Jessalyn Gilsig

Jessalyn Gilsig

Birth name: Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig
Born: November 30, 1971
Age: 52
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig (born November 30, 1971) is a Canadian actress known for her roles in television series, e.g. as Lauren Davis in Boston Public, Gina Russo in Nip/Tuck, Terri Schuester, in Glee, and as Siggy Haraldson on the History Channel series Vikings.


Early life

Gilsig was born on November 30, 1971 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the daughter of Claire, a writer and translator, and Toby Gilsig, an engineer. She began her acting in a voice work part at age 12 for a National Film Board of Canada production, Masquerade. Gilsig attended high school at Trafalgar School for Girls in downtown Montreal.


Gilsig attended McGill University in Montreal, from 1989 to 1993, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1993. She later pursued her acting studies further at Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theater Training.


Gilsig began her career as a voice actress. She has done voices in the films Masquerade, and in The Journey Home, and for the television series The Little Flying Bears, Young Robin Hood, and Gulliver's Travels.

She moved to New York City in 1995 where she appeared in several off-Broadway plays. Although she had appeared in several Canadian productions in the late 1980s/early 1990s, her television career began during the late 1990s when she guest-starred in several television series, including Viper and Seven Days. However, it was her association with David E. Kelley that led to her starring role in Boston Public.

After guest-starring in two episodes of Kelley's The Practice, Gilsig was cast in two episodes of another Kelley program, the short-lived Snoops. Although the series was cancelled before Gilsig's episodes were broadcast, Kelley wrote the part of Lauren Davis in Boston Public specifically for her, a series that premiered in September 2000 on FOX; Gilsig would leave the series after the end of the second season in May 2002.

Following her departure from Boston Public, Gilsig joined the cast of Nip/Tuck in 2003 as Gina Russo, a role she continued until 2008. In 2004, she appeared in five episodes of NYPD Blue, followed by four episodes of FOX's Prison Break in 2005. In early 2006, she guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order.

In addition to her extensive credits in television and theatre, Gilsig has appeared in film, beginning with a small role in the 1998 film The Horse Whisperer. She then provided the speaking voice for Kayley in the animated film Quest for Camelot (1998), with Andrea Corr performing the character's songs. In 2004 she appeared in Chicks with Sticks, as well as See This Movie, and in one of the lead roles in the 2007 movie, Flood.

In 2007-2008 she had recurring roles in two television series, playing Shelley, the sister of Tami Taylor, on NBC's Friday Night Lights, and Claire Bennet's biological mother, Meredith Gordon, on Heroes. Gilsig went on to play the main role of Terri Schuester on the Fox show, Glee, from 2009-2011, with her character returning in the episode "Glee, Actually" in 2012.

In 2013, Gilsig was a series regular, portraying Siggy Haraldson, wife of Earl Haraldson and paramour of Ragnar Lothbrok's brother, Rollo, on the History Channel series Vikings until 2015 when her character was killed off.


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Masquerade (voice) Short film
1989 Journey Home, TheThe Journey Home Short film
Jacknife His Girlfriend
1998 The Horse Whisperer Lucy
Quest for Camelot Kayley (voice)
2004 Chicks with Sticks Paula Taymore
See This Movie Annie Nicole
2007 Flood Samantha 'Sam' Morrison
2008 Prom Night Aunt Karen Turner
2009 Stepfather, TheThe Stepfather Julie King
2011 About Fifty Jessica
2013 Somewhere Slow Anna Thompson
Year Title Role Notes
1991 Little Flying Bears, TheThe Little Flying Bears Tina (voice) TV series
1991-1992 Young Robin Hood Gertrude of Griswald (voice) 26 episodes
1992 Gulliver's Travels Folia (voice) TV series
1998 To Have & to Hold Paula Episode: "Stuck in the Blizzard with You"
Viper Alyssa Episode: "Family Matters"
1999 Seven Days Carla Boyles Episode: "Last Card Up"
Sentinel, TheThe Sentinel RJ Shannon Episode: "The Real Deal"
Cooler Climate, AA Cooler Climate Callie TV movie
Practice, TheThe Practice ADA Jennifer Episode: "Loser's Keepers"
Episode: "Victimless Crimes"
2000 Snoops Suzanne Shivers Episode: "Swan Chant"
Episode: "The Stolen Diskette"
2000-2002 Boston Public Lauren Davis 44 episodes
2002 Haunted Elise Martin Episode: "Three Hour Tour"
2003 Without a Trace Whitney Ridder Episode: "Confidence"
2003-2008 Nip/Tuck Gina Russo 17 episodes
2004 NYPD Blue Det. Kelly Ronson 5 episodes
2005 Fathers and Sons Dianne (uncredited) TV movie
Prison Break Lisa Rix 4 episodes
2006 Law & Order Angela Burquette Episode: "Heart of Darkness"
2007 Backyards & Bullets Eileen TV movie
Destination: Infestation Dr. Carolyn Ross TV movie
2007-2008 Friday Night Lights Shelley Hayes 6 episodes
Heroes Meredith Gordon 10 episodes
2008 Apostles, TheThe Apostles Christine Rydell TV movie
CSI: NY Jordan Gates 3 episodes
XIII Kim Rowland TV miniseries
2008-2009 Imaginary Bitches Jessalyn Episode: "A New Leper in the Colony"
Episode: "Three Bitches Is an Imaginary Crowd (Part Two)"
Episode: "Bitches Emmy Special"
, 2015
Glee Terri Schuester Seasons 1-2 - Series Regular (
Season 4 - Guest Star (1 episode, "Glee, Actually")
Season 6 - Recurring (2 episodes, "2009" & "Dreams Come True")
Glee Encore
2012 Smart Cookies Julie Sterling TV movie
2013-2015 Vikings Siggy Main cast
2013 The Good Wife Janie Ludwig 1 episode
2014 Angels and Ornaments Corrine Stockton TV movie
2015 Evil Men TV movie

Personal life

Gilsig met and briefly dated her future husband Bobby Salomon as a high school student - he was the football team quarterback she described as a "cool guy"; after Salomon, a film producer, moved to Hollywood in 2002, he and Gilsig renewed their friendship, began dating again, and married on January 1, 2005 in a traditional Jewish wedding (Gilsig being Jewish on her father's side). Gilsig and Salomon have a daughter, Penelope, born on September 26, 2006.

Gilsig filed for divorce from Salomon on September 8, 2010, citing irreconcilable differences, having been separated since 2009.

Further reading

  • Rohan, Virginia (2001). "Gilsig Goes 'Public' And Grapples With Racism". Chicago Tribune (online, February 6): 8 (print). Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  • Stebbins, Sarah (2005). "School Ties". InStyle (Special Issue, July 4): 272f (print). Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  • Anon. (2015). "Jessalyn Gilsig—Actor, Painter". (online). Retrieved 27 October 2015.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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