One could say that Betty Gilpin was always going to live her life in front of the camera. It is one of the most probable possibilities when you are born and raised by actors. But, it has taken commitment, hard work and talent to get her to where she is today as one of the most admired actresses on television.
From Nurse Jackie to Netflix’s GLOW, Betty Gilpin has quietly forged a career with a filmography that could place among the best actresses to ever show up on the small screen. That is not to say her work is limited to television. Her expanding body of work includes roles on the big screen and other prominent parts of her admirable acting career.
How Betty Gilpin’s Parents Inspired Her Acting Career
Born on July 21, 1986, in New York City, to Jack Gilpin and Ann McDonough, one might wonder if Betty would have pursued an acting career had she not grown up in her parents’ world. Her father, Jack, is renowned for his roles in works like Reversal of Fortune, Higher Ground and Billions. Her mother, Ann, starred in Washington Heights, All My Children and Night-Flowers.
While her parents’ profession inadvertently shaped her future, physically, she grew up in the South Street Seaport of Manhattan. Betty attended The Loomis Chaffee School and graduated from Fordham University in 2008. At Fordham, she learned the art of acting under the tutelage of the legendary Dianne Wiest.
Before she began a career on television, Betty appeared on Off-Broadway in 2008, where she starred in theatre productions like I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard, We Live Here, and Heartless.
She Has Starred in Over 20 Television Shows
According to her IMDb page, Betty Gilpin has appeared in more than 38 films and TV shows. More than 20 of them have been appearances on TV, where she has established herself to fans of the small screen as a beloved actress. Her first TV show appearance came two years before her brief stint Off-Broadway, in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
She followed it up two years after with a guest role in an episode on New Amsterdam, where she played Marika Soloway in Golden Boy. In the same year, she made another appearance in an episode of Fringe, as Loraine Daisy.
For the first five years of Betty Gilpin’s TV career, she had bit-part roles across a few TV shows. They include The Good Wife, Past Life, Futurestates, Medium, Law & Order, The Unusuals, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
In 2013, she got cast in her first significant role on a TV series as Dr Carrie Roman in Nurse Jackie. She starred on the Showtime comedy-drama series between 2013 and 2015, appearing in 34 episodes. Next for Gilpin was a recurring role in The Walker as Roz in 2015, before playing another medical doctor in Masters of Sex as Dr Nancy Leveau.
Just before she began starring in Netflix’s GLOW, one of the defining shows of her TV career so far, she made four appearances in Elementary as Fiona Helbron. They say there is one role that transforms an actor’s life. For Betty, it’s her part on GLOW, the show she began starring in 2017 as the wrestler, Debbie ‘Liberty Bell’ Eagan.
The popularity of the show and her status as a part of the main cast transformed Betty Gilpin from a fringe actress known to hardcore TV watchers to a household name.
Betty Gilpin Is A Two-time Primetime Emmy Nominee
Not only did GLOW turn Betty Gilpin into a household name, but she also became a fixture in the awards circuit. She received two nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2018 and 2019 from the Primetime Emmy Awards.
It wasn’t just the Emmys either. She also received nominations from the Critics Choice Awards, Gold Derby TV Awards, Screen Actor Guild Awards and OFTA TV Awards. So far, she has received thirteen award nominations for her role on the show alone.
Having established her talent critically and commercially with GLOW, Betty has been cast to play Ann Coulter in another season of the limited series, American Crime Story. The new season will focus on the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
GLOW Has Also Made Her A Big Screen Star
Before she starred on GLOW, Betty Gilpin made several appearances in films. Her first appearance was a nameless role as a young model in Death in Love (2008). Over time, she made other appearances in Ghost Town, Possible Side Effects, Take Care, True Story and a few others. None of them, however, featured her in a prominent role.
However, since her breakthrough via GLOW, she has starred in the comedy, Stuber, the drama, A Dog’s Journey and most prominently in The Hunt. In the latter, she played one of the leads in the ensemble action and horror thriller. With her stock on the rise and plenty of years ahead of her, Betty can only take the Gilpin name higher.
Her Parents Have Been Married For Over Three Decades
Betty Gilpin’s parents, Ann McDonough and Jack Gilpin have been married since 1986 and gave birth to their daughter in the same year. Both of them are prominent New York stage actors, but onscreen, her father has a larger body of work. He has appeared in more than 67 movies and TV shows since he began his career in 1981. They include popular titles like Billions, Succession, 21, Law & Order, The Equalizer and Madam Secretary.
Her mother featured in the 1987 drama/comedy film Moonstruck and also appeared in episodes of All My Children and Law & Order: SVU.
Apart from acting, Betty’s dad is also an ordained priest and a Reverend. He preaches at St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Milford, Connecticut. He got ordained on December 15, 2012, but before then, he served as a lay preacher at Christ Church, Roxbury, Connecticut.
Betty Gilpin Is Building Her Own Family With Cosmos Colyer Pfeil
The actress is married to actor Cosmos Colyer Pfeil. He was born on December 9, 1977, in Shoreham, Vermont, USA, and is known for his roles in Acceptable Limits, Person of Interest (2011), and Take Shelter (2011). He is also an assistant director and a documentary filmmaker.
They met on the set of Betty’s first movie, The Northern Kingdom and the duo played siblings in the film. Betty Gilpin, during an interview, noted that her parents urged her to audition for a role written for a 19-year-old.
She decided to give it a try, so she put down her name on the sign-in sheet and to her pleasant surprise, she got cast for the role. Her excitement went beyond landing the role as she also got an agent and met the man who eventually became her husband through that job.
After some months of dating, they decided to tie the knot and eventually got married on August 6, 2016, with family members, friends, and colleagues in attendance.