November 29, 1982
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After Gemma Chan left the world of modeling to pursue a career in acting, it seemed like you couldn't turn your attention to any corner of contemporaneous British pop culture without catching glimpse of the rising star. The actress affixed herself to a number of the principal pillars of the country's entertainment machine, with minor roles in the likes of the sprawling sci-fi epic "Doctor Who" (BBC 1963-) and the popular detective drama "Sherlock" (BBC 2010-). Beyond this, she explored more substantial screen activity in cult programs like "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" (ITV2 2007-2011), "Fresh Meat" (Channel 4 2011-), and "Bedlam" (Sky Living 2011-12). Gemma Chan was born on November 29, 1982 in London, England, to an engineer father from Hong Kong and pharmacist mother who was born in China and raised in Scotland. Chan studied law at University of Oxford's Worcester College, pursuing a training contract position at a law firm immediately following graduation. However, Chan's tenure in the field was short-lived, and she enrolled in the Drama Centre London soon afterwards. Chan kicked off her career in show business as a model, featuring on the first season of "Project Catwalk" (Sky One 2006-08), as well as a number of advertising campaigns. She jumped quickly into acting, mounting a few background roles before taking center stage in an episode of the wildly popular science fiction series "Doctor Who" (BBC 1963-) in 2009, playing the memorable one-off character Mia Bennett. The "Doctor Who" role helped to launch Chan to feature work, landing her roles in films including the prostitution-themed thriller "Pimp" (2010) and the John Cusack-led neo-noir "Shanghai" (2010). She'd continue to amount recognition via roles on popular small screen projects, such as the beloved British sitcom "The IT Crowd" (Channel 4 2006-2013) and the decorated mystery series "Sherlock" (BBC 2010-). Chan also played a role in the coming-of-age indie dramedy "Submarine" (2010), directed by "The IT Crowd" star Richard Ayoade. The following year graced Chan with her biggest roles to date, landing her a regular part on the drama series "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" (ITV2 2007-2011) and a recurring role on the dark comedy "Fresh Meat" (Channel 4 2011-). She then went on to expand this type of notability on the series "Bedlam" (Sky Living 2011-12). Chan worked again with Ayoade in his second feature "The Double" (2013), following up the project with her first mainstream American production: "Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit" (2014), directed by Kenneth Branagh. Chan was cast as part of the starring lineup of the British-American program "Humans" (Channel 4/AMC 2015-), a sci-fi series focusing on the circulation of A.I. robots.