Jessalyn Gilsig

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Jessalyn Gilsig
Jessalyn Gilsig 2010.jpg
Gilsig at the 69th Annual Peabody Awards in 2010
Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig

(1971-11-30) November 30, 1971 (age 51)[citation needed]
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
EducationMcGill University (BA)
Harvard University (MFA)
Years active1984–present
Known forBoston Public
Quest for Camelot
Bobby Salomon
(m. 2005; div. 2010)

Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig (born November 30, 1971)[1][better source needed] is a Canadian actress. She is best known for her roles as Lauren Davis in Boston Public, Gina Russo in Nip/Tuck, Terri Schuester in Glee, and as Siggy Haraldson in Vikings.

Early life[edit]

Gilsig was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the daughter of Claire, a writer and translator, and Toby Gilsig, an engineer.[2] She began her acting in a voice work part at age 12 for a National Film Board of Canada production, Masquerade.[2] She is of Jewish descent.[3][4]


Gilsig attended McGill University in Montreal, from 1989 to 1993, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1993.[5] She later pursued her acting studies further at Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theater Training.[5]


Jessalyn Gilsig at premiere party of TV series, Glee, Santa Monica, California on May 11, 2009

Gilsig began her career as a voice actress.[2] She has done voices in the films such as Masquerade,[2] and for television series such as Young Robin Hood.[6]

She moved to New York City in 1995 where she appeared in several off-Broadway plays.[7] However, it was her association with David E. Kelley that led to her starring role in Boston Public.[8]

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.[8] 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;[8] Gilsig would leave the series after the end of the second season in May 2002.[9]

Following her departure from Boston Public, Gilsig joined the cast of Nip/Tuck in 2003 as Gina Russo, a role she continued until 2008.[10] In 2004, she appeared in five episodes of NYPD Blue,[10] followed by four episodes of FOX's Prison Break in 2005.[11]

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.[8] She then provided the speaking voice for Kayley in the animated film Quest for Camelot (1998), with Andrea Corr performing the character's songs.[8] In 2004 she starred in Chicks with Sticks,[12][13] appeared in See This Movie,[14] and in one of the lead roles in the 2007 film Flood.[15]

In 2007–2008 she had recurring roles in two television series, playing Shelley, the sister of Tami Taylor, on NBC's Friday Night Lights,[16] and Claire Bennet's biological mother, Meredith Gordon, on Heroes.[17] Gilsig went on to play the main role of Terri Schuester on the Fox show, Glee, from 2009 to 2012.[18]

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.[19][20] In 2017 she joined the cast of Scandal.[21]

On January 24, 2020, Gilsig joined the cast of the Disney+ sports comedy-drama series Big Shot as Holly Barrett with John Stamos to replace Shiri Appleby.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Gilsig met and briefly dated Bobby Salomon as a high school student – he was the football team quarterback she described as a "cool guy". Salomon, a film producer, moved to Hollywood in 2002, and the two began dating again.[3] They were married on January 1, 2005, in a traditional Jewish wedding (Gilsig's father is Jewish).[3][4] Gilsig and Salomon have a daughter.[23]

Gilsig filed for divorce from Salomon on September 8, 2010, citing irreconcilable differences, having been separated since 2009.[4][24] In 2013 Gilsig became an American citizen.[7]



Jessalyn Gilsig and Jayma Mays at the Golden Globe Awards, January 17, 2010
Year Title Role Notes
1984 Masquerade (voice)[2] Short film
1989 The Journey Home Short film
Jacknife His Girlfriend
1998 The Horse Whisperer Lucy[8]
Quest for Camelot Kayley[8] Voice
2004 Chicks with Sticks Paula Taymore[12]
See This Movie Annie Nicole[14]
2007 Flood Sam Morrison
2008 Prom Night Aunt Karen Turner
2009 The Stepfather Julie King[25]
2011 About Fifty Jessica
2013 Somewhere Slow Anna Thompson[19]
2020 Spree Andrea


Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Little Flying Bears Tina Voice
1991–1992 Young Robin Hood Gertrude of Griswald[6] Voice; 26 episodes
1992 Saban's Gulliver's Travels Folia Voice
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"
The Sentinel RJ Shannon Episode: "The Real Deal"
A Cooler Climate Callie Television film
The Practice ADA Jennifer[8] 2 episodes
2000 Snoops Suzanne Shivers[8] 2 episodes
2000–2002 Boston Public Lauren Davis[8] 44 episodes
2002 Haunted Elise Martin Episode: "Three Hour Tour"
2003 Without a Trace Whitney Ridder Episode: "Confidence"
2003–2008 Nip/Tuck Gina Russo[10] Seasons 1–2 – Recurring
Season 3 – Series regular
Seasons 4–5 – Guest star
17 episodes
2004 NYPD Blue Det. Kelly Ronson[10] 5 episodes
2005 Fathers and Sons Dianne (uncredited) Television film
Prison Break Lisa Rix[11] 4 episodes
2006 Law & Order Angela Burquette Episode: "Heart of Darkness"
2007 Backyards & Bullets Eileen[26] Television film
Destination: Infestation Dr. Carolyn Ross[27] Television film
2007–2008 Friday Night Lights Shelley Hayes[16] 6 episodes
Heroes Meredith Gordon[17] 10 episodes
2008 The Apostles Christine Rydell[28] Television film
CSI: NY Jordan Gates[29] 3 episodes
XIII Kim Rowland[30] TV miniseries
2008–2009 Imaginary Bitches Jessalyn[31] Episode: "A New Leper in the Colony", "Three Bitches Is an Imaginary Crowd (Part Two)"
and "Bitches Emmy Special"
Glee Terri Schuester[18] Seasons 1–2 – Series Regular
Season 4,6 – Guest Star (3 episodes, "Glee, Actually" & "2009" & "Dreams Come True")
22 episodes
2012 Smart Cookies Julie Sterling[32] Television film
2013–2015 Vikings Siggy[19] Main cast (seasons 1–3)
24 episodes
Nominated – Golden Maple Award for Best Actress in a TV series broadcast in the U.S (2015)[33]
2013 The Good Wife Janie Ludwig[19] Episode: "Invitation to an Inquest"
2014 Angels and Ornaments Corrine Nelson[34] Television film
2015 Evil Men Adela[35] Television film
2016 Scandal Vanessa Moss 5 episodes
2018 The Sweetheart Samantha Television film
2019 Grand Hotel Roxanne Episode: "A Perfect Storm"
2021–present Big Shot Holly Barrett Main role
2022-present 1923 Beverly Strafford

Further reading[edit]

  • Rohan, Virginia (6 February 2001). "Gilsig Goes 'Public' And Grapples With Racism". Chicago Tribune. p. 8. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  • Stebbins, Sarah (4 July 2005). "School Ties". InStyle. p. 272f. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  • "Jessalyn Gilsig—Actor, Painter". 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.


  1. ^ "Jessalyn Gilsig Biography, Birthday". Archived from the original on 2022-09-01. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Jessalyn Gilsig, Biography, Theater Actress, Film Actress, Television Actress (1971–)". 2013. Archived from the original on December 29, 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Bloom, Nate (February 9, 2007). "Celebrity Jews: Gilsig and Gitelman". Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Shira, Dahvi (October 13, 2010). "Glee Star Jessalyn Gilsig Files for Divorce". People. Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b McCabe, Daniel (Spring–Summer 2010). "Alumni Profiles [Jessalyn Gilsig]: Grateful for a Gleeful Gig". McGill News. Montréal, QC, CA: McGill University. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b Rowan, Terry (2016). Character-Based Film Series Part 1. Terry M. Rowan. p. 176. ISBN 9781365021282. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b London, Todd (31 August 2015). "15 After 20, Part 1: Actors Who Trained Together in the Mid-'90s, and Where They Are Now". AMERICAN THEATRE. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Tough Lesson – Vol. 56 No. 21". 19 November 2001. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Gilsig Makes A 'Public' Exit". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d "Catching Up With... Jessalyn Gilsig". 2004-06-23. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  11. ^ a b Fernandez, Maria Elena (15 May 2009). "A fond farewell to 'Prison Break'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Jessalyn Gilsig". South Beach Magazine. 3 September 2004. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Chicks with Sticks". Northernstars. Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Independent Visual and Digital Media Association. 30 June 2016. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Seth Meyers and Jessica Paré's absurd Montreal movie". Cult MTL. 2015-09-06. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  15. ^ Dodd, Stacy (15 February 2006). "Jessalyn Gilsig". Variety. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Jessalyn Gilsig to Appear on New Season of 'Friday Night Lights'". 13 September 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Jessalyn Gilsig Returns for 'Heroes' Season 3". 3 June 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Case of the Ex: Glee's Jessalyn Gilsig on Terri's Return — and Why It's Necessary". 15 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d Radish, Christina (March 10, 2013). "Jessalyn Gilsig Talks "Vikings," Being Part of the History Channel's First Scripted Series and Her Character's Dynamics, Plus Her Upcoming Projects". Collider. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  20. ^ Monte J. (March 27, 2013). "Jessalyn Gilsig Talks About Being Siggy on 'Vikings,' the Historical Role of Viking Women" (interview). STAGEDOORdish. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  21. ^ Ausiello, Michael (5 August 2016). "Scandal Recast: Glee Alum Takes Over Role of Jake's Wife in Season 6". TVLine. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 24, 2020). "'Big Shot': Jessalyn Gilsig Joins Disney+ Series From David E. Kelley In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Staff (November 13, 2006). "Actress Jessalyn Gilsig welcomes a daughter". People. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  24. ^ Us Weekly Staff (October 13, 2010). "Glee Star Jessalyn Gilsig Files for Divorce". Us Weekly. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  25. ^ "Dustin Putman's Review: The Stepfather (2009) – [TheMovieBoy]". Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  26. ^ "'Nip/Tuck' Actress Joins the Cast of NBC Pilot". 9 August 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Destination: Infestation (2007) – Dread Central". Dread Central. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  28. ^ "Rants & Reviews – The Futon's First Look: "Apostles, The" (FOX) |". Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  29. ^ "Exclusive: Nip/Tuck Diva Relocates to CSI: NY". 2008-03-04. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  30. ^ "XIII – TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  31. ^ "Imaginary Bitches: Sexy Single Chicks and a Not-So-Imaginary Bitch". Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  32. ^ "Smart Cookies: Hallmark Channel movie a delight". 15 August 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  33. ^ Levine, Sydney. "Golden Maple Awards'15 Winners Include Brandon Jay McLaren and Amanda Crew | IndieWire". Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  34. ^ "Jessalyn Gilsig in Angels and Ornaments | Hallmark Movies and Mysteries". Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Archived from the original on 5 September 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  35. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (25 November 2014). "Parminder Nagra & Jessalyn Gilsig To Co-Star In 'Evil Men' USA Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved 11 November 2016.

External links[edit]