going to make this 'The Triple-X Files,'" she once joked. "I was terrified" upon landing the role, she later said. "When we first started X-Files, I was so green. It was only my second time in front of the camera." Co-star David Duchovny "helped me out when he could, teaching me the ropes. But basically, it was a sink-or-swim situation."

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where the first five seasons were shot, Anderson fell in love with Errol Clyde Klotz, the series' assistant art director. They married four months after meeting, on New Year's Day 1994. To Anderson's surprise, she almost immediately became pregnant. Series creator Chris Carter deftly dealt with Anderson's maternity-leave needs by arranging an abduction scenario that resulted in some of the show's strongest episodes - "Duane Barry," "Ascension" and "One Breath." Anderson and Klotz's daughter, Piper Maru, was born Sept. 25, 1994; one X-Files episode title bears her name. (Anderson and Klotz divorced in 1997.)

Anderson, whose honors include an Emmy (and four nominations), a Golden Globe (also backed with four nominations), two Screen Actors Guild awards and a Saturn Award, won great critical notice for her starring role in the film The House of Mirth (2000). She also has appeared in the films Playing by Heart, The Mighty and Hellcab a.k.a. Chicago Cab, and she provided one of the starring voices in the acclaimed animated film Princess Mononoke. Animation fans also delight in her voicing the character Dana Scully on The Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files" and the parody character "Data Nully" in the cult-classic computer-animated series ReBoot.

Anderson's other credits include a spoken-word dance single on the Virgin Records CD compilation Future: A Journey Through The Electronic Underground.

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