At 44 years old, Claire Danes has this physical status:
Danes started studying dance when she was six years old. She took dance classes from Ellen Robbins at Dance Theater Workshop and acting classes at HB Studio the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute at the age of 10. She appeared in theater and video productions in New York City. Although she continued to dance, Danes said that her focus shifted to acting by the time she was nine years old. Her audition with Miloš Forman when she was 11 led to roles in several student films. She signed with agent Karen Friedman at the Writers & Artists talent agency at age 12.
At age 13, Danes got her first big job working on the Dudley Moore TV sitcom pilot called Dudley, which was shot at Silvercup Studios in Astoria, Queens. Danes played a teenage murderer in a guest starring role on Law & Order in the season three episode "Skin Deep". She appeared in an episode of HBO's Lifestories: Families in Crisis entitled "The Coming out of Heidi Leiter". In March 1993, a pilot episode was shot, when she was 13 years old. It would be almost another year and a half before broadcast.
She then starred as the 15-year-old Angela Chase in the television drama series My So-Called Life. For her role, she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy nomination. Despite being canceled after only 19 episodes, My So-Called Life has developed a large cult following. In 1995, she starred in the Soul Asylum music video for "Just Like Anyone".
In 2010, Danes starred in the HBO production of Temple Grandin, a biopic about the autistic animal scientist. She won the 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries award. The film was well received and Grandin herself praised Danes's performance.
From 2011 to 2020, Danes starred in the Showtime series Homeland, in which she played Carrie Mathison, an agent of the CIA who has bipolar disorder. She won the 2013 Golden Globe and the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series for her performance. She also won the 2012 and 2013 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in Homeland. In 2012, Time magazine named Danes one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
On February 10, 2021, it was announced that Danes would helm the Apple drama series The Essex Serpent, replacing Keira Knightley, as Cora Seaborne.
Danes played Beth March in the 1994 film adaptation of Little Women. Although ABC canceled My So-Called Life in 1995, her higher profile led to being cast in several film roles, including 1995's Home for the Holidays and 1996's I Love You, I Love You Not and To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday.
Her first leading role on the big screen came in 1996, when she portrayed Juliet in the film Romeo + Juliet, inspiring director Baz Luhrmann to call her, at age 16, "the Meryl Streep of her generation". Later that year, it was reported that she turned down the female lead role in Titanic.
In 1997, Danes played abused wife Kelly Riker in The Rainmaker, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, as well as Jenny in Oliver Stone's noir U Turn.
In 1998, she played several very different roles: Cosette in Les Misérables, and the pregnant teenage daughter of Polish immigrants in Polish Wedding.
In 1999, she made her first appearance in an animated feature with the English version of Princess Mononoke. That same year, she played the role of Julie Barnes in the big screen adaptation of the 1970s TV show The Mod Squad. She also starred in Brokedown Palace.
Danes left her career temporarily to attend Yale, having made 13 films in five years. In 2002, she returned to film. She starred in Igby Goes Down. Later that year, she co-starred as Clarissa Vaughan's (played by Meryl Streep) daughter in the Oscar-nominated film The Hours. The following year, she was cast in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, followed by Stage Beauty in 2004. She earned critical acclaim in 2005 when she starred in Shopgirl and The Family Stone. In 2007, she appeared in the fantasy Stardust, which she described as a "classic model of romantic comedy". In 2007, she appeared in the drama film Evening and the thriller film The Flock. She was also featured in the 2008 film Me and Orson Welles.
Danes got her start in New York City theater appearing in performances of Happiness, Punk Ballet, and Kids Onstage, for which she choreographed her own dance. In April, 2000, she appeared off Broadway in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. In November of that same year, she appeared as Emily Webb in a one-night-only staged reading of Thornton Wilder's Our Town at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. The production was staged by Bess Armstrong, who had played the mother of Danes's character on My So-Called Life.
In September 2005, Danes returned to New York's Performance Space 122, where she had performed as a child. She appeared in choreographer Tamar Rogoff's solo dance piece "Christina Olson: American Model", where she portrayed the subject of Andrew Wyeth's famous painting Christina's World. Olson suffered from muscular deterioration that left her weak and partially paralyzed. Danes was praised for her dance skills and acting in the project.
In January, 2007, Danes performed in Performance Space 122's Edith and Jenny. Later in 2007, Danes made her Broadway theatre debut as Eliza Doolittle in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, directed by David Grindley at the American Airlines Theatre.
In January, 2012, Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals named Danes their 2012 Woman of the Year.
In March, 2016, Danes performed in Dry Powder by Sarah Burgess at The Public Theater, starring alongside John Krasinski, Hank Azaria and Sanjit De Silva. The play was directed by Thomas Kail.