- NAME: Jessalyn Gilsig
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Theater Actress, Television Actress
- BIRTH DATE: November 30, 1971 (Age: 41)
- EDUCATION: McGill University, American Repertory Theatre's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Montreal, Canada
- Full Name: Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig
- ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius
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Actress Jessalyn Gilsig caught her first big break when she appeared on the legal drama, The Practice. In 2003 she joined the cast of FOX's Nip/Tuck.
Jessalyn Gilsig describes the dichotomy of fame.
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Actress. Born Jessalyn Sarah Gilsig on November 30, 1971, in Montreal, Canada, to mother Clare, a translator and writer, and father Toby Gilsig, an engineer. Gilsig's entrance into the world of show business came early when, at the age of 12, she was hired to do voice work for Masquerade, a program produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
A trained theater actress, Gilsig stayed close to home for college, attending McGill University in Montreal, where she earned a degree in English in 1993. There, she also cut her teeth on a number of stage productions. Her early experiences in theater didn't come without a case of the nerves, however: "I remember staring at a sign-up sheet for auditions for a theatrical version of Wuthering Heights," she later recalled. "I was so scared, but I finally signed up."
Following college, she relocated to the States to attend the American Repertory Theatre's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. There, Gilsig appeared in a number of productions, including Henry V, The Tempest, and The Cherry Orchard, among others.
Along with the stage work came television opportunities. First she appeared in commercials, and then in the late 1990s she made cameo appearances on the television shows Seven Days and Viper on UPN.
In 1999, Gilsig caught her first big break when screenwriter and television producer David E. Kelley wrote her into two appearances on his legal drama, The Practice. Her work eventually led to more appearances on two other Kelley programs: Snoops and Boston Public.
It was in 2003 that Gilsig catapulted to more national prominence when she joined the cast of FOX's Nip/Tuck, which saw her play the role of nymphomaniac, Gino Russo. Four years later, Gilsig landed a semi-regular role on NBC's action/drama Heroes. Her other credits include appearances on the ABC police drama NYPD Blue, FOX's Prison Break, and NBC's Friday Night Lights.
Gilsig's celebrity magnified considerably in 2009 when she was cast as the manipulative wife, Terry Schuester, on FOX's Glee, which tells the story of a high school choral group in Ohio. An improbable hit, the show attracted a large contingent of loyal viewers and generated a lineup of songs that broke through the Billboard charts.
"I think the timing was just right for the show," she said. "People were ready for something that had a little bit of hope in it. Everybody wants to find love and acceptance. Glee taps into a universal feeling."
With her new celebrity came increased scrutiny into Gilsig's personal life.
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