Video by FBI
Gillian Anderson, who as Special Agent Dana Scully battled aliens and monsters for nine TV seasons on FOX and two feature films of "The X-Files," is paying tribute to the real women who have carried the badge of an FBI agent.
Forty years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which under Diector J. Edgar Hoover only allowed men to be special agents, changed its policy and began to train women to be agents.
To mark the occasion, the FBI has released video messages from two actresses who play of have played agents on TV: Anderson and Marsha Thomason of "White Collar." The videos were first shown at the annual convention of Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI during events honoring women agents, the FBI said.
"As an FBI special agent on TV, I've solved strange and paranormal cases in short order. In reality, it takes months—and even years—to solve complex crimes, including terrorism, espionage, and cyber hacking," Anderson says in the PSA. "But since women first earned their FBI special agent badge in 1972, they've caught thousands of criminals."
The real-life pioneers were Joanne Pierce Misko, an FBI researcher and former nun, and Susan Roley Malone, a U.S. Marine. On July 17, 1972, they became the first women to enter the FBI Academy.
Fourteen weeks later they graduated as the bureau's first women special agents.
"To all our women fighting crime at home and overseas, thank you for keeping us safe," Thomason says in her PSA. "Happy anniversary."