Famke was born in the Netherlands, where she began her professional career as a model. She later moved to the United States, where she has made her home since 1984. Initially settling in New York, she majored in writing and literature at Columbia University and studied acting with Harold Guskin. She then went to Los Angeles, where she continued to study acting under Roy London. Famke made her feature film debut with Jeff Goldblum in Fathers & Sons (1992).