‘Gilmore Girls’: Sherilyn Fenn Played Another Character Besides Anna Nardini

Fans of Gilmore Girls may remember Sherilyn Fenn as Anna Nardini. However, the Twin Peaks star played another character on the TV show before taking on the role of Luke Danes’ (Scott Patterson) ex-girlfriend and mother to April Nardini (Vanessa Marano). 

Sherilyn Fenn initially played girlfriend to Jess Mariano’s dad

Sherilyn Fenn attends the 2017 'Twin Peaks' UK Festival
Sherilyn Fenn attends the 2017 Twin Peaks UK Festival | Amy T. Zielinski/Getty Images

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According to IMDb, Fenn first appeared on Gilmore Girls in 2003. She played Sasha in Gilmore Girls Season 3 Episode 21: “Here Comes the Son.” 

After leaving Stars Hollow and ditching Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) just days before her high school graduation, Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) went to California to see his estranged father, Jimmy (Rob Estes). 

Upon his arrival, he found Fenn’s character, Sasha. She took him to see Jimmy, and along the way, viewers learned Sasha knew everyone in the community and was eager to lend a hand. 

Fans of Gilmore Girls may not have recognized Fenn when she later returned to the show in season 6 because as Sasha she had short, blonde hair. Playing Anna she donned long, dark brown locks. 

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Sherilyn Fenn almost starred in a ‘Gilmore Girls’ spinoff

Fenn’s part as Sasha nearly led to a Gilmore Girls spinoff about Jess. The “Here Comes the Son” episode was the WB’s way of testing out a continued storyline for Ventimiglia’s character after leaving Stars Hollow. The episode served as a pilot for the spinoff, which would’ve been called Windward Circle

Centered around Jess rebuilding his relationship with his father, the character was supposed to befriend local skateboarders. Initially set for a midseason premiere in 2004, the spinoff got scrapped supposedly because of the cost of filming in Venice Beach, California. Had Windward Circle made it to air, Fenn would’ve been another actor to star in a series from Amy Sherman-Palladino. 

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The ‘Twin Peaks’ star went on to appear in 8 ‘Gilmore Girls’ episodes

Fenn returned to Gilmore Girls after playing Sasha. She made her first appearance as Anna Nardini in Gilmore Girls Season 6 Episode 12: “The Perfect Dress.”

Lorelai found her dream wedding dress — strapless and on sale — while Luke dealt with being a new father. Drama ensued when Anna accepted Luke being part of April’s life but not Lorelai.

Lorelai didn’t go to the diner if she knew April would be there. And when Luke asked her for help with April’s birthday party she finally felt included. But Anna wasn’t having it. So Lorelai went back to having little to no contact with April. 

Anna and Luke eventually got into a custody battle when Anna wanted to move to New Mexico with April. Thanks in part to a stellar character reference from Lorelai, Luke got joint custody. 

Fenn made her final appearance as Anna in Gilmore Girls Season 7 Episode 12: “To Whom It May Concern.” Marano reprised her role as April in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life without any appearance from Fenn as Anna. 

Watch Gilmore Girls and the 2016 revival on Netflix.

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