Born on 7 August, 1960, Duchovny abandoned plans for a teaching career in his 20s to pursue his love of acting, enjoying a recurring role in cult TV show Twin Peaks before shooting to fame as alien-chasing FBI agent Fox Mulder in the hit sci-fi series.
After several movie roles, he returned to TV work in 2007's Californication, and is currently shooting scenes for the popular comedy-drama's fourth season.
To celebrate Duchovny's milestone birthday, WENN has dug out 10 fascinating facts about the star:
- He attended New York City's prestigious Collegiate School. Among his classmates was assassinated U.S. president John F. Kennedy's eldest son, John F. Kennedy, Jr.
- As well as acting, Duchovny has worked behind the camera, directing several episodes of The X-Files.
- In a 1997 episode of The Simpsons - a spoof of The X-Files entitled The Springfield Files - Duchovny voiced the animated Fox Mulder character.
- As a schoolboy, he was nicknamed Duke.
- He has enjoyed a role as a doctor in three movies - Playing God in 1997, Evolution four years later, and The Secret in 2006.
- He appeared in an advert for Lowenbrau beer in 1987.
- Duchovny wed actress Tea Leoni in 1997 and the couple has two children - daughter Madelaine, 11, and eight-year-old son Kyd.
- His list of honours includes two Golden Globes for Best TV Actor in 1997 and 2008, and four Emmy nominations for Outstanding Actor.
- He once appeared on U.S. game show Celebrity Jeopardy, losing out in the final round.
- He has degrees in English Literature from esteemed U.S. universities Yale and Princeton.