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Claire Catherine Danes (born April 12, 1979) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her role as Angela Chase in the television series My So-Called Life, and for starring in films such as Romeo + Juliet (as Juliet), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (as Kate Brewster) and Stardust (as Yvaine). She has received a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination for My So-Called Life, and has also worked in theatre and as a voice actor (Princess Mononoke).

Early life

Danes was born in New York, New York. Her mother, Carla, is a day-care provider, painter, and textile designer who later served as her daughter's manager, and her father, Christopher Danes, is a computer consultant and former architectural photographer. Danes has described her background as being "as WASP as you can get"; her paternal grandfather, Gibson Andrew Danes, (1910-1992 in Litchfield, Connecticutmarker was the dean of the art and architecture school at Yale Universitymarker. She has an older brother, Asa, who graduated from Oberlin Collegemarker and works as a litigation attorney for the law firm of Paul Hastings.

Danes attended the Dalton Schoolmarker in New York City, the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, the Professional Performing Arts School, and the Lycée Français de Los Angeles in Los Angeles, Californiamarker. In 1998, Danes went to Yale Universitymarker, her father's alma mater. Oliver Stone wrote her letter of recommendation to Yalemarker. After studying for two years as a psychology major, she dropped out of Yale to focus on her film career.


In 1994, 15-year-old Danes starred as the 15-year-old Angela Chase in the television drama series My So-Called Life, for which she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy nomination. She played Elizabeth "Beth" March in the 1994 movie adaptation of Little Women. She also appeared as Holly Hunter's daughter in Home for the Holidays, which was directed by Jodie Foster. She portrayed Juliet Capulet in Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo Montague. Later that year, she turned down the lead role of Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic, also starring Leonardo Dicaprio because she felt exhausted after working on Romeo + Juliet (The role later went to Kate Winslet, who had auditioned for the role of Juliet). In 1999, she made her first appearance in an animated feature with the English version of Princess Mononoke, and took the lead role in Brokedown Palace, alongside Kate Beckinsale and Bill Pullman.

In 2002, Danes starred alongside Susan Sarandon, Kieran Culkin, and Bill Pullman again, in Igby Goes Down. She later co-starred as Meryl Streep's daughter in the Oscar-nominated, The Hours, with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Ed Harris. The following year, she was cast in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, followed by Stage Beauty in 2004. She earned critical acclaim in 2005 when she starred in Steve Martin's Shopgirl alongside Martin and Jason Schwartzman, and in The Family Stone opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton. In 2007, Danes appeared in the fantasy Stardust, which she described as a "classic model of romantic comedy", with Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Sienna Miller, and appeared in The Flock, opposite Richard Gere.

Danes appeared in Off-Broadway plays including Happiness, Punk Ballet, and Kids On Stage, in which she choreographed her own solo dance. She also wrote the introduction to Neil Gaiman's Death: The Time of Your Life. Danes auditioned for the role of Lois Lane in Superman Returns before the role went to Kate Bosworth.

In March 2007, Danes appeared with Patrick Wilson in a television commercial for Gap in which the pair dances to the song " Anything You Can Do" from the musical Annie Get Your Gun. Danes has recently appeared onstage at Manhattan's PS122 an avant-garde performance space, in a series of dance pieces by choreographer Tamar Rogoff. Danes made her stage debut at PS122 as a child.

On October 19, 2007, Danes made her Broadwaymarker debut in the revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, starring as Eliza Doolittle.

Personal life

Danes had her first onscreen kiss in an episode of My So-Called Life before she had one in real life. After meeting at her birthday party, she and Australian singer Ben Lee dated for almost six years, their relationship ending in 2003. She has dated Andrew Dorff, actor Stephen Dorff's younger brother, and Matt Damon. Beginning in 2004, she dated her Stage Beauty and Princess Mononoke co-star Billy Crudup, which generated negative publicity due to rumors that their relationship caused the end of Crudup's relationship to then-pregnant Mary-Louise Parker. Both denied that they were involved prior to the end of Crudup's relationship with Parker. Danes's relationship with Crudup ended in December 2006, amid rumors of an affair by Danes with Hugh Dancy, her co-star in Evening. Danes confirmed on the June 27, 2007 episode of Late Show with David Letterman that she was dating Dancy. Danes, 30, and Dancy, 34, tied the knot in a quiet ceremony in France in 2009.


In 1998, just after the filming of Brokedown Palace in Manilamarker, she was quoted in Vogue as saying that Manila was a "ghastly and weird city." She further remarked in Premiere that the city "smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over and that there is no sewage system and the people do not have anything — no arms, no legs, no eyes." Kim Atienza, son of then-Mayor of Manila, Lito Atienza, responded to the comments by saying that, "those are irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements that we cannot accept." Her films were subsequently banned from being screened in the Philippinesmarker. Joseph Estrada, then-President of the Philippines, condemned her publicly, and she was declared persona non grata. Shortly after the incident, Danes issued an apology in Entertainment Weekly to the City of Manila.


Year Film Role Notes
1990 Dreams of Love
1994 Little Women Beth March
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Young Glady Jo Cleary
Home for the Holidays Kitt Larson
1996 I Love You, I Love You Not Daisy/Young Nana
Romeo + Juliet Juliet Capulet London Critics Circle Film Award for Actress of the Year
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday Rachel Lewis
1997 Princess Mononoke San Voice only
U Turn Jenny
The Rainmaker Kelly Riker
1998 Les Misérables Cosette
Polish Wedding Hala
1999 The Mod Squad Julie Barnes
Brokedown Palace Alice Marano
2002 Igby Goes Down Sookie Sapperstein
The Hours Julia Vaughn Nominated: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Cast - Motion Picture
2003 It's All About Love Elena
The Rage In Placid Lake Girl at Seminar
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Kate Brewster
2004 Stage Beauty Maria
2005 Shopgirl Mirabelle Buttersfield Nominated: Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
The Family Stone Julie Morton
2007 Evening Young Ann
Stardust Yvaine
The Flock Allison
2009 Me and Orson Welles Sonja Jones
Temple Grandin Thinking in Pictures Temple Grandin TV Film


Year Film Role Notes
1994–1995 My So-Called Life Angela Chase Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Drama
Nominated: Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Drama Series


  • The Boyfriend Trousers (Gap) (2007) - Girlfriend

Music videos

Guest appearances

Year Show Name Role Notes
1992 Law & Order (episode #45-Skin Deep) Tracy Brandt
1994 Lifestories: Families in Crisis Katie Leiter
The Jon Stewart Show Herself
Late Show with David Letterman Herself
1996 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Herself
1997 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Herself
The Rosie O'Donnell Show Herself
Saturday Night Live Herself
Late Show with David Letterman Herself
1998 Late Show with David Letterman Herself
1999 The Charlie Rose Show Herself
Fanatic Herself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Herself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Herself
2002 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Herself
2003 HBO First Look Herself
Electric Playground Herself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Herself
Tinseltown TV Herself
2004 Live with Regis and Kelly Herself
The Charlie Rose Show Herself
Sunday Morning Shootout Herself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Herself
2005 Corazon de... Herself
Magacine Herself
Late Show with David Letterman Herself
2007 Late Show with David Letterman Herself
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Herself
Rove Herself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Herself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Herself


  1. Movieline - December 1995
  2. retrieved 2007-07-26

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