Peri Gilpin is an American actress, producer and voice artist with an extensive body of work in television and films to her credit. Born to an actress/model mother and a radio host father, she displayed a natural affinity for the world of entertainment early in her life. She started her journey as a performing artist on her father’s radio show. At the age of eight, she started performing in plays produced by the Dallas theatre company. Gilpin is best known for her role as Roz Doyle, a sarcastic and wisecracking radio show producer, on the sitcom Frasier. The immensely popular series that lasted for more than a decade won Gilpin numerous award nominations and accolades. In recent times, Gilpin has been part of several telefilms, such as ‘How to Train Your Husband’ (2018) and ‘Old Guy’ (2018). Her current projects, for which she has finished filming, include movies, ‘Benjamin’, ‘Oleander’ and ‘Leave Us Here’. Apart from her acting projects, Gilpin is actively involved in efforts to raise funds for cancer research.
Childhood & Early Life
Peri Gilpin (Peri Kay Oldham at birth) was born to James Franklin Oldham and Sandra Jo Hauck on 27 May 1961 in Waco, Texas. She is of mixed ethnic heritage i.e. Croatian, English, German and Irish.
When Gilpin was eight years old, her parents divorced. Subsequently, she moved to Dallas with her mother. She finished her high-school from Skyline high school, Dallas.
Upon graduating from high-school, Gilpin studied acting at the University of Texas, Austin, before joining the British American Drama Academy in London.
After her parents divorced, her mother married Allen W Gilpin. Following her biological father’s death in a sky diving accident on 25th September 1983, Peri took her step-father’s surname.
She has a sister called Patti Jo Wynne. Her half-sister, late April Gilpin, who passed away in 2017 was an actress, too. Her half-brother Marc Gilpin is also an actor.
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After her graduation from the Drama Academy in London, Peri Gilpin returned to Dallas and began working as a make-up artist. Later, she worked as an apprentice for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, a resident summer theater on the campus of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Working as an apprentice allowed Gilpin to develop contacts within the industry. At Williamstown, Gilpin befriended actress Blythe Danner who later helped her bag a role in the Off-off- Broadway production of ‘Lucky Lucy and Fortune Man’. After that, she went on to act in numerous regional theatre productions.
In 1988, Gilpin debuted on television with the role of Fitzgerald in the crime thriller series ’21 Jump Street’. In the same year, she also starred in an episode of the show ‘Almost Grown’
In 1990, she appeared in an episode of ‘Matlock’ as Leslie Matthews.
After Gilpin relocated to Los Angeles, she appeared in several TV shows, namely ‘Cheers’, ‘Wings’, and ‘Designing Women’. In 1991, she starred opposite actor David Keith in the television series ‘Flesh ‘N’ Blood’, playing the role of Irene. It was her first major role on a television series, and she acted in all 12 episodes. This led to her being cast in another series titled ‘Local Heroes’ opposite David Keith.
Gilpin starred in numerous television series throughout the early and mid-90s, including ‘Frasier’ and ‘Pride and Joy’ (1993). Her other prominent series include ‘Make it or Break it’ (2009-2011), ‘Men at Work’ (2013), ‘Mr. Robinson’ (2015). She had guest appearances in TV shows like ‘Desperate Housewives’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, and ‘Drop Dead Diva.’
In addition to tele-series, she has also acted in numerous telefilms. In the 1995 television film ‘Fight For Justice: The Nancy Conn Story,’ Gilpin played the part of Charlotte Parks alongside actress Marilu Henner. In the 1996 NBC telefilm ‘The Secret She Carried,’ Gilpin was cast in the titular role of Ellen Hayward opposite D.W. Moffett and Jere Burns. Her other prominent telefilms include ‘Uncommon Sense’ (2005), ‘Women of a Certain Age’ (2006), ‘For the Love of a Child’ (2006), ‘Crossroads: A story of Forgiveness’ (2007), ‘The Choking Game’ (2014) and ‘A Dash of Love’ (2017).
Gilpin is also a voice-over artist who has given her voice for several animated series namely, ‘The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story’ (1998), ‘Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within’ (2001), ‘Thru the Moebius Strip’ (2005), ‘Hellboy: Sword of Strom’ (2006), and ‘Hellboy: Blood and Iron’ (2007).
Gilpin along with fellow ‘Frasier’ actress Jane Leeves owned their production house named ‘Bristol Cities’. They together produced the American remake of the British sitcom ‘The Vicar of Dibley’.
Peri Gilpin played Roz Doyle, a radio show producer, in the critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning comic television series ‘Frasier’ from 1993 to 2004. Her role earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 1999.
She won a Gracie award for her role in ‘Make it or Break it’ (2009-2011), a comic series depicting the life of three teen gymnasts.
Family & Personal Life
Peri Gilpin currently lives in Los Angeles. She married Christian Vincent, a realist painter, on 31 July 1999. They have twins named Stella Mae and Ava Pearl together.
In 1997, Gilpin’s mother succumbed to Leiomyosarcoma. Since then, she has actively contributed towards the efforts to raise awareness about cancers that affect women. She organizes the annual Les Girls cabaret fundraiser to contribute to cancer research. She is also an honorary Board Member of the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA).
Peri Gilpin is named after the Disney character Peri ‘the squirrel’.