Claire Danes is an American actress who portrays Carrie Mathison on Homeland. She is also best known for playing Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet and Angela Chase in the short-lived 90s TV show My So-Called Life.
Claire Catherine Danes was born on April 5, 1979 in Manhattan, New York City, New York. Her mother Carla (née Hall), is a day-care provider, painter, and textile designer who later served as her daughter's manager, and her father, Christopher Danes (b. May 6, 1944 in Austin, Texas), isa computer consultant and former architectural photographer. She has an older brother, Asa (b. 1973). Her paternal grandfather, Gibson Andrew Danes was a dean of was the dean of the art and architecture school at Yale University. Danes attended the Dalton School 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, California. In 1998, Danes went to Yale University, her father's alma mater. Director Oliver Stone wrote her letter of recommendation to Yale. After studying for two years as a psychology major, she dropped out of Yale to focus on her film career.
Danes got her start as a guest star on Law & Order in an episode called "Skin Deep". She also appeared in an episode of HBO's Lifestories: Families in Crisis entitled "The Coming out of Heidi Leiter". 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. The show was canceled after only 19 episodes. However, the show has developed a large cult following in the years since it was canceled.
Following the cancellation of My So Called Life, Danes made the transition into film. She played Elizabeth "Beth" March in the 1994 film adaptation of Little Women alongside Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Samantha Mathis, Trini Alvarado, Christian Bale, Susan Sarandon, and Gabriel Byrne. She also appeared as Holly Hunter's daughter in Home for the Holidays, which was directed by Jodie Foster. Danes appeared opposite French actress Jeanne Moreau, and Jude Law in 1995's I Love You, I Love You Not. She then played the role of Rachel in To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. Danes first leading role on the big screen came in 1996. 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, it was reported that she turned down the female lead role in Titanic. Danes, however, said that while she may have been considered for the part, she was never offered the role. In 1997, Claire Danes also worked alongside two acclaimed directors. She played abused wife Kelly Riker in John Grisham's The Rainmaker directed by Francis Ford Coppola, as well as the trashy, dim-witted Jenny in Oliver Stone's noir U Turn. In 1998, she played several very different roles: Cosette in Bille August's film adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables, and the pregnant teenage daughter of Polish immigrants (played by Gabriel Byrne and Lena Olin) in Polish Wedding. In 1999, she made her first appearance in an animated feature with the English version of Princess Mononoke. That same year she played the role of Julie Barnes in the big screen adaptation of the 1970s TV show The Mod Squad, and took the lead role in Brokedown Palace, alongside Kate Beckinsale and Bill Pullman. Then Danes left her career temporarily to pursue her education at Yale. In 2002, Danes returned to the big screen. She starred alongside Susan Sarandon, Kieran Culkin, and Bill Pullman again, in Igby Goes Down. Later that year she 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, the drama Evening, and appeared in The Flock, opposite Richard Gere.
In 2010, Danes starred in the HBO production of Temple Grandin, a biopic about the eponymous autistic woman. She won the 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries award. The film was well received and Grandin herself praised Danes' performance. Later in 2010 it was announced that Danes would be starring in a pilot for a new Showtime series called Homeland in which she plays a CIA agent who suspects a war hero of planning a terrorist attack. The show will end in 2019 with its eighth season.
She is married to English actor Hugh Dancy with whom she has two sons.
- Law & Order - Skin Deep (1992) - Tracy Brandt
- Little Women (1994) - Elizabeth "Beth" March
- My So-Called Life (1994) - Angela Chase
- I Love You, I Love You Not (1996) - Daisy/Yound Nana
- Romeo + Juliet (1996) - Juliet Capulet
- The Rainmaker (1997) - Kelly Riker
- Les Misérables (1998) - Cosette
- Polish Wedding (1998) - Hala
- The Mod Squad (1999) - Julie Barnes
- Brokedown Palace (1999) - Alice Marano
- Igby Goes Down (2002) - Sookie Sapperstein
- The Hours (2002) - Julia Vaughn
- It's All About Love (2003) - Elena
- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - Kate Brewster
- Stage Beauty (2004) - Maria
- Shopgirl (2005) - Mirabelle Buttersfield
- The Family Stone (2005) - Julie Morton
- Evening (2007) - Young Ann
- Stardust (2007) - Yvaine
- The Flock (2009) - Allison
- Me and Orson Welles (2009) - Sonja Jones
- Temple Grandin (2010) - Temple Grandin
- Homeland (2011) - Carrie Mathison
- Claire is married to her "Evening" co-star, Hugh Dancy, since 2009.
- Claire had her first onscreen kiss in an episode of My So-Called Life, before she had one in real life.