With degrees from Princeton and Yale, Duchovny initially intended to join the ranks of English-lit academics before switching to acting. After a variety of supporting film and TV parts—including a flashy role as a cross-dressing DEA agent on the surreal series Twin Peaks—he landed his signature role as an alien-obsessed FBI agent on The X Files in 1993. During the series’ eight-year run, he made the leap to big-screen leading man (Playing God, Evolution, the X Files feature film). In 2007, he began starring in the Showtime series, Californication. His performance in that series netted him a Golden Globe win in 2008.