American actress Peri Gilpin is perhaps most popular among sitcom fans with her portrayal of Roz Doyle on “Frasier” (NBC, 1993-2004), from which she also shared a Screen Actors Guild Award and was nominated for two Viewers for Quality Television Awards. After “Frasier” ended, the Texas native landed the supporting role of Kim Keeler on the ABC Family drama series “Make It or Break It” (2009-?). The role has brought her a Gracie Allen Award. Gilpin got her first regular role on the short lived series “Flesh 'n' Blood” (1991). She has guest starred in many TV shows, including “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Desperate Housewives” and “The Outer Limits,” and acted in several TV films and movies. She also has done a number of voice overs, including voicing Lana Lionheart on the animated TV show “The Lionhearts” (1998) and the animated film “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” (2001).
Gilpin has twin daughters with her husband realist painter Christian Vincent.
Childhood and Family:
Peri Kay Oldham, who would later be famous as Peri Gilpin, was born on May 27, 1961, in Waco, Texas. Her father, Jim O'Brien (né James Oldham), was a popular and respected radio and TV news weatherman/personality in Philadelphia in the '70s and early 80s. He was killed in a skydiving accident on September 25, 1983. Her mother was a model. Peri has a younger sister named Patti Jo Oldham (born on March 7, 1963) and two step siblings, Marc and April Gilpin, from her mother's second marriage. Peti, who was named after the Disney cartoon character Peri the squirrel, started using the stage name “Peri Gilpin” (using her stepfather's family name) after becoming a professional actress.
Growing up in Dallas, Peri graduated from Skyline High School, Dallas, Texas. She studied acting at the Dallas Theater Center and then at the University of Texas at Austin and the British-American Academy in London.
Peri married Christian Vincent, an artist, on July 31, 1999. They welcomed twin daughters Stella May and Ava, on May 7, 2004 through a surrogate mother. “Frasier” co-star Jane Leeves is the godmother of Stella, and Peri is the godmother of Jane's daughter Isabella.
Make It or Break It
Peri Gilpin initiated acting on stage with the Dallas Theater Company when she was eight years old. Later, upon her return from London, she worked as a makeup artist in Dallas, and then took an apprenticeship with the Williamstown Theater Festival. Her luck started to change after she met actress Blythe Danner, who became her main supporter. Shortly after, she broke into the small screen with guest spots in “21 Jump Street” and “ Almost Grown” (both 1988) and “Matlock” (1990).
Gilpin's first regular role arrived in 1991 when she was cast as Irene in the NBC sitcom “Flesh 'n' Blood,” opposite David Keith, Lisa Darr, Meghan Andrews and Perry Anzilotti. The show, however, was canceled after eight episodes, leaving 4 episodes unaired.
Gilpin went on to appear in episodes of “Wings” (1992, as Barbara #242), “Designing Women” (1993, as Jade Herman) and “Cheers” (1993, as Holly Matheson) before gaining her big break on the long running television sitcom “Frasier” (NBC, 1993-2004), starring Kelsey Grammer as radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane. Playing Roz Doyle, the head producer of Frasier's radio show, she remained with the show throughout its 11 season run, and in 2000, along with the principal cast, she won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, not to mention nine SAG nominations in the same category. She also was nominated for the Viewers for Quality Television Q Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series in 1998 and 2000.
During her tenure in “Frasier,” Gilpin took many other acting projects. In 1995, she made her television movie debut in as Charlotte Parks on the NBC drama “Fight for Justice: The Nancy Conn Story,” starring Marilu Henner. She followed it up with a starring turn in another NBC telepic, “The Secret She Carried” (1996), opposite Jere Burns and D.W. Moffett, and a minor role on the Emmy nominated comedy film “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” (2001), starring Nathan Lane and Mark Linn-Baker. She also guest starred in such television series as “Pride & Joy” (1995), “The Outer Limits” and “Early Edition” (both 1996). Gilpin made her feature film debut opposite Ned Beatty, Liev Schreiber and Campbell Scott on the well received drama “Spring Forward” (1999), the directorial debut of Tom Gilroy, who also wrote the script. There she played the supporting role of Georgia. She portrayed the supporting role of Debra Salhany on her second film, “How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog,” a 2000 comedy/drama film written and directed by Michael Kalesniko. Meanwhile, on stage, Gilpin returned to the New York Stage to star in the off-Broadway hit “As Bees in Honey Drown” (1998)
Gilpin also did several voice overs during this period. She voiced Lana Lionheart on the animated television series “The Lionhearts” (1998), which also starred the voices of William H. Macy as Leo Lionheart and Natasha Slayton as Kate Lionheart, Raksha the Wolf on the direct to video “The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story” (1998), Hecate on the animated TV series “Hercules” (1998, 2 episodes), Volcana / Claire Selton in “Superman” (1998-1999, 2 episodes) and “Justice League” (2003, 1 episode), and Ms. Brennan in “Baby Blues” (2000, 1 episode). She also provided the voice of Officer Jane Proudfoot on the 2001 computer animated science fiction movie “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within,” which was directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the “Final Fantasy” series of role-playing video games. A box office turkey, the film only grossed over $85 million against a budget of $137 million.
After “Frasier” came to its demise, Gilpin had supporting roles on the TV films “Uncommon Sense” (2005, starred Jim Cashman, Chip Chinery and Ramon De Ocampo) and “Women of a Certain Age” (2006, starred Hector Bucio, Mark Derwin and Illeana Douglas), and co-starring roles on the fact based TV film “For the Love of a Child” (2006), oposite Teri Polo, and the CBS movie “Crossroads: A Story of Forgiveness” (2007), with Dean Cain. She guest starred in several television series such as “Medium” (2007, as Diane Benoit), “Desperate Housewives” (2007, as Maggie Gilroy), “Side Order of Life” (2007, as Celia Hutchinson) and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2007, as Grace Pardue). Her voice could be heard in the TV animated series “Danny Phantom” (2004-2005, as Desiree) and “King of the Hill” (2003-2009, various characters), as well as on the animated film “Thru the Moebius Strip” (2005, as Caroline Weir) and the Hellboy animated TV film “Sword of Storms” (2006, as Professor Kate Corrigan) and “Blood and Iron” (2007, as Professor Kate Corrigan).
In 2009, Gilpin landed the regular role of Kim Keeler on the television drama series “Make It or Break It,” centering on the lives of teen gymnasts who strive to make it to the Olympic Games. The show premiered on ABC Family on June 22, 2009, with 2.5 million viewers, and was renewed for a second season, which began on June 28, 2010. The series was renewed for a third season on September 16, 2011. Gilpin won a 2010 Gracie for Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series for her bright acting.
In February 2011, Gilpin appeared as Taylor in an episode of “Hot in Cleveland” called “I Love Lucci: Part One.”
Gracie: Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series, “Make It or Break It,” 2010
Screen Actors Guild : Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, “Frasier,” 2000