Known worldwide for her acclaimed performance as Dana Scully in the hit television series The X-Files, Gillian Anderson began her career in theatre, moving to New York when she was just 22 years old to pursue a career as a stage actress. She began her career in Alan Ayckbourn's play, Absent Friends alongside Brenda Blethyn, for which she won the 1990–91 Theatre World "Newcomer" Award for her role. Anderson then moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to pursue work in film and television. She garnered some attention in 1993 with a guest appearance on the collegiate drama, Class of '96, on the Fox Network.
Thanks in part to her appearance on Class of ’96, Anderson was sent the script for a new drama called The X-Files. The role of Dana Scully intrigued Anderson, later saying that the reason she decided to audition was because, "for the first time in a long time, the script involved a strong, independent, intelligent woman as a lead character." Series creator Chris Carter wanted to hire her immediately but the network wanted Carter to pursue other actresses for the role. Carter stood by Anderson and she was eventually cast as Special Agent Dana Scully. Carter’s decision to cast Anderson in the role proved to be the right choice, leading the X-Files to a nine season run on television and two feature films, both starring Anderson and her co-star David Duchovny. During her time on The X-Files, Anderson won several awards for her portrayal of Special Agent Scully, including an Emmy Award, Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for "Best Actress in a Drama Series."
Continuing to pursue a career in film along with her work on the series, Anderson in several film roles through the later part of the 90’s, including roles in Chicago Cab, Playing by Heart with Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, Ellen Burstyn and Anthony Edwards and The Mighty with Gena Rowlands, Harry Dean Stanton, James Gandolfini and Sharon Stone. Long a fan of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki, Anderson was cast in the English language dub of one of his most popular and enduring works, Princess Mononoke, as the character of Moro.
Following the final season of The X-Files in 2002, Anderson began working in more United Kingdom-based productions, such as the BBC series Bleak House, based on the Charles Dickens novel, The Mighty Celt and The Last King of Scotland. In 2008, Anderson returned to The X-Files franchise with a starring role in the second feature film based on the series, The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
In 2013, Anderson was cast in the BBC psychological thriller The Fall and can currently be seen in the NBC series Hannibal, inspired by the Hannibal Lecter character in author Thomas Harris’ novels, as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. As recently as January 2015, a planned reboot of The X-Files is said to be in the works which would reunite both Anderson and Duchovny as well as series creator Chris Carter.