Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen Biography

Famke Janssen, Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye cast

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. S

he 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.

Janssen has admitted she struggled with the fame from GoldenEye, but her career propelled and her 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.

Famke Janssen FAQs

Does Famke Janssen have children?

No, Famke Janssen does not have any children.

What nationality is Famke Janssen?

Famke Janssen is Dutch. She was born in Amstelveen, Netherlands.

How old is the actress Famke Janssen?

She was born on November 5, 1964, which makes her 58 years old as of May 7, 2023.

How tall is Famke Janssen?

Famke Janssen is 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 meters) tall.

What movies is Famke Janssen best known for?

Famke Janssen is best known for her roles in the X-Men film series as Jean Grey/Phoenix, the James Bond film GoldenEye as Xenia Onatopp, and the Taken film series as Lenore Mills.

Is Famke Janssen married?

As of September 2021, Famke Janssen is not married. She was previously married to director and writer Kip Williams from 1995 to 2000.

Has Famke Janssen appeared on television series?

Yes, Famke Janssen has appeared in several television series, including Nip/Tuck, Hemlock Grove, The Blacklist, and How to Get Away with Murder. In fact, she also starred in Star trek The Next Generation episode “The Perfect Mate” in 1992.

Did Famke Janssen have a career before acting?

Yes, before becoming an actress, she worked as a successful fashion model in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Has Famke Janssen directed any films?

Yes, Famke Janssen made her directorial debut with the 2011 drama film Bringing Up Bobby, in which she also wrote the screenplay

What languages can Famke Janssen speak?

Famke Janssen is fluent in Dutch, English, French, and German.

What movies has Famke Janssen been in….

Want to know what movies has Famke Janssen been in? Check out this table from her beginnings to her latest movies…

1992Fathers & SonsKyle Christian
1994Relentless IV: Ashes to AshesDr. Sara Lee Jaffee
1995Lord of IllusionsDorothea Swann
1995GoldenEyeXenia Onatopp
1996Dead GirlTreasure
1997City of IndustryRachel Montana
1998Monument Ave.Katy O'Connor
1998The Gingerbread ManLeeanne Magruder
1998Deep RisingTrillian St. James
1998RPMClaudia Haggs
1998The Adventures of Sebastian ColeFiona
1998The FacultyMiss Elizabeth Burke
1999House on Haunted HillEvelyn Stockard-Price
2000Love & SexKate Welles
2000CircusLily Garfield
2000X-MenJean Grey
2001Don't Say a WordAgatha "Aggie" Conrad
2002I SpyRachel Wright
2003X2Jean Grey
2004EulogyJudy Arnolds
2005Hide and SeekDr. Katherine Carson
2006X-Men: The Last StandJean Grey / Phoenix
2006The TreatmentAllegra Marshall
2007The TenGretchen Reigert
2007Turn the RiverKailey Sullivan
2008The WacknessKristen Squires
2008TakenLenore "Lenny" Mills
2008100 FeetMarnie Watson
2010The ChameleonJennifer Johnson
2011Down the ShoreMary Reed
2012Taken 2Lenore "Lenny" Mills
2013Hansel & Gretel: Witch HuntersMuriel
2013The WolverineJean Grey
2013The Being ExperienceN/A
2014A Fighting ManDiane Schuler
2014UnityNarrator (voice)
2014X-Men: Days of Future PastJean Grey
2014Taken 3Lenore "Lenny" Mills
2015Jack of the Red HeartsKay
2017The ShowIlana Katz
2017All I WishVanessa
2017Once Upon a Time in VeniceKatey Ford
2018Status UpdateKatherine Alden
2018Bayou CaviarNic
2019The Poison RoseJayne Hunt
2019PrimalDr. Ellen Taylor
2020The Postcard KillingsValerie Kanon
2020EndlessLee Douglas
2021The VaultMargaret
2021DangerousAgent Shaughessy
2022Redeeming LoveDuchess
2023Door MouseMama
2023Knights of the ZodiacGuraad