THE X-FILES' David Duchovny is the thinking woman's sex symbol. He was a dissertation away from a Ph.D. in English Literature at Yale University when he left academia to shill beer for Lowenbrau and bare his butt in low-budget erotic films. The title of his thesis, "Magic and Technology in Contemporary Poetry and Prose," has been appropriated as a moniker for one of the Internet's several DDEB's--David Duchovny Estrogen Brigades. DDEB 3: "Where Magic And Technology Meet" testifies to Duchovny's burgeoning popularity; its members share photos, facts, encounters ("he had stubble. *sigh*"), and any other esoterica available on their droll hero. Duchovny himself put it best: "I'm the conduit through which America views the soft underbelly of women's erotic desires."
Duchovny was born in New York City to a Russian-Jewish father and a Scottish mother. As a child, he was so reserved that his older brother enjoyed telling people he was retarded. He wasn't. In fact, Duchovny won a scholarship to the prestigious Collegiate Prep School in New York--his classmates included John F. Kennedy, Jr., and actors Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and Jason Beghe (Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear). He went on to graduate from Princeton ("I discovered what preppie really was. A level of Biff-dom I'd never seen before."), where he played both baseball and basketball, and eventually received a master's degree in English literature from Yale. Duchovny has said his initial drive to succeed and his subsequent desire to act were both a result of his parents' divorce when he was eleven. "I was always supposed to be the one who didn't have any problems. And when I got to act, it was like all of a sudden I could have problems."
Duchovny made his feature film debut with a small role as a partygoer in Working Girl (1988) and quickly gained notice playing sleazoids in Henry Jaglom's New Year's Day and in Julia Has Two Lovers. He did a brief stint on TV's Twin Peaks as cross-dressing D.E.A. agent Dennis/Denise Bryson, before taking on supporting roles in less trashy movies like Chaplin and Ruby, and starring roles in The Rapture and Kalifornia. But it was his recurring role as Jake, the cuckolded narrator of women's fantasies, on Showtime's Red Shoe Diaries that cemented his reputation as a sensitive sex symbol. Duchovny's break-out role, of course, has been that of F.B.I. Agent Fox Mulder, alongside Gillian Anderson's ever-cynical Agent Dana Scully, on Fox's The X-Files, a paranormal drama in which the pair investigate all things spooky. Duchovny next returns to the big screen in Playing God, in which he portrays a high-profile L.A. surgeon who finds work as a doctor to underworld figures after he is stripped of his medical license for performing an operation while under the influence of amphetamines. He is also set to bring his Fox Mulder to a theater near you in a 1998 feature film version of The X-Files.
Hearts were heard breaking across the land in May 1997, when Duchovny married actress T�a Leoni.