DAVID DUCHOVNY Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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He was born David William Duchovny on August 7th, 1960, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His father was Brooklyn-born Amram Ducovny (a man who clearly has no need of extra Hs), a playwright who also worked as publicist for the American Jewish Committee. His mother, Margaret, was a Lutheran Scot, and a teacher. With that heritage, Duchovny jokes, you shouldn’t ask him for money. He also says it gave him a “Protestant work ethic combined with Jewish guilt and introspection". He has an older brother, Daniel, and a younger sister, Laurie. Amram and Margaret divorced when David was 11, Amram moving to Boston, then Paris where he worked on novels and plays (one being The Trials Of Lee Harvey Oswald). The kids stayed with their mother in New York, becoming ever more distant from their father. Life was not easy. According to David, mother would remind them constantly that poverty was only a small step away, thereby engendering a real fear of ending up in the gutter. David, fortunately, was exceptionally bright and, at 13, won a scholarship to New York’s Collegiate, an elite private boys’ school. Nicknamed Duke, sometimes Doggie, he found himself surrounded by the children of the rich and famous, including John F. Kennedy Jr, with whom he roomed on a school-trip to Washington in 1975. There were also many child prodigies, one of whom was already editor of the New York Times’ crossword. David fitted in easily. He was brilliant at baseball and basketball, playing the latter to college scholarship standard, and studied diligently.


His work paid off. He was class valedictorian, and was offered places at Harvard, Yale, Browns and Princeton, choosing to attend the last of these. He made friends fast, and got a girlfriend. Seeing her on his first day, he discovered her name, and joined a politics class in which she’d enrolled. When she turned up (actually three months later), she asked to borrow his notes, he asked her out and they were together for the next four years. David was already fairly successful with women. He’d lost his virginity, he says, at 14, to a girl one year younger but a great deal more experienced. At 16, he’d had his own Mrs Robinson, an older woman who’d seduced then discarded him. At that point, he was working as a janitor and had a small room with two single beds. He’d met a girl who was having trouble at home, offered her a place to stay and suddenly realised he was in love with her. They went out for a year. So, here’s to you, Mrs Robinson. David graduated from Princeton in 1982, with high honours, his senior thesis being The Schizophrenic Critique Of Pure Reason In (Samuel) Beckett’s Early Novels. With a friend, he spent five months travelling in South-East Asia. On one occasion, he recalls, they smoked opium with an addict in Thailand. As they slipped into semi-unconsciousness, it began to rain, and pigs and horses came into the hut for shelter - David remembers believing he could understand what they were saying.