skip navigation
Jessalyn Gilsig

Jessalyn Gilsig

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

Vikings: The Complete Second... Muster your courage for a second riveting journey into the savage world of... more info $39.96was $29.99 Buy Now

Vikings: The Complete Second... Muster your courage for a second riveting journey into the savage world of... more info $31.96was $19.98 Buy Now

Vikings: The Complete First... Journey to a thrilling ancient world in this epic new series about history's... more info $39.96was $29.99 Buy Now

Vikings: The Complete First... Journey to a thrilling ancient world in this epic new series about history's... more info $31.96was $19.98 Buy Now

Smart Cookies ... Busy realtor Julie Sterling is encouraged by her boss to do some community... more info $10.95was $14.93 Buy Now

About Fifty ... About Fifty is a modern comedy that explores the simple truth that it's never... more info $10.95was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Montreal, Quebec, CA Profession: actor, painter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A pretty, honey blonde Canadian import with extensive United States theater credits, Jessalyn Gilsig launched her career as a David E Kelley protege of sorts, guesting on "The Practice" (ABC), winning a never-to-be-seen regular role on his doomed spy series "Snoops" (ABC) and starring on his controversial high school-set drama "Boston Public" (Fox) in a role written with her in mind. Born and raised in Montreal, the actress got her start in voice-over work at age 12, bringing life to animator Co Hoedeman's "Masquerade" for the National Film Board of Canada in 1984. She was featured in 1989's "The Journey Home", another Film Board production, and had a cameo in the romantic drama "Jacknife" starring Robert De Niro that same year.A graduate of Montreal's McGill University, Gilsig headed south to Massachusetts where she excelled in the Harvard University-sponsored Institute of Advanced Theater Training at the American Repertory Theatre (ART). Completing her two-year course in 1995, the actress headed to NYC, but soon returned to Cambridge when the theater bucked policy and hired the actress for their professional theater though she was a new graduate. With ART she starred as Miranda in "The Tempest"...

A pretty, honey blonde Canadian import with extensive United States theater credits, Jessalyn Gilsig launched her career as a David E Kelley protege of sorts, guesting on "The Practice" (ABC), winning a never-to-be-seen regular role on his doomed spy series "Snoops" (ABC) and starring on his controversial high school-set drama "Boston Public" (Fox) in a role written with her in mind. Born and raised in Montreal, the actress got her start in voice-over work at age 12, bringing life to animator Co Hoedeman's "Masquerade" for the National Film Board of Canada in 1984. She was featured in 1989's "The Journey Home", another Film Board production, and had a cameo in the romantic drama "Jacknife" starring Robert De Niro that same year.

A graduate of Montreal's McGill University, Gilsig headed south to Massachusetts where she excelled in the Harvard University-sponsored Institute of Advanced Theater Training at the American Repertory Theatre (ART). Completing her two-year course in 1995, the actress headed to NYC, but soon returned to Cambridge when the theater bucked policy and hired the actress for their professional theater though she was a new graduate. With ART she starred as Miranda in "The Tempest" (1995) and was featured in Moliere's "Tartuffe" (1996), and evinced a well-rounded spirit of both feminine nurturing and feminist strength in her portrayals. Returning to Manhattan, she was featured on stage in the Primary Stages production "Mere Mortals and Others" (1997) and co-starred in 1998's "Gun-Shy", a presentation at Playwrights Horizons. 1998 also saw her take on a lead voice role in the animated feature "Quest for Camelot", playing a young female hero, a girl who dreams of following in the footsteps of her father and serving as a noble knight of King Arthur's court.

More TV guest work followed for the actress, who had a role in the syndicated series "Viper" in 1998, and was featured on episodes of UPN's "The Sentinel" and "7 Days" the next year. 1999 also saw her begin her alliance with David E Kelley, when she played Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Liner on two memorably disturbing episodes of "The Practice". Her performance led to a part replacing Paula Marshall on "Snoops", but before Gilsig's character could hit screens, the series was cancelled. Keeping the bright hopeful in mind, Kelley began work on "Boston Public" and wrote the idealistic social studies teacher Lauren Davis for the actress. "Boston Public" was a controversial show that kept the industry buzzing, and the actress admirably rose to the challenge of portraying the optimistic but frazzled Ms. Davis, showing both her commitment and frustration, her dedication and her increasingly shaky idealism. Gilsig's next major role came on the edgy plastic surgery drama "Nip/Tuck" (FX 2003-2010) as sex addict Gina Russo. Gilsig was a regular on "Glee" (Fox 2009-15) for its first two seasons, playing Terri, the unfaithful wife of teacher Mark Schuester. This was followed by a leading role on "Vikings" (History 2013- ), a historical drama that was the first scripted series made for The History Channel.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Somewhere Slow (2013)
2.
 Smart Cookies (2012)
3.
 About Fifty (2011)
4.
 Stepfather, The (2009)
5.
 Prom Night (2008)
6.
 Cooler Climate, A (1999) Callie
7.
 Quest for Camelot (1998) Voice Of Kayley
8.
 Horse Whisperer, The (1998) Lucy
9.
10.
 Jacknife (1989) Student'S Girlfriend
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

2005:
Appeared in four episodes of "Prison Break" (FOX)
1996:
Featured in the American Repertory Theatre production of Moliere's "Tartuffe"
1999:
Had a two episode recurring role on "The Practice," playing Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Liner
1989:
Had early feature film credit with a cameo in "Jacknife," starring Robert De Niro in the title role
1997:
Had early New York stage credit with "Mere Mortals and Others," a collection of six one-act plays produced at Primary Stages
1984:
Landed her first role as the voice of a puppet in "Masquerade," an animated short produced by the National Film Board of Canada
1995:
Moved to New York City
2000:
Cast as teacher Lauren Davis, the head of the history department, in David E. Kelley's high school-set drama, "Boston Public" (FOX)
2003:
Cast as the conning sex-addicted love interest of Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) on the F/X drama, "Nip/Tuck"
1999:
Featured as Sally Field's estranged daughter in "A Cooler Climate", premiered on Showtime
1994:
Featured in the American Repertory Theatre production of the Aeschylus trilogy, "The Orestia"
1995:
With American Repertory Theatre, co-starred as Miranda in "The Tempest"
:
Began acting at age 12
2007:
Cast as Claire Bennet's biological mother, Meredith Gordon, on NBC's "Heroes"
2009:
Cast in the supporting role of Terri Schuester on the FOX series, "Glee"
2006:
Co-starred in "See This Movie," a "mockumentary" about a documentary filmmaker making a movie for the 2003 Montreal Film Festival
1998:
Co-starred in the Playwrights Horizons presentation of "Gun-Shy," as a neurotic anorexic with a fixation on married men
1991:
Had early TV voice-over credit on the syndicated series, "Young Robin Hood"
2004:
Joined the cast of ABC's "NYPD Blue," for five episodes as a new detective
1989:
Acted in the National Film Board of Canada short, "The Journey Home"
1998:
Had a supporting role in the drama feature, "The Horse Whisperer"
2007:
Played Shelley, the sister of Tami Taylor, in NBC's "Friday Night Lights"
1999:
Set to replace departing star Paula Marshall on the David E. Kelley spy series, "Snoops" (ABC); show was cancelled before her episodes were aired
1998:
Voiced the character of Kayley in "Quest for Camelot"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Trafalgar School For Girls: -
McGill University: - 1989
American Repertory Theater: Cambridge, Massachusetts - 1993

Notes

Theater legend Julie Harris on working with Gilsig: "She's a very hard worker. IT was a very emotional role, and she was tireless." -- to Time Canada, October 23, 2000.

Gilsig on series television: "I like it. It's a lot of work -- pretty much your whole life. But luckily, my first exposure to a series is something I'm really proud of. [In the upcoming hiatus] I'd like to do a play. I'd also like to take a nap." --quoted in the Bergen County, New Jersey newspaper The Record, January 20, 2001.

Having to adhere to a visa which stipulated that she may work in the United States only as an actress, Jessalyn Gilsig explains how she attended theater performances while strapped for cash: "When I was living in New York, I "second acted". You mingle with a theater crowd at intermission, then walk in for the second act and find an empty seat." --answering Mademoiselle's "First time she got sneaky" query in the March 2001 issue.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Toby Gilsig. Engineer. Born c. 1941.
mother:
Clare Gilsig. Translator, writer. Born c. 1941.
sister:
Deborah Gilsig. Born c. 1968; trains 911 operators in Montreal.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute