Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig (born November 30, 1971) is a Canadian actress known for her roles in the television series Boston Public, as Gina Russo in Nip/Tuck and as Will Schuester's wife/ex-wife, Terri Schuester, in Glee and as Siggy, a series regular on the History Channel series Vikings.
Gilsig was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the daughter of Claire, a writer and translator, and Toby Gilsig, an engineer. She began acting at age 12. She attended high school at Trafalgar School for Girls in downtown Montreal. She attended McGill University from 1989 to 1993, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1993, and later studied at Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theater Training.
Gilsig first met Bobby Salomon when both were Montreal high school students. They briefly dated with Gilsig commenting that Salomon was the "cool guy" and football team quarterback. After Salomon, then a film producer, moved to Hollywood in 2002, he and Gilsig renewed their friendship and began dating again. The pair wed on January 1, 2005. As Salomon is Jewish and Gilsig is Jewish on her father's side, the couple had a traditional Jewish wedding. 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. They had been separated since 2009.
She began her career as a voice actress. She has done voices in the films Mascarade and The Journey Home and 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. The series premiered in September 2000 on FOX. Gilsig left 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 also has some experience with films. She had a small role in the 1998 film The Horse Whisperer and provided the speaking voice for Kayley in the animated film Quest for Camelot (Andrea Corr performed the character's songs), also released in 1998. In 2004 she appeared in Chicks with Sticks as well as See This Movie. She appeared in one of the lead roles in the 2007 movie, Flood.
In 2007â"2008 she had recurring roles in two television series. On NBC she played Shelley, the sister of Tami Taylor, in Friday Night Lights; and she played as Claire Bennet's biological mother, Meredith Gordon, on Heroes. Gilsig played the main role of Terri Schuester on the Fox show, Glee, from 2009â"2011. In 2012 her character returned in the episode "Glee, Actually," in Artie's dream.
Since 2013, Gilsig has been portraying "Siggy", Earl Haraldson's wife and Lover of Ragnar Lothbrok's brother, Rollo, as a series regular on the History Channel series Vikings.
- Rohan, Virginia. "Gilsig Goes 'Public' And Grapples With Racism." Chicago Tribune. 6 Feb 2001: 8.
- Stebbins, Sarah. "School Ties." InStyle. Summer 2005: 272-273.
- Jessalyn Gilsig at the Internet Movie Database
- Jessalyn Gilsig at AllMovie
- Jessalyn Gilsig at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Jessalyn Gilsig at the TCM Movie Database
- Jessalyn Gilsig at Rotten Tomatoes
- Jessalyn Gilsig at TVGuide.com