Gillian Leigh Anderson was born on August 9, 1968 in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Gillian starting appearing in commercials at a young age and before she knew it she was appearing in movies for the silver screen.
Gillian Anderson is an actress primarily known for playing Special Agent Dana Scully on the Fox Network's The X-Files.
Gillian's love for acting began when she decided to audition for a community play while still attending City High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
"Somehow, I have no idea how the transition was made from wanting to be a archeologist or a marine biologist, to wanting to be an actress, but it just kind of happened," says Gillian.
As a child, Gillian showed a flair for drama but was more of a tomboy who harbored dreams of becoming a marine Biologist than the dream of movie stardom. "I loved digging up worms and cutting them up into little pieces. In the interests of science, of course!"
Her mother Rosemary recalls, "From the start Gillian had a real flare for the dramatic. That has simply always been her personality. But the first time I knew something was really up with her and acting was when she was 14 and a teacher assigned her the Romeo And Juliet balcony scene. Gillian had no background in Shakespeare, acting or anything remotely like it. Nobody on either side of our family had any experience with acting. Her father was interested in film production, but that had mostly been connected with industrial training films and commercials. But she studied that scene and mastered it with no effort whatever. When she performed it for me my jaw just dropped."
Gillian Leigh Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 9th, 1968. Soon after her birth, the family relocated to Puerto Rico for 15 months and then moved to England. Gillian spent the next 9 years of her childhood growing up in London's North End. First in Stamford Hill, then later in Crouch End, while her father Edward was studying film production at the London School of Film Technique in Covent Garden for 2 years. Eventually the family moved back to the States and settled in Grand Rapids. Her father now runs a film post-production company and her mother is a computer analyst.
Before the acting bug hit, Gillian dabbled in the punk rocker scene. "I fainted when it was inserted. My father was furious about it," Gillian tells of her and her father's reaction of her getting a nose ring. "I was confused," is how Gillian puts her somewhat wild teen years. "I was arrested on graduation night for breaking and entering into the high school," Gillian confessed in a recent interview for TV Guide. Of course, growing up in England and then moving back to the States was not a simple thing, as her mother recalls: "The contrast was just incredible. Plus she missed all the friends she had grown up with in London. And her ates all thought she talked funny because she didn't have an American accent. Gillian had to learn to speak like an American for the first time in her life, just to fit in." Gillian herself admits: "I was angry and it was my way of keeping people at a distance." In a different interview, Gillian remembers, "I was always off in my own little world or being sent to the principal's office for talking back." Then the acting bug hit and, "My outlook changed, my grades went up and I was voted 'most improved student'," Gillian says.
After graduating from City High School in 1986, Gillian studied acting at the prestigious DePaul University's Goodman Theater and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. While attending DePaul, Gillian was selected to attend a three-week workshop run by the National Theatre of Great Britain at Cornell in Ithaca, NY during the summer after her freshman year. Upon obtaining her degree, Gillian headed to New York at the age of 22 to pursue a career in acting. Gillian's first big break came she landed a role in the off Broadway play 'Absent Friends.' It was for her performance in this production that Gillian won a Theater World Award in 1991. Gillian did one more play, 'The Philanthropist,' which was performed at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, and a low budget film starring Tess Harper and Karen Allen called 'The Turning' before relocating to LA to pursue a career in film. "First of all, I swore I'd never move to Los Angeles, and once I did, I swore I'd never do television. It was only after being out of work for almost a year that I began going in [to auditions] on some stuff that I would pray that I wouldn't get because I didn't want to be involved in it."
In LA, Gillian landed a guest appearance in the short-lived TV series 'of 96.' The title of the episode that she guest starred in was 'The Accused,' and was episode number 8. In 1993, Gillian auditioned for a TV pilot on a newly formed Fox Network called The X-Files, in which she auditioned for the role of Special Agent Dana Scully. "I couldn't put the script down," Gillian remembers. During the auditions, there was a bit of behind the scenes action. The executives at Fox wanted someone with less radiance and more sex appeal cast in the role of Scully, but Chris Carter insisted that Gillian had the no-nonsense integrity that the role required. "I sort of staked my pilot and my career at the time on Gillian. I feel vindicated everyday now," says Chris Carter about his decision to stand firm on his choice for Scully. As luck would have it, the day Gillian's last unemployment check arrived, she found out that she had won the role of Agent Scully and flew straight out to Vancouver to begin shooting the pilot. "I didn't foresee at all that it was going to become as popular as it has. I often thought, 'What have I gotten myself into?' The first year was the hardest in terms of getting into the grueling hours and sleep deprivation and having to perform constantly, day in and day out," Gillian recalls of the first season.
Just as the show was taking off, Gillian met Clyde Klotz, the series assistant art director at the time. "It wasn't quite love at first sight," Gillian says of their three-month affair. "It was Clyde's smile that first attracted me. He was very quiet, rugged and cool, but I soon realized he had a lot to say and that he was a very intelligent man." On New Year's Day of 1994, Gillian and Clyde flew to Hawaii and got married on the 17th hole of a golf course. The only other person present was the Buddhist Monk that performed the ceremony. "We sent a letter to my mum and dad, with a strict instruction not to open it until New Year's Day. Mum had already met Clyde and my dad was in a good mood that day, so they were happy," Gillian recalls about how she informed her parents about her new spouse. Gillian was back on the set of The X-Files two days later. Then came shocking news a few months later when Gillian found out that she was pregnant. She already knew what she wanted to do, but concedes to "not completely thinking ahead about the consequences of that decision." The first person she told on the set was co-star David Duchovny. "Part of the show's success is the audience's investment in these characters," Chris Carter said as he again stuck by Gillian and refused to have Scully re-cast. "It was a bit of a bombshell for them (referring to the executives at Fox). It wasn't in my contract not to get pregnant, but it is now," Gillian recalls.
Chris Carter then created an alien abduction that kept Gillian off-camera long enough for labor, delivery, and a 10-day maternity leave. "My feet were swelling and I was exhausted, sleeping between scenes," Gillian remembers. Gillian's daughter, Piper, was delivered in September of 1994 by caesarean section, which wasn't anticipated and required her to spend the next six days in the hospital. Four days later, Gillian was back on the set shooting scenes for the episode 'One Breath.' "During the first season, I didn't know who the hell I was, let alone this character was. I feel stronger as a person in the world now. I remember, after going through the birthing process, feeling that no cut, no abrasions, no knock on the head will make me whine again," she commented in a recent interview. "I can't imagine not having Piper," says Gillian, who chose Chris Carter to be the baby's godfather. One husband, and a daughter later, Gillian played the enigmatic Special Agent Scully on the Fox Networks biggest hits to date for eight more years. The show itself has received numerous awards and nominations, namely The Golden Globe Award for Best Drama TV Series in 1995, and raked in 5 Emmys at the 1996 Ceremony. Gillian was honored with a SAG Award in 1996 as Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series and was also nominated for an Emmy in 1996 for the same category.
Throughout the past ten years Gillian has won a great number of awards and has been nominated for even more. This actress has come far in her career and she is still moving on and continuing with it. Since "The X-File" has ended, Gillian has spent more time with her family and friends and less time on movie and television productions. Although Gillian hasn't made any recent appearances she still promises that she will be back. But, at the moment Gillian has resided to her San Francisco home with her daughter, Piper, now nine and her two dogs, German Sheppards, Casey and Landon.
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