A native New Yorker, Claire Catherine Danes is the youngest of two children, brought up, as she says, in a "very creative household." Her mother, a painter and teacher, and her father, a computer consultant, met in art school and have always encouraged their daughter's interests in the arts. At the age of six Claire began studying modern dance, which she still continues to do. At nine, she took an acting class at the Lee Strasberg Studio. In sixth and seventh grades she attended the Professional Performing Arts School in New York, a public school run by the city, where Claire gravitated again towards acting. In addition, she credits her love of gymnastics, which she pursued for several years, for teaching her discipline.
Claire's acting career began with stage appearances off-off-Broadway, in productions of "Happiness," "Punk Ballet," and "Kids on Stage," in which she choreographed a solo dance piece. Among her television credits are "Law and Order," in which she plays a young model who kills her agent; "No Room For Opal," as Tyne Daly's daughter; and "The Coming Out of Heidi Leiter," as a gay woman's sister. Claire made her film debut at the age of 11 in the role of a molested child in "Dreams of Love," with Milos Forman as executive producer. She also appeared in a short film, "Thirty," created for fashion designer Geoffrey Beene; and in a film festival short, "The Pesky Suitor," with Sully Boyar and in the production playing the role of Beth in Columbia Pictures' "Little Women," with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon. Claire has just finished the film "Romeo and
When she is not working, Claire likes spending time on her school studies, especially the humanities and science. She tries to keep up her interest in dance, and wants to continue with her new enthusiasm for surfing while she's living in Los Angeles.
Claire and her family make their home in New York with a cat, Fifi-Champion.