Gillian Anderson is an American actress, author and active supporter of numerous charities

Gillian Anderson is an American actress, best known for her role as Dana Scully in the X-Files series.

After graduating from the University of Dramatic Arts in Chicago, she began her career in the theater, acting being for her the only way to feel good at the time. She performed in a few plays and got small roles in short films. In 1992, she played in the series The Philanthropist, and gained some success from it.

She then moved to Los Angeles and met the writer Chris Carter who offered her the role of Dana Scully in his new series X-Files, although she had been stubbornly refusing any role on television. This meeting and this role opened the doors of fame to her. The series quickly became a cultural phenomenon and her performance earned her critical acclaim and a legion of devoted fans who followed her for nine seasons and beyond. Her role as Dana Scully also earned her a Best Actress in a Drama Series award at the 1997 Golden Globes and Emmy Awards.

She reprised her role as Dana Scully several times, in the films The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008), in an episode of The Simpson series in 1997, and from 2016 to 2018 when the series made a comeback with a tenth and eleventh season.

In 2000, she played the lead role in the film The House of Mirth, a performance for which she would receive multiple awards.

Anderson was also asked to host various shows, including the sci-fi themed Future Fantastic, and recorded the single Extremis with the band Hal, which was a minor hit in Australia and the UK.

After the end of The X-Files in 2002, Anderson moved back to London where she alternated between theater and film, taking on a variety of roles that showcased her acting skills.

In 2003, she returned to the stage with the play What The Night Is For, then a year later in The Sweetest Swing In Baseball, a play that earned her many critical praises and widespread success.

She returned to television in 2005 with the mini-series Bleak House. Her performance as Lady Dedlock earned her a Bafta and Emmy nomination. She went on to make the critically acclaimed films That Mighty Celt, opposite Robert Carlyle, and Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. The following year, in 2006, her participation in the thriller The Last King of Scotland, a film that attracted a lot of attention, put her back in the spotlight.

In the following years, she made several films that failed at the box office and received bad reviews. It is from 2010 that the success smiles again. That same year, she lent her features to the Duchess of Windsor in the mini-series Any Human Heart, and the following year, in 2011, plays the leading female role in the successful series Great expectations. In 2012, she landed supporting roles in the French-Swiss drama L'Enfant d'en haut, alongside Léa Seydoux, and in the thriller Shadow Dancer.

She follows successes, and complex and developed roles, as the lead in the series The Fall in 2013, with Jamie Dornan, for which she will also hold the role of producer in the second season. The same year, she plays the sinister psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier in the series Hannibal, a performance that impresses the critics.

From 2014 to 2016, she is back on stage with A Streetcar Named Desire, and then in 2019 with All about Eve. Still in 2019, she plays in the popular series Sex Education. But it is in 2020 that she makes a critically acclaimed return, playing Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the popular American-British series The Crown, a role for which she has physically and vocally transformed herself.


Beyond her work as an actress, Gillian Anderson is also a talented writer. During the 2010s, she co-wrote with Jeff Rovin the EarthEnd series, consisting of three volumes, and then, in 2016, published an inspirational book for women called WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere, which she co-wrote with journalist Jennifer Nadel. The book, acclaimed and widely praised for its message of empowerment and inspiration, explores issues of mental health, spirituality and personal development.


Outside of her artistic career, Anderson is also very involved in charity work and has been an advocate for a variety of causes, including the rights of the lgbtqia+ community, women's and children's health and rights, indigenous peoples' rights, and animal welfare.


Among the many organizations she supports is The Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lgbtqia+ youth.

In 2016, she became the patron of the Temple Legal Centre, a London-based organization that helps people through the legal process by providing free family law advice and support.

In 2018, she received the City Lit Lifetime Fellowship Award from the City Literary Institute, an adult education institution.


Anderson is also a longtime supporter of the Feminist Majority Foundation, for which she became a spokesperson in 1996. Her support includes serving as a team leader for their Million4Roe campaign, attending a 1999 event to end gender apartheid in Afghanistan, and appearing on Hollywood Squares in 2002 to benefit their campaign to help Afghan women and girls.

She also participated in Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues, in a February 1999 stage performance, and supports Ensler's V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls.


As a reproductive rights advocate, she hosted in 2001 the Rock for Choice fundraising concert, which supported reproductive options for unplanned pregnancies, including the morning-after pill. For International Women's Day 2014, Anderson was one of the artists who signed Amnesty International's letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron campaigning for women's rights in Afghanistan. For International Women's Day 2016, she signed Burma Campaign UK's pledge to end and investigate crimes of sexual violence against girls and women in Myanmar.

Anderson is also a speaker at the Thomson Reuters Foundation Trust Women conference. She supports the Women at the Well shelter for vulnerable women in London, and The Refuge, a UK charity that provides specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.


In addition, Anderson is a patron of Childreach International, a charity that works to secure the human rights of children, and addressed the issue of child trafficking at a press conference for the film Sold, which deals with the subject. Anderson also supports the Taught Not Trafficked campaign, which launched in July 2014.

In 2015, she became a patron of the International Literacy Center (ILC), the European headquarters of Reading Recovery. The following year, she participated in the launch of the ILC's Reading Recovery Read Aloud campaign, and organized a charity internet auction to benefit Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Her support of the International Literacy Centre's Reading Recovery program earned her a 2017 UCL Honorary Fellowship.


As an advocate for the rights of indigenous communities, she joined a campaign in 2010 with other artists to boycott diamonds from Botswana because of the government's treatment of the Kalahari San, a people of southern Africa.

Anderson also supports the charity Survival International, which advocates for the rights of tribes around the world, and for which she became an ambassador in 2011. In early 2010, she performed on a London stage to raise money for the cause.

In 2011, Anderson narrated a short film featuring recent footage of an uncontacted tribe in which Amazon Indians were seen from the air on the border between Brazil and Peru. She commented on these images: "What comes across powerfully from this amazing footage is how healthy and confident these people appear. I hope they can be left alone – but that will only happen if the loggers are stopped."

In 2015, Anderson was among the artists who signed a letter calling for a new approach to conservation that would respect the rights of tribal peoples.


In 2008, she co-founded South African Youth Education for Sustainability (SAYes), which helps empower marginalized youth in South Africa through mentorship. This non-profit organization provides youth leaving children's homes with guidance to develop skills, further their education, and find suitable housing to participate in society as independent adults.

In 2005, she launched a crowdfunding project for Alinyiikira Junior School in Kampala, Uganda, a philanthropic project she led until 2011. She later became a board member of Artists for a New South Africa and an advocate for Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA). She also sponsored the Friends of Treatment Action Campaign (FoTAC), which worked with the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa to ensure better access to treatment to reduce the effects of HIV and prevent new infections. Anderson has also supported Buskaid, a charity aimed at helping young black musicians in South Africa.


In 2012, she joined Greenpeace in support of the Brazilian people for a zero deforestation law to save the Amazon. The following year, she supported the Cheetah Conservation Fund by creating a short film with the Fund, advocating for CCF's work to prevent the cheetah's extinction.

She also joined the Fishlove campaign, supporting the fight against unsustainable fishing practices that harm the marine ecosystem.

In 2015, she was named a friend and supporter of Positive Luxury, a company that educates consumers about brands' commitment to quality, craftsmanship, service and sustainability.


Anderson is also a spokesperson for the Neurofibromatosis Network, a cause that is personally close to her heart, as her brother Aaron passed away from neurofibromatosis type I in 2011. As far back as 1996, she addressed the U.S. Congress to ask for more education and funding for neurofibromatosis research projects.

To raise money for the association, she has organized several auctions and partnered with Doodle 4 NF, an annual fundraiser.

She also supports the Global Genes movement, which is dedicated to helping children with neurofibromatosis, and the Children with Tumours organization.


Gillian Anderson, a renowned actress with a strong commitment to charity, has captivated audiences with her incredible talent for decades. Throughout her career, she has taken on a wide variety of award winning roles and has used her platform and celebrity to raise funds and awareness for causes she cares about. Her incredible talent, passion for writing, and philanthropic commitment have made her an inspiration to her fans, loved ones, and fellow artists. Her contributions to the world of entertainment, and beyond, will surely continue for many years to come.

Article by Julie Henry Poutrel for Adama Toulon.

©Vidéo: Letters Live - In 2011, Gillian Anderson wrote a letter of advice to her 16-year-old self. At Letters Live in London's Royal Albert Hall in October 2021, Gillian joined us to read it.

Transcript Video: 

"Dear Gillian,

you are completely and utterly self-obsessed, if you spent a quarter of your time thinking about others instead of how much you hate your thighs.
Level of contentment and self-worth would expand exponentially.

One thing i learned way too late in the game for my own good was that you can effectively increase your self-esteem by doing esteemable things therefore i have signed you up to build homes for the homeless during your entire summer vacation, your Christmas will be spent serving food at a women's refuge and easter is designated to reading stories in the pediatric cancer ward. Four months out of 16 years dedicated to human beings other than yourself.

You have gotten off easy. Oh and honey, expand your horizons, your world is bigger than your low self-esteem wants you to believe.
Love yourself, think of others and be grateful.

I love you, I believe in you and i look forward to respecting you.

me, you, us.

P.S: Follow your dreams not your boyfriends