Early life, family, educational background
American director and actor Chris Payne Gilbert, was born on 27 March 1972, in Springfield, Massachusetts USA. He spent most of his childhood in the Berkshires in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he attended the Mount Greylock Regional High School. After matriculating in 1990, he moved to Loudonville, New York, where he attended Siena College and played soccer for their Division I team, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, majoring in Theatre. He went on to Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program in Athens, and afterwards began working as an actor in New York.
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Who is Lesley-Ann Brandt?
Lesley-Ann Brandt was born on 2 December 1981, in Cape Town, South Africa, of German, Spanish, Dutch and East Indian descent. She enjoys hockey, yoga and baseball, and played competitive field hockey when she lived in South Africa. She speaks Afrikaans fluently and has said that she loved living in Cape Town, post-Apartheid. She even has a tattoo of the African continent with a dot on Cape Town, on her upper left side. She immigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in 1999 with her parents and younger brother, Brian Brandt. She started by working in retail, then moved on to working as an information technology recruitment consultant. She did some modeling work, and was cast in several television advertisements in New Zealand. In 2008, she was trained in the Meisner technique and studied acting.
She has appeared in numerous New Zealand television series – her first significant role was in “Diplomatic Immunity.” She guest appeared in the science fiction series set in the fictional town of Waimoana in the 2020s, “This Is Not My Life,” and the hospital soap opera, “Shortland Street.” Her first international role was in the series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” as the slave girl, Naevia. She replaced Lina Esco in the role of Maze (Mazikeen) in 2015, in the Fox television series, “Lucifer.” Lina was removed from the show after the first table read, and Lesley-Ann has been in the show since January 2016, which was aired on Fox for three seasons before being picked up by Netflix after Fox canceled it. Maze is a fan-favorite character, along with Dr Linda Martin played by Rachel Harris, and the devil, Lucifer Morningstar, played by Tom Ellis.
The fans even began trending #SaveLucifer on social media when Fox canceled the show. Lesley-Ann turned inward when she got her role as Maze – she told MEAWW that her move from South Africa to New Zealand helped her when portraying Maze, who wishes to go back home to hell, but is stuck on Earth, ‘I felt that when I immigrated from South Africa to New Zealand, I didn’t like the country then… And Maze is going through pretty much what I was going through.’ She went on to say that at 17 she was young, and found it challenging to leave her friends, country, culture and everything she knew.
Chris has appeared in several regional and off-Broadway theatre productions, including “Walking off the Roof” at Signature Theatre Co, “Experimental Actions,” “Freesailing” at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde” at the Minetta Lane Theatre.
In Los Angeles he played in Larry Moss’ production of “Beggars in House of Plenty” which was produced by Ginger Perkins and initially written by John Patrick Stanley, and in “It’s Just Sex” at the Two Roads Theatre, Reid Scott’s production of “The Elephant Man” and “All My Sons” at the Geffen Playhouse. He is a founding member of the experimental theatre company Mad Dog, which has won an Obie Award. Mad Dog’s work includes productions at the Belgrade International Theatre Festival in Serbia, and New York’s MASS MOCA, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
From 1999 to 2002, he appeared as Gordon/Gorgeous Young Hunk in “Sex and the City”, and in 2000 played Billy Appleby in “Charmed.”
In 2002, he was Bill in the “Friends” episode “The One with Rachel’s Phone Number,” as Peter Berglund in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, and Carson Cassidy in “CSI: Miami.” In 2006, he appeared in “Gilmore Girls” as Nick, and as Dr Henry Kroft in 2007 in “CSI: New York.” He also played Robert Brunner in “Dexter” in 2010, Agent Parker in “Criminal Minds” in 2012, David Platt in “Suits” in 2015 and John Decker in “Lucifer” in 2016. From 2006 to 2009, he played series regular Todd Skyes in the TBS sitcom, “10 Items or Less.”
Chris appeared in 1998’s “Saving Manhattan” as Jamie DeStephano, Mark in 1999’s “Story of a Bad Boy,” in “An Irish Vampire in Hollywood” as Vanquo in 2007, and as Darryl Tripp in 2010’s “Refuge”, which was directed and written by Tony Award winner Mark Medoff.
On 5 September 2015, he married Lesley-Ann Brandt after dating for three years. They met in 2012 after auditioning together at the Nancy Banks Acting Studio. When recalling how they met, Lesley-Ann expresses that it was a hot day in Los Angeles, so she was drinking a beer and lying down on the living room floor. Chris walked in and later told her that he had thought, ‘Who is this crazy chick drinking before our rehearsal?’ They spent two hours talking and laughing. They kissed at their next rehearsal, and even though the kiss was scripted, she said it still surprised her. They began dating soon after, and became engaged on 26 June 2014, when Chris surprised Lesley-Ann with a beach proposal and impromptu engagement party.
Planning the perfect wedding proved challenging for the couple. Chris grew up in Massachusetts and lived in Vermont, influencing him to want the ceremony in a country setting. In contrast, Lesley-Ann grew up in Cape Town before moving to New Zealand, influencing her to want the service on a beach. In an interview, Lesley-Ann shared, ‘No matter where we chose to have our wedding, we knew that some of our guests would have to travel.’ Chris’s family lives in Bennington, Vermont which is very close to the Hubbell Homestead at Colgate Park, where Chris and Lesley-Ann found a perfect venue – so they agreed on a late summer wedding in New England. Their ceremony was planned with vintage glassware, delectable food and in-season local flowers, but they added South African proteas on the main table, per Lesley-Ann’s request.
Shortly before the ceremony, Lesley-Ann received a note and package from Chris. The gift was melted down gold from two rings given to Chris from his mother. The gold was made into a pendant with the Afrikaans word, ‘appeltjie’ engraved, which means ‘little apple’ and was Lesley-Ann’s nickname from her late grandfather. Chris’s gift was incredibly meaningful because she was close to her grandfather, and wished he were there on her wedding day.
They had a dessert bar instead of a wedding cake, because Lesley-Ann’s grandmother baked beautiful wedding cakes, but had passed away a couple of years before the wedding, and she didn’t feel comfortable with someone else baking it.
Their first dance as a married couple was to Donny Hathaway’s song, “A Song For You.” Towards the end of the song, both their fathers and mothers joined them on the dance floor instead of having separate mother-son and father-daughter dances. On 18 July 2017, they welcomed son, Kingston Payne Brandt-Gilbert. He shares a birthday with former South African president, Nelson Mandela.
Chris has dark blonde hair and green eyes. He is 6ft (1.83m) tall.
Net worth and salary
His net worth is estimated at $7 million as of early 2020. His primary sources of income are as a director, actor and writer.