Claire Danes, an award-winning stage and film actress, has starred in a number of films, TV shows and stage productions. She is best-known for her much lauded performance as ‘Angela Chase’ in the hit ABC series, ‘My So Called Life’. It was followed by a successful film career where she has starred in a number of challenging roles and interesting projects including ‘Romeo + Juliet’, ‘Brokedown Palace’ and ‘The Hours’. Apart from her successful film career, she has also achieved considerable success on TV as well. A resident of Manhattan, New York, Claire was an arts aficionado and was known for her passion for the performing arts. She enrolled in a performing arts school and her life changed track thereafter. With the support of her parents, she dabbled with television roles in her erratic schedule and managed to complete her education at the same time. While the show, ‘My So Called Life’ never ballooned, she managed to attract the attention of critics and audiences with her chirpy on-screen presence and facial innocence. She has been linked with a number of co-stars. She is married to actor Hugh Dancy, with whom she is currently living.
Childhood & Early Life
Claire Catherine Danes was born in Manhattan, New York City to Carla and Christopher Danes. Her mother worked as a day-care provider and designer, while her father was an architectural photographer and computer consultant. She has an elder brother, Asa.
She enrolled in Dalton School and as she recognized her love for the arts from very early on, she studied at the Professional Performing Arts School and completed high-school at the Lycee Francais de Los Angeles.
She joined Yale University in 1998 to study psychology, but dropped out after two years after deciding to seriously pursue acting.
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Her acting career took off when she landed a small role in one of the episodes of a popular American show, ‘Law & Order’. She then appeared in ‘Lifestories: Families in Crisis’, when she was just 13.
Her first major breakthrough was in the hit television drama series, ‘My So Called Life’ as Angela Chase. She was nominated for numerous awards and won the prestigious Golden Globe Award for role in this series.
Even before her television career ended, she made her film debut with Winona Ryder, Christian Bale and Kirsten Dunst in ‘Little Women’, in 1994.
In 1995, she appeared in ‘How to make an American Quilt and she was also got the lead role as ‘Juliet’, with Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Romeo + Juliet’, in 1996.
She landed a major role in ‘The Rainmaker’ in 1997 and also starred in ‘Les Miserables’, the next year. However, she put her acting career on hold for a few years to pursue a course in psychology at Yale University in 1998.
Her comeback movie was ‘The Hours’ (2002) and a year later, she co-starred in ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’. She then continued to appear in several genres of films including ‘Shopgirl, ‘Evening’, ‘Stardust’ and the HBO film, ‘Temple Grandin’.
In 2011, she returned to the world of television with another hit American series, ‘Homeland’, where she played the role of a CIA agent, Carrie Mathison, earning numerous awards and accolades.
‘My So Called Life’ was a popular, short-lived American teen TV series, which ran from 1994 to 1995. Danes received accolades for her performance as ‘Angela Chase’. The show was listed on Time Magazines, ‘100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME’. The series was also ranked number 16 on the ‘Top 25 Cult Shows Ever’ list.
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Her performance as Carrie Mathison in ‘Homeland’ earned her a great reputation in the world of television and won her a number of industry awards and nominations including an Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series’. The final episode of season 1 of the series had a total of 1.7 million viewers, making it the ‘most-watched finale’ of any first year series.
Awards & Achievements
She won the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actress’ for the series, ‘My So Called Life’, in 1994.
She won the ‘Blockbuster Entertainment Awards’ for ‘Favorite Actress’ as ‘Juliet’ is ‘Romeo + Juliet’ in 1996.
In 2010, she won the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress’ for ‘Temple Grandin’.
In 2013, she won the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actress’ for the series, ‘Homeland’.
Personal Life & Legacy
The actress was in a brief relationship with American actor, Billy Crudup from 2003 to 2006.
She then married actor, Hugh Dancy in a private ceremony in 2009, with whom she has a son, Cyrus.
This award-winning television and film actress auditioned for the role of ‘Rose’ in James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ and was the director’s first choice, as she had the perfect combination of ‘innocence and beauty’.
This actress was named Harvard University’s ‘Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year’ in 2012.