Oct. 05, 2000
60 min.
The CW TV Network

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Gilmore Girls

Set in a storybook Connecticut town populated with an eclectic mix of everyday folks and lovable lunatics, Gilmore Girls is a humorous multigenerational series about friendship, family and the ties that bind. This unique mother-daughter team has been growing up together.

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Emily Gilmore Gilmore Girls
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Emily Gilmore

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  Played by:
Kelly BishopKelly Bishop
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Character Bio

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Emily Gilmore is the mother of Lorelai and grandmother to Rory. Emily had very limited contact with her daughter for most of her adult life, and though they have got to know each other better as adults, they still have a somewhat strained relationship. One constant source of discord between them involves the matter of Christopher Hayden, Rory's father. Despite Chris's shortcomings, Emily always pushed Lorelai to pursue a relationship with him in their adulthood, so that their family can finally be together, only to be frustrated as either Lorelai or Christopher failed to take the necessary steps to make it happen. Emily always dotes on Rory (she being their only grandchild), however, and she and Richard made it financially possible for Rory to attend the exclusive Chilton Preparatory school as well as Yale University.

Emily was raised by a strict social code and graduated from Smith College. Since her marriage, she has dedicated herself to furthering her husband Richard's career. As a result, she spends much of her time arranging charity events, and she is very concerned with propriety and appearances. She is difficult to please, and is incapable of keeping a maid very long no matter how well she pays them. They quit or are fired in rapid succession for reasons like singing or walking too heavily. Many people have judged her to be a snobbish, haughty and highly opinionated woman. There is a softer, more caring side to Emily, but it is often obscured by her aforementioned snobbish persona.

Emily is heavily involved in Hartford society. Besides being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she is also a member of the Symphony Fundraising Committee, the President of the Horticultural Society, and a Co-Chair of the Starlight Foundation. She is a board member on the Hartford Zoological Silent Auction, the Mark Twain House Restoration Fund Luncheon, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Literacy Auction.

In season 4 it is revealed that Richard had been having yearly lunches with Pennilyn Lott (his ex-girlfriend) since his marriage to Emily, which damages her marriage with Richard, almost leading to divorce. Emily and Richard were separated during Season 5, and Emily even tries dating another man. Though the date went well, it primarily makes Emily realize how much she misses Richard. They soon reconcile and renew their vows.

In Season 6 Emily and Richard take Rory into their house after she drops out of Yale and has been arguing with Lorelai. When Rory moves out again, she gets into a conflict with her grandparents, and her grandmother in particular, partly because Rory feels controlled by Emily, just like her mother had many years earlier. Emily is very upset and describes it as being how she felt when Lorelai had left years earlier.

When the series ends and Rory goes off to begin a reporting career, Emily believes that their routine Friday night dinners will end since Lorelai and Rory no longer need her money for any tuition. However, Lorelai tells her mother that she will continue going to dinner every Friday night, implying that she will maintain a friendly relationship with her parents.

Episode Screenshots

06x14 - You've Been Gilmored
Season 6, Episode 14
01x19 - Emily In Wonderland
Season 1, Episode 19
04x15 - Scene in a Mall
Season 4, Episode 15
07x10 - Merry Fisticuffs
Season 7, Episode 10
[More Episodes]

Emily Gilmore Photos

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