Gilsig was born in Montreal, Quebec, 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 later studied at Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater and attended McGill University from 1989 to 1993, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1993.
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, now 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.
In 1995, she moved to New York City 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 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 her character was killed off in 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.
In 2007-2008, she had recurring roles in two television series. On NBC she played Shelley, the sister of Tami Taylor in Friday Night Lights as well as Claire Bennet's biological mother, Meredith Gordon, on Heroes. Gilsig played the main role of Terri Schuester on the Fox show Glee from 2009-2011. She appeared in one of the lead roles in the 2007 movie Flood.
Year Title Role Notes
Film 1984 Mascarade (voice) Short film
1989 The Journey Home Short film
1989 Jacknife His Girlfriend
1998 The Horse Whisperer Lucy
1998 Quest for Camelot Kayley (voice)
2004 Chicks with Sticks Paula Taymore
2004 See This Movie Annie Nicole
2007 Flood Samantha 'Sam' Morrison
2008 Prom Night Aunt Karen Turner
2009 The Stepfather Julie King
2011 About Fifty Jessica
2012 Somewhere Slow Anna Thompson Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
Television 1991 The 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"
1998 Viper Alyssa Episode: "Family Matters"
1999 Seven Days Carla Boyles Episode: "Last Card Up"
1999 The Sentinel RJ Shannon Episode: "The Real Deal"
1999 A Cooler Climate Callie TV movie
1999 The 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
2005 Prison Break Lisa Rix 4 episodes
2006 Law & Order Angela Burquette Episode: "Heart of Darkness"
2007 Backyards & Bullets Eileen TV movie
2007 Destination: Infestation Dr. Carolyn Ross TV movie
2007-2008 Friday Night Lights Shelley Hayes 6 episodes
2007-2008 Heroes Meredith Gordon 10 episodes
2008 The Apostles Christine Rydell TV movie
2008 CSI: NY Jordan Gates 3 episodes
2008 XIII Kim Rowland TV miniseries
2008 Imaginary Bitches Jessalyn Episode: "A New Leper in the Colony"
Episode: "Three Bitches Is an Imaginary Crowd (Part Two)"
2009 Imaginary Bitches Jessalyn Episode: "Bitches Emmy Special"
2009-2011 Glee Terri Schuester 30 episodes; Seasons 1-2
2011 Glee Encore Terri Schuester Video