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February 23rd, 2014.

Today marks Dana Scully's 50th birthday. For half a century, the enigmatic Agent Scully has fought monsters both human and unknown. Twenty-two years ago, she was assigned to a quest that soon became her own search for truth. And where Mulder was the one to discover the path, it was Scully who navigated the journey.

Always the Skeptic to Mulder's Believer, Scully was a beacon of science. She demanded evidence for truth. If Mulder was right and the fix was in and the sky was falling, then hell, she was going to be there collecting measurements. Despite the gold cross around her neck, science was the religion by which Dana Scully lived.

Many of us grew up following her lead. We watched her walk besides Mulder through morgue hallways and dark forests. In a world dominated by men, she held her own—all 5 foot 3 inches of her. Even in the face of damaging her career, she always stood for what was right and just. We couldn't have asked for a better role model.

Scully was endlessly smart and embodied a new definition of sexy. Tailored suits and prim pairs of heels replaced tight shirts and short skirts. She was beautiful and elegant and managed to maintain that even when her own world was falling apart. The woman climbed inside of an elephant carcass, performed a necropsy, and still made it look good.

Truthfully, we owe a debt of gratitude to Dana Scully. We watched her struggle with her emotions and insecurities and come out on the other side. Watching The X-Files through Scully's eyes, we learned about loss and love, and even a little bit about ourselves. Despite all the hardships she went through, at one point or another, most of us have wanted to be more like Dana Scully.

We've dyed our hair red. We've studied science. Some of us even have a gold cross necklace. Perhaps it's her intelligence and beauty or maybe the way she always seemed to flawlessly handle herself in any situation. It could be that streak of sass that she whips out at just the right moment. Whatever it is, at fifty years old, Dana Scully is still beautifully interesting.

She may be a fictional character, but to us, Scully is very real. For that, to Chris Carter and his incredible team of writers, we are eternally grateful. Most importantly though, is the woman who brought Dana Scully to life. Twenty years ago, Gillian Anderson stepped into a role that no one else could have ever played. She is the reason Scully will live on, even though she is no longer on our television screens. 

So Happy Birthday to Dana Katherine Scully. You've accomplished a lot these past fifty years, and we can't wait to see what you do next.