Claire Danes is an American actress. She is the recipient of three Golden Globe Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2012, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. After making her film debut with a small role in Little Women (1994), Danes gained critical acclaim for her leading role as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life (1994). The role won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and earned her nominations for an Emmy Award and a SAG Award.
She made her Broadway debut in 1996 with The Glass Menagerie. Her other notable films include Romeo + Juliet (1996), The Hours (2002), Shopgirl (2005), Stardust (2007), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), and I Am Number Four (2011). She has also starred in the HBO series Homeland, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a SAG Award. Danes was born in New York City, the daughter of a sculptor and printmaking artist, Christopher Danes, and a photographer, Carla Danes. She has an older brother, Asa. Danes’ parents met when they were studying together at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is of English descent and she is of Danish and English ancestry.
Danes attended Friends Seminary for junior high school and high school, where she graduated in 1994. She attended Yale University, where she was initially cast in an off-Broadway production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull in 1995, but she left the production after three days due to creative differences. She eventually graduated from Yale in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation, Danes worked as a fashion model for Donna Karan and appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine in November 1996.
In December 1996, Danes made her Broadway debut in a revival of William Inge’s Picnic opposite Pablo Schreiber and Ashley Judd. The following year, she appeared in the film adaptation of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead opposite Viggo Mortensen. In 1998, she starred in the films Les Misérables and The Rainmaker. In 1999, she played the lead role of Pola Negri in the biographical film Pola Negri: Life Is a Cabaret.
In 2000, Danes starred in the films Brokedown Palace and Billy Bathgate. In 2001, she appeared in the film Perfume, based on the best-selling novel by Patrick Süskind. In 2002, she starred in the Stephen Daldry-directed drama The Hours opposite Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. The film earned her nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2005, Danes starred in the romantic comedy Shopgirl opposite Steve Martin. The film was adapted from the novella of the same name by Martin. In 2007, she starred in the fantasy adventure Stardust. In 2008, she appeared in the historical drama Me and Orson Welles, based on the Richard Linklater-directed film of the same name.
In 2010, Danes starred in the action thriller Nightwatch opposite Ewan McGregor. In 2011, she appeared in the sci-fi film I Am Number Four and lent her voice to the animated film DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk. In 2012, she starred in the independent drama A Kid Like Jake opposite Jim Parsons. In 2013, she reprised her role as Carrie Mathison in Homeland’s second season.
Danes has also appeared on stage, starring in the Broadway productions of Tartuffe in 2002 and Pygmalion in 2007. In 2011, she made her West End debut in a revival of That Face. In 2014, she starred in the Off-Broadway play Imaginary Friends. Danes is married to actor Hugh Dancy, with whom she has a son born in 2012.