With a father who was a famous local radio and television celebrity, a model mother who appeared in television, and a working relationship with Wings producer Roz Doyle in her past, it may all seem like an obscure cosmic joke that pretty Peri Gilpin would rise to fame as radio producer Roz Doyle on the smash television sitcom Frasier, though the longtime actress would likely credit her success to hard work rather than astrological coincidence.
Born in Waco, TX, and raised in Dallas, Gilpin began acting on stage with the Dallas Theater Company at the age of eight, a fact that helped her shake stage fright and gain the confidence that would accompany her through numerous future auditions. A Skyline High School graduate, Gilpin later studied acting at both the University of Texas at Austin and London's British-American Academy. Upon returning to the U.S., Gilpin worked as a makeup artist in the Dallas area before taking an apprenticeship with the Williamstown Theater Festival. A chance meeting with actress Blythe Danner resulted in Gilpin gaining some support within the industry, and it wasn't long before Gilpin's dreams were coming true with roles on television's Flesh 'n' Blood and 21 Jump Street. A role on Cheers followed shortly after, and when a spin-off series entitled Frasier became an unexpected hit, Gilpin found the role that would bring her into households across the country on a weekly basis. Appearing frequently on such made-for-television films as The Secret She Carried (1996) and Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2000) while simultaneously essaying her role on Frasier, Gilpin (who was named after the animated Disney character Peri the squirrel) has also loaned her voice to such animated projects as television's Hercules and the computer-animated feature Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001). Throughout the 2000's and 2010's, Gilpin remained active, starring most notably on the dance series Make It or Break It.