Having been on the acting circuit since the early '90s, the Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe winner (not forgetting an IFTA for 'The Mighty Celt') has a stack of memorable appearances on TV shows, movies, stage productions and even video games.
If Gillian Anderson is on the cast list, you just know it's going to be a riot. With a career spanning four different decades, we're taking a look back at some of Gillian Anderson's greatest roles on TV.
Following her breakout on 'The X-Files' in 1993, the now 53-year-old has been a TV staple ever since and has even lent her voice to 'The Simpsons', Studio Ghibli's English-language version of 'Princess Mononoke', and Netflix's recent Aardman animation 'Robin Robin'.
More recently, she made quite a raucous appearance in 'The Great' season two (available to watch via STARZPLAY) as Catherine The Great's mother, Joanna. Her next big TV role in 2022 will be in 'The First Lady' as the former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.
Here's a look back at some of her more memorable roles in TV.
Captivating us at the beginning of the '90s with a heavy dose of the supernatural was 'The X-Files', which was Anderson's big break opposite David Duchovny. Starring as the initial sceptic of the Mulder and Scully pairing, Dana Scully, the barriers surrounding the devout Catholic eventually began to crumble as the series (and films) progressed the character and the relationship she shared with her partner. Scully proved to be so popular that in 1997 Anderson won both the Emmy and Golden Globe for Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama. Name an actor who has a more iconic break-out role - we'll wait.
Proving once again that she is the iron lady of perfecting the English accent, Gillian Anderson took on playing one of the most widely criticised figureheads in modern politics, Margaret Thatcher. Her portrayal of such a powerful force was lauded with praise once season four of the Netflix series hit our screens, delivering on the Prime Minister's stern, emotionless approach to her job with such ease. Anderson impressed critics so much, that she took home an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and Critics' Choice all in the same year. And no, just so you're aware, Anderson didn't speak with Thatcher for research into the character.
Everyone loves a baddie. Gillian Anderson's role in 'American Gods' may have been short-lived (as was the Prime Video series, to be honest), but her appearance just proves the point that even if you have a small part, you can still steal the spotlight. Anderson played the God of Media in the fantasy series, adopting different pop icons each time she made an appearance, including Marilyn Monroe and David Bowie. The little-known part, unfortunately, didn't make it past season one, with the actor leaving the series due to series creator Bryan Fuller (whom she worked with on 'Hannibal) also departing.
Ah sure, Anderson even made a TV series in Ireland. Not the first time she's graced our pastures (the aforementioned darkly humoured 'The Mighty Celt'), 'The Fall' saw her meet her match against a now-famous Irish face. Jamie Dornan proved to be the main antagonist of the crime drama as Spector, a serial killer hiding in plain sight, with Anderson's DSU Stella Gibson hot on his heels every step of the way. A popular series brimming with suspense, Gillian Anderson said last year that this role is one she would return to if given the opportunity.
The final Gillian Anderson role we're highlighting in our list is her part as sex therapist Jean Milburn in the coming-of-age dramedy 'Sex Education'. Perfect in her portrayal of an ever-curious mother determined to know what is going on in her teenage son's life, her straight-talking nature is such a pleasant parallel to the bombastically overly-emotional teens running about. Naturally given an expanded role in seasons two and three (and hopefully four), it's enjoyable to see the seasoned actor bring a warm, and at the same time thoroughly amusing, character to life.