The fantasy lover of geeks everywhere, Gillian Anderson became a huge star when cast as skeptical special agent Dana Scully on the sci-fi series The X-Files in 1993. While she radiated intelligence and a subtle sensuality, her lack of experience (she had only a handful of roles under her belt) and atypical beauty made her a hard sell to narrow-minded network executives. But series creator Chris Carter insisted that she be hired, and Anderson played the character throughout all nine seasons of the series and in two feature films. Anderson, although born in Chicago, was raised in London's North End until her family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, when she was 11. Her desire to become a marine biologist quickly faded when the acting bug bit as a teen. She studied acting in college and then moved to New York where she garnered good notices for the off-Broadway play Absent Friends. Another move, this time to Los Angeles to concentrate on a film career, resulted in her X-Files casting even though television wasn't something she wanted to immerse herself in. But after a year of not finding much work, she auditioned for Chris Carter and a star was soon born. During the show's nine-year run, Anderson nabbed several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and won both in 1997. But she didn't focus exclusively on the series. She turned her attention to the big screen for several projects including The Mighty with Sharon Stone, Playing by Heart with Angelina Jolie, and received critical praise for 2000's The House of Mirth, all while filming the series. When X-Files ended in 2002, Anderson left Hollywood and relocated to England, appearing on the London stage and in British films. She came to the attention of American audiences once again in 2005 with a stunning performance in TV's Bleak House and opposite future Oscar winner Forest Whitaker a year later in the theatrical The Last King of Scotland. She reprised Dana Scully for a second X-Files film (The X-Files: I Want to Believe) in 2008. In 2009 she returned to the London stage in a well-received version of A Doll's House.