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Famke Janssen

Famke Beumer Janssen[1] (/ˈfɑːmkə ˈjɑːnsən/; Dutch: [ˈfɑmkə ˈbøːmər ˈjɑnsə(n)]; born c. 1964[2][3][4]) is a Dutch actress, director, screenwriter and former fashion model. She played Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye (1995), Jean Grey / Phoenix in the X-Men film series (2000–2014), Ava Moore on Nip/Tuck and Lenore Mills in the Taken film trilogy (2008–2014). In 2008, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity by the United Nations. She made her directorial debut with Bringing Up Bobby in 2011. She is also known for her role in the Netflix Original Series Hemlock Grove and for her role in ABC's How To Get Away With Murder. Janssen starred in the 2017 NBC crime thriller The Blacklist: Redemption.

Famke Janssen
Famke Janssen WonderCon 2013.jpg
Famke Janssen at WonderCon, 2013
Born Famke Beumer Janssen
c. 1964 (age 53–54)
Amstelveen, Netherlands
Alma mater Columbia University (1992, B.A.)
Occupation Actress, director
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Kip Williams (m. 1995–2000)
Relatives Antoinette Beumer (sister)
Marjolein Beumer (sister)


Early life and educationEdit

Famke Beumer Janssen[1] was born c. 1964[2][4] in Amstelveen in the Netherlands.[3] Her first name, Famke, means "girl" in Frisian language, the native language of the Dutch province Friesland.[5] She was given both her mother and father's surnames: Beumer and Janssen. She retained the name Janssen.[6] She has two sisters, director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer, both of whom changed their surnames to simply Beumer.[7] In addition to her native Dutch, Janssen speaks English and French. She also learned German, but has not kept up with it.[8] Following her high school graduation, Janssen studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam, which she later called "the stupidest idea I ever had."[7] In the early 1990s, she enrolled at Columbia University to study creative writing and literature. She graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.


Modelling and early 1990sEdit

In 1984, Janssen moved to the United States to begin her professional career as a fashion model. She signed with Elite Model Management and worked for Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, and Victoria's Secret. She starred in a 1988 commercial for the perfume Exclamation by Coty, Inc.[9] Her looks have been compared to Hedy Lamarr and other 1940s films stars.[5]

After retiring from modelling in the early 1990s, Janssen had guest roles on several television series, including a starring role in the 1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Perfect Mate", as empathic metamorph Kamala, opposite Patrick Stewart, with whom she later starred in the X-Men film series.[5] That same year, Janssen was offered the role of Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but turned it down to pursue film roles.[10] Her first film role was alongside Jeff Goldblum in the 1992 crime drama film Fathers & Sons.


Janssen in October 2008

In 1995, Janssen appeared in Pierce Brosnan's first James Bond film, GoldenEye, as femme fatale Xenia Onatopp. She also appeared in Lord of Illusions with Scott Bakula. In an attempt to fight against typecasting after her Bond girl performance, Janssen began seeking out more intriguing support roles, appearing in John Irvin's City of Industry, Woody Allen's Celebrity, Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man, and Ted Demme's Monument Ave.[11] Denis Leary, her co-star in Monument Ave., was impressed by how easily she blended in, initially not recognizing her as she was already in character.[5] In the late 1990s, she also appeared in The Faculty, Rounders, Deep Rising, and House on Haunted Hill.

X-Men filmsEdit

In 2000, Janssen played superhero Dr. Jean Grey in the Marvel Studios film X-Men. She later reprised the role in the 2003 sequel, X2 where her character shows signs of increasing powers but at the end of the film, she is presumably killed. Janssen returns as a very much alive Jean whose death in X2 awoke her dark alternate personality, Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). At the end of the film, she is killed by Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman), who only does it because Jean asks him to, not wanting to hurt anyone when Phoenix is in control. For that role, she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.[12] She returned as Jean in the 2013 film The Wolverine as a hallucination of Wolverine's.[13]

In 2014, Janssen reprised her role of Jean Grey in a brief cameo for X-Men: Days of Future Past, as did a few of the original actors from the first three films including Halle Berry, Kelsey Grammer, Anna Paquin and James Marsden. In the film, Wolverine went back in time and changed the course of the future, the result being that the events of the third movie, including the deaths of Jean Grey and Cyclops, never happened.[14][15]


Janssen at the 2013 WonderCon

In 2002, Janssen landed the role of villainess Serleena in Men in Black II, but had to abandon the film, due to a death in her family and was replaced by Lara Flynn Boyle.

In addition, Janssen had a prominent role in the second season of the popular TV series Nip/Tuck, as the seductive and manipulative life coach Ava Moore, which earned her Hollywood Life's Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award.[16] She reprised her role in the final two episodes of the series.

In 2007, she starred in Turn the River, for which she was awarded the Special Recognition Best Actress Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival.[17] The following year, she starred in Luc Besson's Taken. Janssen also continued to work in television, appearing in TV pilots for NBC's cop drama Winters and Showtime's The Farm, a spinoff of The L Word set in a women's prison. Both pilots were rejected by their respective networks. Janssen also provided the Dutch language narration for the Studio Tram Tour at all Disney theme parks.[11]

In 2011, Janssen made her directorial début with the drama Bringing Up Bobby. She also wrote the screenplay to the film, which stars Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman and Marcia Cross.[18] She reprised her role as Lenore Mills in Taken 2 (2012) and Taken 3 (2014). She starred as the main villain Muriel in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).

Janssen has starred in the Netflix Original, horror thriller television series Hemlock Grove since 2013 where she plays the role of family matriarch Olivia Godfrey.[19]

Janssen was cast in a starring role in the NBC crime thriller, The Blacklist: Redemption, a spinoff of the NBC series The Blacklist, in March 2016;[20] it was picked up to series in May 2016.[21]

Personal life and activismEdit

Janssen was married to writer and director Kip Williams, son of architect Tod Williams, from 1995 to 2000.[3]

Janssen appeared with her dog, Licorice, a brindle Boston Terrier, in a 2007 PETA campaign to raise awareness for animal rights. The campaign used the slogan "Be an Angel for Animals."[22] On 28 January 2008, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at a United Nations anti-corruption conference held in Nusa Dua, Bali.[23]

In 2016, Janssen showed frustration in not being cast in the new X-Men movie X-Men: Apocalypse saying Hollywood was sexist towards older women.[24] She said “Women, it’s interesting because they’re replaced, and the older versions are never to be seen again... whereas the men are allowed to be both ages.”[24]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Fathers & Sons Kyle Christian
1994 Relentless IV: Ashes to Ashes Dr. Sara Lee Jaffee Video
1995 GoldenEye Xenia Onatopp
1995 Lord of Illusions Dorothea Swann
1996 Dead Girl Treasure
1997 City of Industry Rachel Montana
1998 Monument Ave. Katy O'Connor
1998 Gingerbread Man, TheThe Gingerbread Man Leeanne Magruder
1998 Deep Rising Trillian St. James
1998 RPM Claudia Haggs
1998 Rounders Petra
1998 Celebrity Bonnie
1998 Adventures of Sebastian Cole, TheThe Adventures of Sebastian Cole Fiona
1998 Faculty, TheThe Faculty Miss Elizabeth Burke
1999 House on Haunted Hill Evelyn Stockard-Price
2000 Love & Sex Kate Welles
2000 Circus Lily Garfield
2000 X-Men Jean Grey
2001 Made Jessica
2001 Don't Say a Word Agatha "Aggie" Conrad
2002 I Spy Rachel Wright
2003 X2 Jean Grey
2004 Eulogy Judy Arnolds
2005 Hide and Seek Dr. Katherine Carson
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand Jean Grey / Phoenix
2006 Treatment, TheThe Treatment Allegra Marshall
2007 Ten, TheThe Ten Gretchen Reigert
2007 Turn the River Kailey Sullivan
2008 Wackness, TheThe Wackness Kristen Squires
2008 Taken Lenore "Lenny" Mills
2008 100 Feet Marnie Watson
2010 The Chameleon Jennifer Johnson
2011 Down the Shore Mary Reed
2012 Taken 2 Lenore "Lenny" Mills
2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Muriel
2013 The Wolverine Jean Grey
2013 The Being Experience N/A original title: In the Woods
2014 A Fighting Man Diane Schuler
2014 Unity Narrator (voice) Documentary; post-production
2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past Jean Grey Cameo
2015 Taken 3 Lenore "Lenny" Mills
2015 Jack of the Red Hearts Kay
2017 This Is Your Death Ilana Katz
2017 Once Upon a Time in Venice Katey Ford
TBA Status Update TBA Post-production[25]
TBA A Little Something for Your Birthday TBA Post-production[26]
TBA Asher TBA Post-production[27]
TBA Louisiana Caviar TBA Post-production[28]


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Kamala Episode: "The Perfect Mate"
1994 Melrose Place Diane Adamson Episode: "Michael's Game"
1994 Model by Day Lex / Lady X Television film
1994 Untouchables, TheThe Untouchables Cleo Episode: "Voyeur"
2000–2001 Ally McBeal Jamie Episodes: "The Man with the Bag", "The Ex-Files"
2004–2010 Nip/Tuck Ava Moore Recurring role (11 episodes)
2007 Winters Christie Winters Television film
2008 Puppy Love Maya Web series
2009 Farm, TheThe Farm Valentina Galindo Television film
2013–2015 Hemlock Grove Olivia Godfrey Main role (33 episodes)
2015–2016 How to Get Away with Murder Eve Rothlow Recurring role (7 episodes)
2015 SuperMansion Frau Mantis Voice role (2 episodes)
2016 Robot Chicken Jean Grey Voice role; episode: "Joel Hurwitz"
2016 The Blacklist Susan Hargrave Recurring role (3 episodes)
2017 The Blacklist: Redemption Susan Hargrave Main role
As a director
Year Title Notes
2011 Bringing Up Bobby Director, producer, writer

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b "Famke Janssen- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b College Tour: Famke Janssen kijk je op. 26 September 2014. Event occurs at 30:36. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Famke Janssen Biography (1964?-)". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Shattuck, Kathryn (17 February 2017). "Famke Janssen Plays Another Lethal Woman in a 'Blacklist' Spinoff". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2017. So how old are you? ... I’m 52. 
  5. ^ a b c d Elias, Justine (15 November 1998). "Famke Janssen; Transformations As a Way of Life, Not Just on Screen". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Famke Janssen [1965] Stage and Screen Performer". New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 2 May 2016. Also note that Famke retained her family name Janssen but her sisters changed their family name to Beumer. 
  7. ^ a b Malanowski, Jamie (20 August 2000). "A Scene Stealer's Big Score". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2009. 
  8. ^ Toal, Drew (7–13 May 2008). "The Hot Seat: She's a hustler, baby". Time Out New York. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Famke Janssen Exclamation perfume commercial". Retrieved 16 October 2011 – via YouTube. 
  10. ^ "Famke Janssen". BuddyTV. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Famke Janssen on Tavis Smiley". PBS. 6 May 2008. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Famke Janssen [1965] Stage and Screen Performer". New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 2 May 2016. In 2007 she won three awards, the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress... 
  13. ^ Robert Yaniz Jr. "'The Wolverine': Hugh Jackman on Jean Grey's Return". Screen Rant. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Rob Keyes. "Famke Janssen on 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Return: 'Stay Tuned'". Screen Rant. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Malkin, Marc (30 May 2014). "X-Men: How Famke Janssen Kept Her Days of Future Past Cameo a Secret". E! News. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "Famke Janssen at the Hollywood Life Magazine's Breakthrough of the.." Getty Images. 
  17. ^ "2007 Hamptons International Film Festival Awards". 4 January 2008. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Gilmore, Joan (5 August 2010). "Around Town: Bobby crew at JRB gallery". The Journal Record. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Gina McIntyre (27 May 2014). "'Hemlock Grove' first look: Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard in Season 2". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (29 March 2016). "The Blacklist Spinoff Starring Famke Janssen In the Works At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (14 May 2016). "The Blacklist Spinoff Picked Up To Series, NBC, Cruel Intentions Alive". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  22. ^ "Famke Janssen Is an Angel for Animals". PETA. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "UN Anti-Corruption Conference Opens in Bali". United Nations Information Service Vienna. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  24. ^ a b Child, Ben (25 April 2016). "Jansen said she could not understand why other X-men actors have been given older versions of themselves". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  25. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (19 July 2016). "Rob Riggle, Famke Janssen, Wendi McMcLendon-Covey & More Round Out 'Status Update' Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  26. ^ Ritman, Alex (7 October 2016). "Sharon Stone's 'A Little Something for Your Birthday Rounds Out Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  27. ^ Busch, Anita (April 27, 2017). "Famke Janssen Joining Cast Of Michael Caton-Jones' Movie 'Asher'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  28. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (June 19, 2017). "Cuba Gooding Jr's Helming Debut Is 'Louisiana Caviar'; Richard Dreyfuss & Famke Janssen Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 

External linksEdit