See the Cast of ‘The X-Files’ Then and Now
‘The X-Files’ debuted on Fox in 1993, giving audiences a new obsession with the story of FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), a pair assigned to investigate the mysterious X-Files, unsolved cases that may or may not involve paranormal or alien activity. Scully was the skeptic, Mulder the believer, and together they solved cases over the course of nine seasons (give or take an absence here and there). It’s been 20 years since the series made its debut, so join us as we look back at the cast and see what they’re up to now.
David Duchovny, Fox Mulder
Then: David Duchovny played special agent Fox Mulder, a man who believes in aliens and that the government is covering them up. Mulder dedicates his entire life to solving the cases in ‘The X-Files.’
Now: Duchovny currently stars on the Showtime series ‘Californication,’ and has appeared in both ‘X-Files’ feature films. He can be seen next in the films ‘Phantom’ and ‘Louder Than Words.’
Gillian Anderson, Dana Scully
Then: Duchovny suggested his old college classmate Jennifer Beals (of ‘Dirty Dancing’ fame) for the role of Scully, but ‘X-Files’ creator Chris Carter became set on Gillian Anderson after watching her audition. Scully is the skeptic of the agent duo — she’s a medical doctor and scientist — but over time she begins to believe Mulder. Anderson based her character on Jodie Foster’s portrayal of Clarice Starling in ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ When an opportunity arose for Anderson to play Starling in ‘Hannibal,’ she had to turn it down — her contract with Fox dictated that she couldn’t plan an FBI agent in any other shows or films.
Now: In a twist of fate, Anderson now appears on the television series ‘Hannibal’ as Dr. Lecter’s psychiatrist, Bedelia Du Maurier. She’s also a regular on the upcoming series ‘Crisis,’ and appeared in the 2011 BBC miniseries ‘Great Expectations’ as Miss Havisham.
Mitch Pileggi, Walter Skinner
Then: Mitch Pileggi played Walter Skinner, a Vietnam veteran and the FBI’s assistant director who oversees Mulder and Scully. Though he’s a bit prickly at first, he eventually warms up to the pair.
Now: Pileggi continues to have a successful television career, with recurring roles on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Supernatural,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ and ‘Dallas.’ He’s also made guest appearances on ‘Castle’ and ‘In Plain Sight.’ Pileggi is married to Arlene Warren, Gillian Anderson’s stand-in on ‘The X-Files’ — Warren did manage to get some real screentime as Skinner’s secretary, Arlene.
Robert Patrick, John Doggett
Then: At the end of season 7, Mulder is abducted by aliens and disappears — he is replaced by John Doggett, a former Marine and NYPD detective who joined the FBI when his son died. Doggett partners with Scully to try and find Mulder.
Now: Patrick recently appeared in the films ‘Gangster Squad,’ ‘Lovelace,’ and ‘Identity Thief.’ He has a recurring role on ‘True Blood’ as Alcide’s father.
Annabeth Gish, Monica Reyes
Then: Annabeth Gish portrayed special agent Monica Reyes — a woman who has studied folklore and investigated satanic rituals. Reyes is a recurring character in season 8, but becomes part of the main cast in season 9, replacing Scully as Doggett’s partner.
Now: Gish stars on the TV drama series ‘The Bridge,’ and has a recurring role in the ABC Family series ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ She is married to former ‘X-Files’ stuntman Wade Allen.
William B. Davis, The Smoking Man
Then: William B. Davis played “The Smoking Man,” the series’ enigmatic, consistent antagonist. Davis said he based his performance off of Hitler and Saddam Hussein. The Smoking Man was originally written in for one episode, but he proved so popular and Davis was so great at playing the part, that creator Chris Carter made him a recurring villain. Davis was a prominent acting teacher in Canada, and one of his students was Lucy Lawless, who later guest-starred on the series.
Now: Davis recently appeared in the films ‘Behemoth’ and ‘The Tall Man,’ and is a regular on the popular Canadian sci-fi series ‘Continuum.’ He sometimes directs plays for The United Players of Vancouver, and is a former champion water skier, and briefly held records in older age divisions.