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From Angela Chase to Carrie Mathison: Claire Danes’ 10 Best Roles

From Angela Chase to Carrie Mathison: Claire Danes’ 10 Best Roles

July 16th, 2013
Posted in Entertainment By
  • claire danes vogue.jpg

    Claire Danes inhabits her "Homeland" character Carrie Mathison on the cover of Vogue's August 2013 issue, for which she wears Burberry Prorsum.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures /
  • claire danes law and order.jpg

    Back in 1992, before she was famous, Danes starred in an episode of "Law & Order." Claire played a crucial teenage witness as the police investigated the murder of a fashion photographer, who turned out to be running a secret prostitution business on the side.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of NBC/Universal
  • claire-danes-little-women.jpg

    In 1994, Danes starred as the buttoned-up Beth March in "Little Women." Typically characterized as the shy, gentle, and nerdish musical sister in the March family, Beth likely helped Claire land her next big role.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
  • claire danes my socalled life.jpg

    Danes had her big break in 1994, when she landed the role of now-iconic brooding teenager Angela Chase (alongside Jared Leto's Jordan Catalano) in the melodrama "My So-Called Life." The show earned a cult following and is still a snapshot of the mid-90s, when grunge culture and style had a heavy influence on high school students everywhere.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of ABC
  • claire danes romeo and juliet.jpg

    Danes gave an unforgettable performance as a teenaged Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's 1996 re-creation of "Romeo + Juliet." Costume designer Kym Barrett is responsible for the white dress she wears for much of the film, as well as those iconic angel wings she's wearing when she first meets Romeo.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
  • claire danes the hours.jpg

    In 2002, Claire had a small but powerful role as Julia Vaughan, the daughter of Meryl Streep's character Clarissa Vaughan, in the Oscar-winning film "The Hours." Julia and Clarissa are very close, as Julia's father abandoned them both when she was young; the two's pivotal scene comes when Clarissa opens up about her past regrets.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of Paramount and Miramax
  • claire danes shopgirl.jpg

    In 2005, Danes amped up her on-screen style to play a boutique sales associate in "Shopgirl." Alongside Steve Martin, who also wrote the original novel, Danes' character Maribelle must choose between her love for a young man and the wealth offered her by Martin's businessman character.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures
  • claire-danes the family stone.jpg

    Claire dressed more conservatively for her role as Julie Morton in the 2005 film "The Family Stone." Her character Julie is meeting her boyfriend's eccentric family for the first time, and feels very out of place in their left-of-center ways.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of Fox 2000 Pictures
  • claire danes temple grandin.jpg

    For HBO's 2010 movie "Temple Grandin," Danes played the real-life title character, who became one of the world's leading animal scientists despite battling autism. Claire won a 2010 Emmy for Best Leading Actress for her performance, and Grandin was on-stage as she received her award.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of HBO
  • claire danes homeland.jpg

    For her current role on "Homeland," Danes plays bi-polar CIA agent Carrie Mathison, whose wardrobe evolves as she visits different locales for work. Danes took home an Emmy in 2012 for her portrayal of Mathison, a role for which she studied hours and hours of personal footage filmed by people suffering from bi-polar disorder.

    Photo: Stylecaster Pictures / Courtesy of Showtime

Claire Danes’ August cover of Vogue came out this week, and for the Annie Leibovitz-shot inside spread, Danes slipped into the role of Carrie Mathison, her bipolar character on Showtime’s runaway hit show “Homeland.”

The spy-themed photos (which you can see in full over on Vogue.com) got us thinking about Claire’s career—and the wide breadth of characters she’s played over the years.

From her breakout role as plaid-covered grungy teenager in 1994’s beloved ABC series “My So-Called Life” to her super-chic turn as Mathison (who prefers brands like Burberry Prorsum, which she’s wearing on the Vogue cover), she’s taken on a CIA agent suffering from bi-polar disorder, an animal scientist battling autism, and even some of literature’s most beloved characters.

Click through the gallery above to see Claire Danes’ 10 best roles. Which one is your favorite?

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See Kerry Washington’s Vanity Fair Cover

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