David William Duchovny was born on the 7th of August 1960, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His parents are Amram Ducovny and Margaret Duchovny. Amram is from Brooklyn in New York and Margaret, who is known as Meg is from Scotland. He has an older brother Danny and a younger sister Laurie. His father was a journalist in the Middle East and Europe and later became a publicist for the American Jewish Committee. Amram's family were Russian Jews. After David's parents divorced when he was eleven his mother Meg had to find a job to support her children. She became a teacher at a local school. David's brother Danny became a tv advertisement director and his sister Laurie followed in her mother's footsteps and became a teacher too.
When he and Danny were growing up his brother teased him excessively and used to tell people he was retarded because he was so shy and retiring. After her divorce Meg changed the spelling of her surname to include the silent 'h'. To show his loyalty was to his mother Duchovny spelled his name with this 'h'. David won an academic scholarship to Collegiate School. This is an elite boy's school in Manhattan. David also had a keen interest in sports and played both basketball and baseball. While at this school Duchovny met his best friend, Jason Beghe, the two were still friends when David was in 'The X Files' and Beghe had a part in the episode "Darkness Falls". Duchovny went on to study at Princeton University in New Jersey in the U.S. His chosen major at Princeton was English. Duchovny did so well at Princeton that he won a scholarship to Yale University in Connecticut, U.S. He passed his Master's and then went on to start his Ph.D. Hi didn't finish it however as he decided he could make more money as an actor than as an English lecturer.
David Duchovny's first job as an actor was an advertisement for a beer. He got payed twice his yearly salary as a teacher for those few minutes of acting. It was his friend Jason Beghe who urged him to try acting as he had just started acting himself. It was in 1987 that Duchovny decided to abandon his Ph.D. and leave Yale to persue acting full time. This was precipitated by David being given a part in a new Henry Jaglom film called 'New Years Day'. Duchovny played the part of Billy a man at the New Year's party, the setting of the entire film. Billy is there to win back his ex-girlfriend before she leaves. He fails however, she throws him out naked after she catches him in bed with her friend. The entire film was improvised by the actors. This was Duchovny first movie role and the film was released in 1989. For David's other films, see his filmography here.
David had wanted to be a film star, but one day his agent sent him a script of a pilot for a new tv show. Duchovny wasn't interested in doing a television series but decided to do this pilot anyway as it was an excellently written script. He was sure the show would not take off and so did not worry about it being a permanent job. Little did he know that seven and even eight years on he would still be playing the role of Fox Mulder on 'The X Files'. He was an easy choice for Chris Carter for the role of Mulder as he fitted the idea Carter had in his head perfectly. While reading for the part of Mulder David asked a young Gillian Anderson to read with him. When Carter saw them together he decided they worked well as a team and then cast them in their now famous roles.
After five succesful seasons of 'The X Files', Carter decided to shoot a feature film of 'The X Files'. Writing the script for the film was a tricky thing for Carter as he had to make the film accesible to both fans of the show and a wider viewing public. This he managed with success. After the film 'The X Files' went to it's sixth series, picking up where the film ended. After a seventh series Duchovny decided he wanted to leave the show and concentrate on his film career. He was persuaded to stay for season eight, but had a much reduced part in the show. He then left altogether and the ninth and final series only saw him in one episode, the season and series finale.
David Duchovny married Tea Leoni on the 6th of May 1997. She is also an actress. She starred in Bad Boys, Deep Impact and Jurassic Park III and also had her own tv show, The Naked Truth. During the seventh season of 'The X Files' Tea Leoni guest starred in an episode called 'Hollywood A.D.'. She played Scully in a film version of 'The X Files' in the episode. Mulder was played by Garry Shandling. In an amusing twist at the end of the film, Tea's Scully confesses to Shandling's Mulder that she is in fact in love with A.D. Skinner. The name of the film was 'The Lazarus Bowl'. David and Tea have two children together, a daughter and a son. Their daughter Madelaine West Duchovny was born on the 24th of April 1999 and their son, Kyd Miller was born on the 15th of June 2002.
After finishing 'The X Files', Duchovny's first starring film role was in the love story, 'Return to Me', also starring Minnie Driver. Duchovny plays the part of Bob Rueland, a architect who's wife is killed in a car crash and her heart is then donated to Minnie Driver's charater. Inevitably the two meet and fall in love. He had done another film before this where he played a doctor for the mob named Eugene Sands, which ends badly for most of the characters. After 'Return to Me' Duchovny went on to star in 'Evolution' with Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott and Julianne Moore. 'Evolution' tells the story of two scientist, Dr. Ira Kane and his friend a geologist named Harry Block (Jones). They are called to the site of a meteor crash and discover a new form of alien life that threatens to over take the Earth. The key to the destruction of the alien invaders lies with a popular shampoo, Head and Shoulders. Kane also manages to develop a romance with Dr. Allison Reed (Moore) along the way. Block and Kane are also helped by Wayne (Scott). This is a very very funny film and Duchovny and the others are great in it. The next film he was in was 'Zoolander' a comedy starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. He played the ex-hand model and conspiracy theorist J.P. Prewitt. He has a few more films coming up, 'Connie and Carla', 'My Dark Places' and 'House of D'. Another film starring Duchovny is out also called 'Full Frontal', where he plays the character Bill/Gus. During his time on 'The X Files' he had the opportunity to use his writing skills. He was involved in the writing of the following episodes:
"Colony" - story, "Anasazi" - story, "Avatar" - story, "Talitha Cumi" - story, "William" - story, "Hollywood, A.D." - writer, "Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati, The" - writer, "Unnatural, The" - writer.
He also directed several episodes: "The Unnatural", "Hollywood A.D." and "William"
David Duchovny has won several awards for his work over the years, including a Golden Globe and an American Comedy Award. He has also been nominated for 4 SAG awards, 4 Golden Globes and 2 Emmys for his role as Mulder. He has also done some other TV work. He made three guest appearances on The Larry Sanders Show, it was for this that he won the American Comedy Award. He also did voiceovers on Duckman, Dr Katz and as Mulder in an episode of The Simpsons called The Springfield Files.