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Gillian Anderson’s Transformation Over the Years


Gillian Anderson has been an acting vet since her days on The X-Files. Born in Chicago and raised between London, England and Michigan in the US. Eventually, she moved to NYC to further her acting career, where she started with theater roles. “X-Files” was her breakout role, where she depicted FBI Special Agent Dana Scully. 

From playing Margaret Thatcher in “The Crown” to playing an open-minded, although sometimes embarrassing mom in “Sex Education,” the actress is as talented as she is stunning, and her impressive resume filled with high-profile roles proves that. Even at her age today, she’s one of the most gorgeous actresses in Hollywood to date. Before the latest season of “Sex Education” hits Netflix, let’s take a look back on all her inimitable roles over the decades.

In “Sex Education,” she plays straight shooter Jean, a sex therapist and the mother of awkward teen Otis. With her own child and his peers, she’s unabashed in her conversations about relationships and sex. With extremely chic jumpsuits, witty one-liners and an empowered attitude, she’s one of the biggest role models on the show, and its millions of fans think so too. She’s also channeling pure goddess energy in this series — shockingly, this woman is headed toward her 60s. In 1997, she was dubbed by “People” magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world, and we still think that rings true today. 

When she starred as Scully in the “X Files,” she rocked a bright red bob that she often wore in curls on the red carpet. Her next roles include socialite Lily Bart in “The House of Mirth” and playing Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier on the TV show “Dr. Hannibal.” However, it’s later in middle age that she found even more success, attesting to her hard work over the years. She earned the role of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Season Four of “The Crown.”

In a statement, Anderson said, “I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of “The Crown” and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman. Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable, but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era.” The star received critical acclaim for the portrayal of Thatcher, winning her both a Golden Globe and an Emmy. 

She then moved towards a very different role as Jean Milburn in the Netflix show “Sex Education,” which exposed the actress to a whole new generation that was obsessed with her immediately. Known for her casual and straightforward approach towards sex and intimacy, her son is obviously mortified, especially when his peers are going to her for advice on figuring out the birds and the bees. As the show continues, Jean is still a pivotal character in the show, and she’s actually the inspiration behind her son figuring out his own skills in the realm of therapy and helping others. 


While she completely transformed for Thatcher, Jean’s style was more of a relaxed blond lob paired with kimonos. Now, we can look forward to another transformation as she ditches her blond tresses to take on the role of Eleanor Roosevelt in “The First Lady” where she wears minimal makeup and an appropriate updo for the period. Eleanor was the wife of one of the world’s most influential presidents. Still, she also made her own mark during his time in office, championing a civil rights and women’s rights movement, making this a perfect Gillian Anderson role. 

Safe to say, Gillian Anderson isn’t in it for the roles that make her look as beautiful as possible. Instead, she’s focused on the more meaningful and profound roles that depict complicated women.

Off-screen, her looks have also changed significantly over the years, and she’s never afraid to try out something new for a role. In 2010, she grew her hair into a longer look and went blond. She lobbed it all off again in 2019 and has maintained her short blond look since then, with few variations. Anderson has always been one of the women in Hollywood who rides off her natural beauty and radiant smile instead of heavy makeup and plastic surgery. We can’t wait to see what comes next for the ageless actress after “The First Lady” and hope to continue seeing her hilarious but insightful character Jean on “Sex Education” Season 4.