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Gillian Leigh Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 9, 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 and later in Crouch End - while her father Edward studied film production at the London School of Film Technique in Covent Garden for 2 years. Eventually the family moved back to the U.S.A. and settled in Grand Rapids where her father ran a film post-production company and her mother worked as a computer analyst.

Gillian's love for acting began when she decided to audition for a community play while attending City High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"Somehow, I have no idea how the transition was made from wanting to be an 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 rather than those 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 flair 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."

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 reactions regarding her 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," she confessed in an interview for TV Guide.

Of course, growing up in England and then moving back to the U.S.A. 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 classmates 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." When the acting bug hit, "My outlook changed, my grades went up and I was voted 'most improved student'."

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. In the summer after her freshman year, Gillian was selected to attend a three-week workshop run by the National Theatre of Great Britain at Cornell in Ithaca, NY. 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 when she landed a role in the off Broadway play "Absent Friends." She won a Theater World Award in 1991 for her performance in this production.

She did one more play, "The Philanthropist," at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT and a low budget film starring Tess Harper and Karen Allen called "The Turning" before relocating to Los Angeles 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." Nevertheless, she landed a guest appearance in the short lived TV series "Class of 96." The title of the episode was "The Accused" (episode No. 8).

In 1993, Gillian auditioned for a TV pilot of a newly formed Fox Network show called "The X-Files." It was 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 writer-director 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, on the day Gillian's last unemployment check arrived, she found out that she had won the role of Agent Scully and immediately flew 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 recalled of the first season.

On set, 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 was back on the set of "The X-Files" two days later. A few months later came the news that she was pregnant. She already knew what she wanted to do, but conceded to "not completely thinking ahead about the consequences of that decision." The first person she told on the set was co-star David Duchovny.

Her pregnancy came as shocking news to the Fox executives but Chris Carter once again stuck by Gillian and refused to have Scully recast. "Part of the show's success is the audience's investment in these characters," he said.

Gillian said, "It was a bit of a bombshell for them [the Fox executives]. It wasn't in my contract not to get pregnant, but it is now."

Chris Carter then created an alien abduction storyline 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. Her daughter, Piper, was born on September 25, 1994. Gillian had to undergo an unexpected cesarean section that required her to spend the next six days in the hospital. Four days later, Gillian was back on set shooting scenes for the episode "One Breath."

Of the experience, Gillian said, "During the first season, I didn't know who the hell I was, let alone who 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."

The proud new Mom happily declared, "I can't imagine not having Piper." She chose Chris Carter to be her daughter's godfather.

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