Famke Janssen Biography
Famke Janssen is an actress and director best known for her role in the X-Men movie series. A former model, she was born on November 5, 1964, in Amstelveen, the Netherlands.
She graduated from high school and studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam before enrolling at Columbia University’s School of General Studies to study creative writing and literature.
In 1984, Famke Janssen moved to the United States to pursue a career in modeling, signing with Elite Model Management and working for top brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, and Victoria’s Secret.
She made her acting debut in the early 1990s with guest roles on several television series and her first film role in the crime drama Fathers & Sons (1992) alongside Jeff Goldblum. She had a few minor roles in the early 1990s before her big break, when she was cast as asphyxiating dominatrix henchwoman Xenia Onatopp in James Bond movie GoldenEye 1995, where she was a constant threat to new James Bond Pierce Brosnan.
More films followed, but Famke janssen’s biggest break came in 2000 when she was cast as superhero Dr. Jean Grey in the X-Men franchise. She first appeared as Jean in the 2000 film X-Men, where she portrayed a mutant with telepathic and telekinetic powers. In the 2003 sequel, X2, Janssen’s character shows signs of increasing powers, but she is eventually killed off.
Despite her death in the film, Janssen returned as Jean in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. In this film, her character had been resurrected as the dark alternate personality, Phoenix, for which Janssen won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Janssen also had brief cameo appearances in the 2013 film The Wolverine as a hallucination of Wolverine, followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
Famke Janssen has also starred in other films such as Lord of Illusions (1995), The Faculty (1998), Taken (2008) – reprising the role for the sequel in 2012, and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). In 2011, she made her directorial debut with the drama Bringing Up Bobby. She has starred in the Netflix series Hemlock Grove since 2013 and had a recurring role in the ABC series How To Get Away With Murder.
Janssen married writer and director Kip Williams in 1995 and divorced in 2000. She was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2008.