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Friday, 18 May, 2001, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Duchovny's droll appeal
David Duchovny
David Duchovny has yet to enjoy huge film success
David Duchovny has won legions of fans around the world for his droll and deadpan delivery, put to best use as Fox Mulder in The X-Files.

His sardonic, laidback approach combined with undoubted good looks have made him a pin-up for teenage girls and boys alike.

David Duchovny
Duchovny found world fame as Fox Mulder
But despite his world-wide fame as Special Agent Mulder the actor has failed to translate his appeal successfully to movies.

Ever since he rose to fame as the paranormal investigator he has struggled to shake off the typecasting that often accompanies such a successful role.

Cult show

Indeed, he has always appeared a little uncomfortable with the scale of success The X-Files achieved and in recent years has distanced himself from the series.

I'm the conduit through which America views the soft underbelly of women's erotic desires

David Duchovny
Fans of the cult show have been left wondering about his future as Fox Mulder after he relegated his role to guest appearances for the last series.

His recent decision to maintain his guest star tag for the new series and concentrate on movies is undoubtedly linked to his inability to shrug off the cult figure stigma.

His future on the show was in question the moment he filed a lawsuit against Fox Television, the makers of the X-Files, saying he was owed money from the show.

But he is used to battling to cast off the stigma of a previous role before finding new success - he got his first break in erotic films.

He is known as the thinking woman's sex symbol - a legacy of his aborted academic career.

He has inspired his own female fan network, the David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade, who scour the internet and press for trivia about the actor.


Duchovny famously dropped out of his PhD in literature at Yale University to begin a career in films.

His thesis, Magic and Technology in Contemporary Poetry and Prose, helped elevate his sensitivity in the eyes of fans.

David Duchovny and Téa Leoni
Duchovny and wife Téa Leoni
He was born in New York City, to a Russian father and a Scottish mother on 7 August 1960.

After a series of erotic movies, he made his first feature film debut with a small, almost unnoticeable roe, in Working Girl in 1988.

After a brief appearance as a cross-dressing federal agent in Twin Peaks his sex symbol status was affirmed when he appeared as the narrator in the erotic TV series, The Red Shoe Diaries.


"I'm the conduit through which America views the soft underbelly of women's erotic desires," Duchovny once said, explaining his appeal.

His marriage to actress Téa Leoni in 1997 ended tabloid speculation about his love life. In the past he was linked to actress Winona Ryder and singer Lisa Loeb.

The couple now has a two year old girl, Madelaine West.

Off-set he has been described as frighteningly smart, by X-Files creator Chris Carter, and hysterically funny, by co-star Gillian Anderson.

His breakthrough role was, of course, as the alien investigator in The X-Files.

His on-screen chemistry with actress Gillian Anderson, high production values, and the wave of pre-millennial tension the programme seemed to ride propelled the series to global success.

But in recent years tortuous plot lines and the diminishing appearances of Duchovny have devalued the appeal of the programme.

A successful film version of the series, starring Duchovny and Anderson, also offered both stars a way out of the show and into movies.

A sequel is planned but no production date has been given.

His movie credits include Return to Me, a romantic comedy with Minnie Driver, and Evolution, which has yet to be released.

See also:

25 May 00 | Scotland
Duchovny's Highland fling
01 Aug 00 | Entertainment
X-Files crew member killed
28 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Scully 'signs new X-Files deal'
18 May 01 | TV and Radio
Duchovny quits X-Files
21 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Terminator man joins X-Files
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
X-Files makers fined for fatal accident
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