Famke Beumer Janssen is an actress probably best known for her role as Dr. Jean Grey in the X-Men movies. However, she is an actress of considerable talent who has managed to avoid typecasting by taking on very different and challenging roles throughout her career. She was born November 5th, 1964 in Amstelveen, the Netherlands. Famke means "little girl" in a native Dutch tongue. Famke Beumer has two sisters who also are active in the movie industry, Antoinette Beumer, a director, and Marjolein Beumer, an actress.
Famke Beumer started out by studying economics at the University of Amsterdam. She gave this up and came to the United States in 1984 to pursue a career as a model. Because of her classic looks and height (Beumer is 5'11"), she had success and was signed to Elite Model Management. Some of the companies Beumer worked for were Chanel, Victoria's Secret, and Yves Saint Laurent. In 1990, Beumer gave up modeling and decided to study literature and creative writing at Columbia University.
During this time, Famke also started acting and moved to Las Angeles several years later to pursue a career as an actress. Beumer received guest roles on several TV shows, including "Star Trek: The Next Generation". She was offered a full time role on the series but turned it down in order to pursue film roles instead. It was a smart move and Beumer was cast in films such as "Fathers & Sons" and "GoldenEye". After winning a Saturn Award for her role in "X-Men", Beumer's career kept growing and she has appeared in several films each year.
From 1995 to 2000, Beumer was married to Todd Culpan Williams, a writer and director. She has a UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity and has spoken for animal rights for the group PETA.