Rocketing from obscure bit player to TV's resident über-sex god thanks to his role as FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files, David Duchovny can claim to have had one of the 1990s' more remarkable career metamorphoses. Although his initial attempts to translate his TV stardom into celluloid success proved less than memorable, the tall, classically handsome actor has continued to enjoy a great deal of popularity, evidenced in particular by the countless estrogen-drenched internet shrines erected in his honor.
Born in Manhattan on August 7, 1960, to a Jewish father and a Scottish mother, Duchovny did his undergraduate work at Princeton and then went on to pursue a Master's degree in English Literature at Yale. While working toward his degree, he began commuting to New York to study acting, and he was soon appearing in a few off-Broadway plays. His interest in acting ultimately eclipsed his dedication toward earning his degree, and Duchovny dropped out of Yale to pursue a career as a performer. He got his first break starring in a beer commercial, and in 1988, he made his film debut with a breathtakingly abbreviated appearance as a party guest in Mike Nichols's Working Girl. Work in a number of diverse and usually obscure films, including starring roles in Julia Has Two Lovers (1991), The Rapture (1991), and Kalifornia (1993), followed, but the actor was able to command a more steady paycheck from his TV work. Before The X-Files debuted in 1993, Duchovny was best-known to TV viewers as Dennis/Denise, Twin Peaks' resident transvestite detective.