Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen Biography

Famke Beumer Janssen (; ; born 5 November 1964) is a Dutch actress, director, screenwriter, and former fashion model. She is known for playing the villainous Bond girl Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye (1995), Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men film series (2000"2013), and Lenore Mills in Taken (2008), and its sequel, Taken 2 (2012). In 2008, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity by United Nations. She made her directorial debut with Bringing Up Bobby in 2011.

Early life and education

Janssen was born in Amstelveen, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. Her first name, Famke, means "girl" in West Frisian, the native language of the Dutch province Friesland. She has two sisters, director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer. In addition to her native Dutch, Janssen speaks English and French. She also learned German, but has not kept up with it. Following her high school graduation, Janssen studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam, which she later called "the stupidest idea I ever had." In the early 1990s, she enrolled at Columbia University to study creative writing and literature.


In 1984, Janssen moved to the United States to begin her professional career as a fashion model. She signed with Elite Model Management and worked for Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Victoria's Secret. She starred in a 1988 commercial for the perfume Exclamation by Coty, Inc. Her looks have been compared to Hedy Lamarr and other 1940s films stars.

After retiring from modelling in the early 1990s, Janssen had guest roles on several television series, including a starring role in the 1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Perfect Mate", as empathic metamorph Kamala, opposite Patrick Stewart, with whom she later starred in the X-Men film series. That same year, Janssen was offered the role of Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but turned it down to pursue film roles. Her first film role was alongside Jeff Goldblum in the 1992 crime drama film Fathers & Sons.

In 1995, Janssen appeared in Pierce Brosnan's first James Bond film, GoldenEye, as femme fatale Xenia Onatopp. She also appeared in Lord of Illusions with Scott Bakula. In an attempt to fight against typecasting after her Bond girl performance, Janssen began seeking out more intriguing support roles, appearing in John Irvin's City of Industry, Woody Allen's Celebrity, Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man, and Ted Demme's Monument Ave. Denis Leary, her co-star in Monument Ave., was impressed by how easily she blended in, initially not recognizing her as she was already in character. In the late 1990s, she also appeared in The Faculty, Rounders, Deep Rising, and House on Haunted Hill.

In 2000, Janssen played superhero Dr. Jean Grey in X-Men. She reprised the role in X2 (2003) and again in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) as well as portraying a darker role of Jean Grey's alternate personality, Phoenix, for which she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. She returned as Jean Grey in the film The Wolverine (2013).

In 2002, Janssen landed the role of villainess Serleena in Men in Black II, but had to abandon the film due to a death in her family.

In addition, Janssen had a prominent role in the second season of the popular TV series Nip/Tuck, as the seductive and manipulative life coach Ava Moore, which earned her Hollywood Life's Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award. She reprised her role in the final two episodes of the series.

In 2007, she starred in Turn the River, for which she was awarded the Special Recognition Best Actress Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The following year, she starred in Luc Besson's Taken. Janssen also continued to work in television, appearing in TV pilots for NBC's cop drama Winters and Showtime's The Farm, a The L Word spin-off set in a women's prison. Both pilots were rejected by their respective networks. Janssen also provided the Dutch-language narration for the Studio Tram Tour at all Disney theme parks.

In 2011, Janssen made her directorial début with the drama Bringing Up Bobby. She also wrote the screenplay to the film, which stars Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman, and Marcia Cross. She reprised her role as Lenore Mills in Taken 2 (2012) and starred as the main villain Muriel in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).

Janssen starred in the series Hemlock Grove (2013) where she plays the role of Olivia Godfrey.

Personal life and activism

Janssen was married to writer and director Kip Williams, son of architect Tod Williams, from 1995 to 2000.

Janssen appeared with her dog Licorice, a brindle Boston Terrier, in a 2007 PETA campaign to raise awareness for animal rights. The campaign used the slogan "Be an Angel for Animals." On 28 January 2008, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at a United Nations anti-corruption conference held in Nusa Dua, Bali.


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Fathers & Sons Kyle Christian
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Kamala TV series (1 episode: "The Perfect Mate")
1994 Melrose Place Diane Adamson TV series (1 episode: "Michael's Game")
1994 Model by Day Lex/Lady X TV movie
1994 ' Cleo TV series (1 episode: "Voyeur")
1994 Relentless IV: Ashes to Ashes Dr. Sara Lee Jaffee
1995 GoldenEye Xenia Onatopp
1995 Lord of Illusions Dorothea Swann
1996 Dead Girl Treasure
1997 City of Industry Rachel Montana
1998 Monument Ave. Katy O'Connor
1998 ' Leeanne Magruder
1998 Deep Rising Trillian St. James
1998 RPM Claudia Haggs
1998 Rounders Petra
1998 Celebrity Bonnie
1998 ' Fiona
1998 ' Miss Elizabeth Burke
1999 House on Haunted Hill Evelyn Stockard-Price
2000 Love & Sex Kate Welles
2000 Circus Lily Garfield
2000 X-Men Jean Grey
2000-2001 Ally McBeal Jamie TV series (2 episodes)
2001 Made Jessica
2001 Don't Say a Word Agatha "Aggie" Conrad
2002 I Spy Rachel Wright
2003 X2 Jean Grey
2004 Nip/Tuck Ava Moore TV series (12 episodes)
2004 Eulogy Judy Arnolds
2005 Hide and Seek Dr. Katherine Carson
2005 Nip/Tuck Ava Moore TV series (1 episode: "KiKi")
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Jean Grey/Phoenix
2006 ' Allegra Marshall
2007 Winters Christie Winters TV movie
2007 ' Gretchen Reigert
2007 Turn the River Kailey Sullivan
2008 ' Kristen Squires
2008 Taken Lenore "Lenny" Mills
2008 100 Feet Marnie Watson
2008 Puppy Love Maya TV series
2009 ' Valentina Galindo TV movie
2010 Nip/Tuck Ava Moore TV series (2 episodes)
2010 The Chameleon Jennifer Johnson
2011 Down the Shore Mary Reed
2011 Bringing Up Bobby Director, producer, writer
2012 Taken 2 Lenore "Lenny" Mills
2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Muriel
2013 Hemlock Grove Olivia Godfrey TV series (13 episodes)
2013 The Wolverine Jean Grey
2013 Unity Narrator (voice) Documentary; post-production
2013 In the Woods Post-production
2014 A Fighting Man Filming

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated Work Award Results
1996 GoldenEye MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (Shared with Pierce Brosnan)
2000 House on Haunted Hill Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Supporting Actress " Horror
2001 X-Men Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Supporting Actress " Science Fiction
2006 Hamptons International Film Festival Golden Starfish Award for Career Achievement
2006 High Falls Film Festival Susan B. Anthony 'Failure is Impossible' Award
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Teen Choice Award for Choice Liplock (Shared with Hugh Jackman)
2007 X-Men: The Last Stand Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2007 Turn the River Hamptons International Film Festival for Best Actress
2007 Turn the River Hamptons International Film Festival Special Prize

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Famke_Janssen" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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