Claire Danes
Birth Date:
April 12, 1979
Birth Place:
New York, New York, USA
5' 5
Famous for:
Golden Globe win for ABC series ABC series My So-Called Life (1993-95)
Dalton School, New York City, New York and Le Lycee Francis, Los Angeles, California
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Claire Danes_200212
Temple Grandin


American actress Claire Danes first gained recognition with her Golden Globe winning role as the 15 year old Angela Chase on the critically acclaimed, but short lived television series “My So-Called Life” (1994-1995). Following notable performances in such films as “Little Women” (1994), “Home for the Holidays” (1995) and “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” (1996), where she netted a Young Artist Award for portrayal of Peter Gallagher's daughter, she enjoyed even bigger triumph for playing Juliet in Baz Luhrman's highly stylized update of William Shakespeare's “Romeo + Juliet” (1996), for which she amassed a Blockbuster Entertainment Award, London Critics Circle Film's ALFS Award, an MTV Movie Award and a YoungStar Award. Danes continued to give memorable performances in “The Rainmaker” (1997), “U Turn” (1997), “Polish Wedding” (1997), “Les Misérables” (1998), “The Mod Squad” (1999), “Brokedown Palace” (1999), “Igby Goes Down” (2002), “The Hours” (2002), “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (2003), “Stage Beauty” (2004), “Shopgirl” (2005), “The Family Stone” (2005), “Evening” (2007), “The Flock” (2007), “Stardust” (2007) and “Me and Orson Welles” (2008) before returning back to the small screen with the highly acclaimed portrayal of Temple Grandin in the HBO TV film “Temple Grandin” (2010). She won both the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Prism Award, a Gracie Allen Award and a Satellite Award for her performance. The actress obtained further success on television with her starring turn as Carrie Mathison in Showtime's series, “Homeland” (2011-?). The role has earned Danes her third Golden Globe Award and a Satellite Award. Danes made her Broadway debut in a revival of “Pygmalion” (2007).     

One of People magazine's “50 most beautiful people in the world in 1997,”  Danes has been linked to several men. She was involved with musician Andrew Dorff, younger brother of actor Stephen Dorff, whom she met in 1995, and with Matt Damon during the set of “The Rainmaker” (1997). From 1997 to 2003, she was in a relationship with Australian musician and actor Ben Lee. They also acted together in the Aussie film “The Rage in Placid Lake” (2003). Danes went on to romance her “Stage Beauty” co-star Billy Crudup. This relationship created negative publicity because of rumors that Crudup left then-pregnant girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker to begin a relationship with her. After the relationship ended, Danes began dating and eventually married her “Evening” co-star Hugh Dancy.    

Drop out of Yale

Childhood and Family:

Claire Catherine Danes was born on April 12, 1979, in New York City, New York. Her mother, Carla (née Hall), is a day care provider and artist and her father, Christopher Danes, is a photographer and computer consultant. She is the granddaughter of Gibson Danes (1910-1992), who was a former dean of Yale's School of Art and Architecture. Her older brother, Asa Danes (born 1972), is a corporate lawyer. Claire was studying modern dance at age 6, and starting taking acting lessons at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, New York when she was nine years old. She was educated at the Dalton School in New York City, the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, New York's Professional Performing Arts School, and the Lycée Français de Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California. In 1998, she was accepted to Yale University thanks in part to the letter recommendation wrote for her by director Oliver Stone. After studying  psychology for two years, she quit Yale to concentrate on her film career.     
Claire met British actor Hugh Dancy (born June 19, 1975) on the set of “Evening” (2007) and they began dating after filming concluded. They announced their engagement in February 2009 before married in a quiet ceremony in September 2009 in France.

Romeo + Juliet


Claire Danes started her career by performing in off-off-Broadway productions like “Happiness,” “Punk Ballet,” and “Kids on Stage,” for which she choreographed a solo dance piece. At age 11, she had her first taste in front of the film cameras when she appeared as a molested child in “Dreams of Love” (1990), a student short directed by Jeffrey Mueller and executive produced by Milos Forman. Two years later, she made an auspicious small screen debut with a memorable guest turn as a suspected murderer named Tracy Brandt on the hit NBC drama series “Law & Order.” She went on to appear in the made for television film “No Room for Opal” (1993), with Tyne Daly and Moses Gunn, and in a short film, “Geoffrey Beene 30” (1993), a celebration of Geoffrey Beene's 30 years in the fashion industry, which was directed and written by Tom Kalin.

In March 1993, a then 13 year old Danes shot the pilot for “My So-Called Life.” It would take about another year and a half before the show premiered on ABC on August 25, 1994. Created by Winnie Holzman, “My So-Called Life” received critical acclaim but was canceled after only 19 episodes, with the final aired on January 26, 1995. In the years since its cancellation, the show has developed a large cult following. For her bright performance as the 15 year old Angela Chase in the teen drama, she won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also appeared in an episode of HBO's “Lifestories: Families in Crisis” called “More Than Friends: The Coming Out of Heidi Leiter” (1994),  

After the cancellation of “My So-Called Life,” Danes made the switch into film. She debuted as with Elizabeth “Beth” March in the big screen adaptation of “Little Women” (1994), opposite Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Trini Alvarado, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Gabriel Byrne, Samantha Mathis, Eric Stoltz and Matthew Walker. The film was a financial success, and was nominated for three Academy Awards in the categories of Best Actress (Winona Ryder), Best Costume Design and Best Original Score. Under the direction of Gillian Armstrong, Danes received a Young Artist nomination for Best Performance by a Young Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture and a Chicago Film Critics Association nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role.

Next up for Danes, she reunited with Winona Ryder on the film adaptation of “How to Make an American Quilt” (1995), where she portrayed a young version of Anne Bancroft's character, Glady Joe Cleary, played the precocious daughter of Holly Hunter, Kitt, on the Jodie Foster directed and produced comedy/drama film “Home for the Holidays” (1995), from which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award in the category of Best Young Leading Actress - Feature Film for her performance, starred as Daisy,the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor in “I Love You, I Love You Not” (1996), a romance/drama film directed by Billy Hopkins and written (also the play) by Wendy Kesselman, and was cast as Peter Gallagher's teen daughter, Rachel, in the based on play film “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” (1996), a role that brought her a Young Artist for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress.

Also in 1996, Danes landed th plum role of Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio's Romeo in the film adaptation of William Shakespeare's “Romeo + Juliet,” helmed by Baz Luhrmann. The film earned  mostly positive reviews, and was a commercial success. It opened at No. 1 at the US box office with $11.1 million, and continued to gross over $46.3 million in the US and Canada. The film eventually  grossed $147,554,998 worldwide on a budget of $14.5 million. For her work on the film, Danes picked up a Blockbuster Entertainment for Favorite Actress – Romance, London Critics Circle Film's ALFS Award for Actress of the Year,  an MTV Movie for Best Female Performance, not to mention two nominations for Best Kiss and Best On-Screen Duo, which she shared with DiCaprio, and a YoungStar for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama Film.          

1997 found Danes lending her vocal talents to the English dubbing of Hayao Miyazaki's acclaimed Japanese anime “Princess Mononoke,” playing the brassy, dim-witted Jenny in Oliver Stone's crime film “U Turn,” opposite Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Powers Boothe, Joaquin Phoenix  and Nick Nolte, and co-starring as an abused wife who falls in love with lawyer Rudy Baylor (played by Matt Damon) in Francis Ford Coppola's “The Rainmaker,” adapted from the 1995 novel of the same name by John Grisham. She received a Blockbuster Entertainment nomination in the category of Favorite Supporting Actress – Drama for the latter. Danes starred as Hala, an unmarried and pregnant young Polish American girl in the Sundance screened “Polish Wedding” (1998), directed and written by Theresa Connelly, portrayed Cosette in Bille August's take on the Victor Hugo classic, “Les Misérables” (1998), opposite Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman as Jean Valjean, Javert and Fantine, respectively, had the female lead of Julie in the Scott Silver directed film “The Mod Squad” (1999), adapted from the 1960s popular television show of the same name, and co-starred with Kate Beckinsale in the fascinating Thailand prison-set drama, “Brokedown Palace” (1999), helmed by Jonathan Kaplan.   

In 2000, Danes revisited the stage when she landed a role in an off Broadway production of Eve Ensler's “The Vagina Monologues” at the Westside Theatre. Later that same year, she portrayed Emily Webb in a one night only staged reading of Thornton Wilder's “Our Town” at All Saint's Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. The production was staged by former “My So-Called Life” co-star Bess Armstrong.  

Back to features, Danes co-starred with Susan Sarandon, Kieran Culkin and Bill Pullman in Burr Steers' comedy/drama, “Igby Goes Down” (2002), which received positive critical reaction, and  had a small supporting role as the daughter of Meryl Streep in the Academy Award nominated drama “The Hours” (2002), which was directed by Stephen Daldry, and scripted by David Hare, based on the 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same title by Michael Cunningham. She shared a Phoenix Film Critics Society nomination for Best Acting Ensemble and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture for her work in the latter. Danes co-starred with Joaquin Phoenix and Sean Penn in the science fiction/drama film “It's All About Love” (2003), which was a commercial and critical failure, had a featured role in the Australian film “The Rage in Placid Lake” (2003), starring Ben Lee and Rose Byrne, and played the love interest of John Connors in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (2003), directed by Jonathan Mostow. In acclaimed  the romantic period drama “Stage Beauty” (2004), helmed by Richard Eyre, she portrayed Billy Crudup's loyal dresser, Maria. Commenting about “Stage Beuty,” she said, “I was intimidated. There was the accent, the period of the film, and I had to act badly. I kept laughing during those scenes because I was god-awful. I've worked so hard to be good, and now I had to work even harder to be bad.”

In 2005, Danes was cast Jessica Parker's younger sister in Thomas Bezucha's “The Family Stone,”  which was a success at the box office, and was put back on the limelight again thanks to an  arresting performance in the film version of Steve Martin's bestselling novella, “Shopgirl.” Playing a retail worker and aspiring artist, Mirabelle Buttersfield, she  was nominated for a Satellite Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical. She recalled, “I was playing a girl who was essentially my age and at a similar stage in her life... the parallels were easy to find.”

Still in 2005, Danes starred as Christina Olson in a stage production of “Christina Olson: American Model” at Performance Space 122. She went on to make her Broadway debut opposite Jefferson Mays in a revival of George Bernard Shaw's “Pygmalion,” where she played the role of Eliza Doolittle. The production ran at American Airlines Theatre from October 18, 2007until December 16, 2007. She also starred as Edith in a production of “Edith and Jenny” (2007) at Performance Space 122.

2007 saw Danes in three films. She first starred as cabaret singer Ann Grant in Susan Minot's  “Evening,” opposite future husband Hugh Dancy, and then played the law enforcement protege of a veteran (played by Richard Gere) in the thriller “The Flock,” directed by Andrew Lau. Besides, she co-starred with Charlie Cox, Ben Barnes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais, David Walliams, Nathaniel Parker, Peter O'Toole, David Kelly, Robert De Niro, Mark Heap and Henry Cavill in the Matthew Vaughn directed fantasy epic “Stardust.” In 2008, she portrayed Sonja Jones in the period drama film “Me and Orson Welles,” directed by Richard Linklater.

In 2010, Danes played real-life autistic professor Temple Grandin in the well received HBO biopic “Temple Grandin,” directed by Mick Jackson and written by Christopher Monger and Merritt Johnson. Delivering a bright performance, the actress took home both an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television. She also received a Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries, a Gracie for Outstanding Female Lead - Drama Series or Special, a Prism for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries, a Satellite for Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, and  
a Golden Nymph nomination for Television Films - Best Performance by an Actress.      

In 2011, Danes remained on the small screen by contributing her voice to the made for television film “A Child's Garden of Poetry,” along with Carrie Fisher and Josh Hamilton,  and starred as Carrie Mathison, a CIA operations officer assigned to the Counterterrorism Center on the drama/thriller series, “Homeland,” which debuted on Showtime on October 2, 2011. She won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama and a Satellite for Best Actress in a Series, Drama for the role.

Recently, in 2012, Danes has completed filming a starring role of Lainee Diamond on Max Mayer's upcoming comedy/drama film, “ As Cool as I Am.” The film will also star James Marsden, Jeremy Sisto and Sarah Bolger.                 


Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, “Homeland,” 2012
Satellite: Best Actress in a Series, Drama, “Homeland,” 2011
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, “Temple Grandin,” 2011
Gracie Allen: Gracie, Outstanding Female Lead - Drama Series or Special, “Temple Grandin,” 2011
Prism: Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries, “Temple Grandin,” 2011
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries, “Temple Grandin,” 2011
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, “Temple Grandin,” 2010
Satellite: Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, “Temple Grandin,” 2010
London Critics Circle Film: ALFS Award, Actress of the Year, “Romeo + Juliet,” 1998
Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Actress – Romance, “Romeo + Juliet,” 1997
MTV Movie: Best Female Performance, “Romeo + Juliet,” 1997
ShoWest: Female Star of Tomorrow, 1997
Young Artist: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress, “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday,” 1997
YoungStar : Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Drama Film, “Romeo + Juliet,” 1997
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama, “My So-Called Life,” 1995
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