golden starfish

Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen (IPA: ) (born November 5, 1965) is a Dutch actress and former fashion model. She is best known for her roles in GoldenEye, Nip/Tuck and as Dr. Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men movies. Janssen is also a UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity.

Janssen's name is pronounced as Fahm-Kuh Yan-Sin. The first name means little girl in West Frisian, the native language of the Dutch province Friesland.

Early life

Famke Beumer Janssen was born in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, as the only brunette in a family of blondes. Besides her native Dutch, Janssen learned to speak English, German and French. She has two sisters, director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer. Janssen moved to the United States in 1984 and began her professional career as a fashion model. She was signed with Elite Model Management and worked for Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Victoria's Secret.

Janssen also studied writing and literature at Columbia University before moving to Los Angeles to establish her acting career.


Upon moving to Los Angeles, Janssen obtained her first parts, appearing in guest roles on TV series. One of her first appearances was in 1992, when she starred in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Perfect Mate" as empathic metamorph Kamala, opposite Patrick Stewart (who would later star with her in the X-Men film series). Then, in that same year, Janssen was offered the role of Jadzia Dax of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but turned it down in favor of film roles.

Janssen's first film role was with Jeff Goldblum in the 1992 film Fathers & Sons. In 1995, she appeared in the first Pierce Brosnan James Bond film, GoldenEye, as femme fatale Xenia Onatopp.

Janssen played superheroine Dr. Jean Grey/Phoenix in X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. She won a Saturn Award for the role in X-Men: The Last Stand. She also starred in the movies Lord of Illusions, The Faculty, House on Haunted Hill, I Spy, Rounders, Deep Rising and Hide and Seek. In addition, Janssen had a prominent role in the second season of the popular TV show, Nip/Tuck, as the seductive and manipulative transsexual life coach, Ava Moore.

Janssen tried to fight against typecasting by appearing in Woody Allen's Celebrity, Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man, John Irvin's City of Industry and Ted Demme's Monument Ave. She was awarded the Special Jury Best Actress Award at the 2007 Hamptons International Film Festival for her role as a female pool hustler in Chris Eigeman's Turn the River.

In 2003, Janssen was awarded the International Star of the Year. In 2004, she won the Hollywood Life Breakthrough Artist of the Year for her work on Nip/Tuck. In 2006, the Hamptons International Film Festival awarded her with the Golden Starfish Award for career achievement in acting.

Janssen provides the Dutch-language narration for the Studio Tram Tour at all Disney parks.

On January 28, 2008, Janssen was appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity at the Second Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, held in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Personal life

Janssen lives in West Village in New York City. She was married to writer/director Tod Culpan Williams, son of architect Tod Williams, from 1995 to 2000.

Janssen has a brindle Boston terrier named Licorice, with whom she frequently travels.


Year Film Role Notes and Awards
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV series) Kamala
Fathers & Sons Kyle Christian
1994 The Untouchables (TV series) Cleo
Melrose Place (TV series) Diane Adamson
Model by Day (TV movie) Lady X
Relentless IV: Ashes to Ashes Dr. Sara Lee Jaffee
1995 GoldenEye Xenia Onatopp
Lord of Illusions Dorothea Swann
1996 Dead Girl Treasure
1997 City of Industry Rachel Montana
1998 Monument Ave. Katy
The Gingerbread Man Leeanne Magruder
Deep Rising Trillian St. James
RPM Claudia Haggs
Rounders Petra
Celebrity Bonnie
The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Fiona
The Faculty Miss Elizabeth Burke
1999 House on Haunted Hill Evelyn Stockard-Price
2000 Love & Sex Kate Welles
Circus Lily
X-Men Jean Grey
Ally McBeal (TV series) Jamie
2001 Made Jessica
Don't Say a Word Aggie Conrad
2002 I Spy Special Agent Rachel Wright
2003 X2 Jean Grey
2004 Nip/Tuck (TV series) Ava Moore
Eulogy Judy Arnolds
2005 Hide and Seek Katherine
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Jean Grey/Phoenix Won - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
The Treatment Allegra Marshall
2007 The Ten Gretchen Reigert
Turn the River Kailey Sullivan
Winters (TV series) Christie Winters
2008 The Wackness Kristen Squires
Taken Lenore
100 Feet Marnie Watson
Kiddie Ride TBA Post-production
Chameleon TBA Filming
Queen B Havilland Winters In negotiations
2009 The Possibility of Fireflies Susanna Roma Attached
Peep World Herself Attached
The Finest Gail/ G-Woman Attached


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