Duchovny would have you believe he stuck it out in rainy Vancouver for five miserable (yet wildly successful) seasons of the alien conspiracy drama "The X-Files" before insisting the show move to LA so he could be nearer to his actress bride Téa Leoni. But we suspect he was plotting his exit from the show already and wanted to be nearer to meetings with Hollywood producers. He starred in the romantic comedy "Return to Me" in 2000 and had roles in "Zoolander" and "Evolution" in 2001. That year, he left "The X-Files" in the hopes his move to the big screen would stick. It didn't. He directed the flop "House of D" in 2005 and crawled back to television in 2007 to play a seedier version of himself in "Californication." He also brought Fox Mulder back to life for the second "X-Files" feature film spin-off, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" in 2008, which made money but didn't make enough waves to resurrect the franchise.
Sink or swim? "The X-Files" had already run out of steam by the time Duchovny departed midway through its eighth season. He was replaced by two FBI agent characters played by Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish. The show was put out of its misery after season nine.