Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully
An Emmy®, Golden Globe® and SAG Award-winning actress, Gillian Anderson has long delighted audiences and critics alike with her versatile skills and classic beauty. Comfortable with any genre from science fiction to period drama, Anderson has starred in several prestigious projects on both stage and screen.
For her role as FBI Special Agent Dana Scully on the cult-classic series The X-Files, Anderson earned two Screen Actors Guild Awards, one Emmy® Award and one Golden Globe® Award, as well as numerous nominations for her portrayal of the character. In 1999, Anderson made The X-Files history by becoming the first woman to write and direct an episode of the series, entitled "All Things."
She was seen on television in the critically acclaimed U.K. crime drama The Fall, and was also featured on the network drama Hannibal. Other television work includes the 2011 miniseries The Crimson Petal and the White opposite Romola Garai and Chris O’Dowd, as well as Any Human Heart, the TV adaptation of William Boyd’s novel which earned her a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as The Duchess of Windsor.
Anderson also appeared in the BBC miniseries Bleak House, in which she starred as Lady Dedlock. The critically acclaimed performance earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress in 2006, as well as an Emmy® Award nomination. In 2011, she played Miss Havisham in the critically acclaimed British television adaptation of Great Expectations, alongside David Suchet and Ray Winstone. She also appeared in the television adaptation of Moby Dick alongside Ethan Hawke and William Hurt. She can also be seen as Anna Pavlovna in the U.K. television miniseries adaptation of War and Peace.
In film, Anderson was seen in the human trafficking-themed Sold, executive-produced by Emma Thompson and directed by Jeffrey D. Brown. Previous film credits include the Richie Metha-directed science fiction mystery I’ll Follow You Down, with Rufus Sewell and Haley Joel Osment; Sandra Nettelbeck’s romance Last Love with Michael Caine and Clémence Poesy; the James Marsh-directed thriller Shadow Dancer with Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough; L’Enfant d’en Haut, the second film directed and written by Ursula Meier, with Léa Seydoux; and the 2011 British action comedy hit Johnny English Reborn with Rowan Atkinson, Dominic West and Rosamund Pike.
In 1998, Anderson played Dana Scully in the feature film The X Files: Fight the Future. She reprised the role in 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
Other film credits include the critically acclaimed Kevin Macdonald-directed The Last King of Scotland, with James McAvoy and Forest Whitaker; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People with Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst; Duncan Ward’s Boogie Woogie with Danny Huston and Amanda Seyfried; the Peter Chelsom-directed The Mighty; Playing by Heart with Gena Rowlands, Sean Connery and Angelina Jolie; and The House of Mirth directed by Terrence Davies. For her portrayal of Lily Bart she won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress and the Best Performance Award from the Village Voice Film Critics’ poll. Additionally, she won the audience Award at the IFTA Awards for her role starring alongside Robert Carlyle in the film The Mighty Celt, directed and written by Pearse Elliot. She also had a cameo role in the Michael Winterbottom comedy Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, and appears in Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House, playing Lady Mountbatten to Hugh Bonneville’s Lord Mountbatten.
Anderson has also provided voices for two Hayao Miyazaki films, Princess Mononoke and From Up on Poppy Hill.
On stage, Anderson was seen in the 2014 London production of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire as Blanche DuBois opposite Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award and won the Evening Standard Theater Award for Best Actress. In 2009, she portrayed Nora in A Doll’s House at London’s Donmar Warehouse, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress. She also was featured in the Royal Court’s production of Rebecca Gillman’s play The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, in 2005. She made her London stage debut in Michael Weller’s What the Night is For in 2002.
After receiving her B.F.A. from the prestigious Goodman Theater School at Chicago’s DePaul University, she performed in the Manhattan Theater Club production of Alan Ayckborne’s Absent Friends, for which she won a Theatre World Award in 1991. In addition, she appeared in Christopher Hampton’s The Philanthropist at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut.
Anderson also is an author. A Dream of Ice, the second novel in her science fiction saga, was published by Simon & Schuster in December 2015. The first novel in the saga, A Vision of Fire, was released in October 2014. Anderson co-writes the thriller series with New York Times bestselling author Jeff Rovin. Her 2016 novel, co-written with journalist and activist Jennifer Nadel and entitled We – A Manifesto for Modern Women, was released by HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.
Over the last 15 years, Anderson has been strongly involved in many charity organizations: as a board member of Artists For a New South Africa, a spokesperson for Neurofibromatosis Inc., a founding member of South African Youth Education for Sustainability (SA-YES), an ambassador for Survival International and a patron of the Alinyiikira Junior School in Uganda, among many others. She remains outspoken about child and human trafficking and the impact of commercial fishing on deep sea life.
Anderson was born in Chicago and raised in London and Michigan.