David Duchovny

Active - 1988 - Present  |   Born - Aug 7, 1960 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Science Fiction, Drama, Comedy, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

Rocketing from obscure bit player to TV's resident ├╝ber-sex god thanks to his role as FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files, David Duchovny can claim to have had one of the 1990s' more remarkable career metamorphoses. Although his initial attempts to translate his TV stardom into celluloid success proved less than memorable, the tall, classically handsome actor has continued to enjoy a great deal of popularity, evidenced in particular by the countless estrogen-drenched internet shrines erected in his honor.

Born in Manhattan on August 7, 1960, to a Jewish father and a Scottish mother, Duchovny did his undergraduate work at Princeton and then went on to pursue a Master's degree in English Literature at Yale. While working toward his degree, he began commuting to New York to study acting, and he was soon appearing in a few off-Broadway plays. His interest in acting ultimately eclipsed his dedication toward earning his degree, and Duchovny dropped out of Yale to pursue a career as a performer. He got his first break starring in a beer commercial, and in 1988, he made his film debut with a breathtakingly abbreviated appearance as a party guest in Mike Nichols's Working Girl. Work in a number of diverse and usually obscure films, including starring roles in Julia Has Two Lovers (1991), The Rapture (1991), and Kalifornia (1993), followed, but the actor was able to command a more steady paycheck from his TV work. Before The X-Files debuted in 1993, Duchovny was best-known to TV viewers as Dennis/Denise, Twin Peaks' resident transvestite detective.

As The X-Files steadily grew from cult favorite to mainstream success, becoming recognized as one of the most groundbreaking shows of the decade, Duchovny also began to enjoy both industry respect and huge audience popularity. Dubbed as the latest in a long line of thinking women's sex symbols, he would also appear in films like Playing God and Return to Me.

Duchovny would The X-Files during the show's seventh season, much to fans' dismay, returning only for the series finaly. Post X-files, Duchovny would continue to act on screen, most notably in films like Trust the Man and another X-Files movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, as well as on the debaucherous TV series Californication.

Movie Highlights

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  • Childhood nickname was 'Duke.'
  • One of his classmates at the Collegiate School (where he was valedictorian) was John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • Taught English at Yale.
  • First mainstream acting job was in a beer commercial.
  • Believed at first that The X-Files would flop. Was injured more than once during its run, including cuts, burns and a separated shoulder.
  • Filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox in 1999 claiming the company had cheated him out of millions of dollars in profits from the syndication rights to The X-Files. The suit was eventually settled and he continued starring in the series.
  • Played doctors in three films: Playing God (1997), Evolution (2001) and The Secret (2006).
  • Appeared in 1995 on Celebrity Jeopardy with Lynn Redgrave and Stephen King, and led for most of the match. He lost to King in Final Jeopardy, failing to name the store that hosted an event to announce a Truman Capote literary fund (Tiffany's).