Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow

Birth name: Lisa Valerie Kudrow
Born: July 30, 1963
Age: 59
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
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Lisa Valerie Kudrow[1] (/ˈkuːdroʊ/; born July 30, 1963)[2] is an American actress, comedian, writer, and producer. After making guest appearances in several television sitcoms, including Cheers, she came to prominence with her recurring role of Ursula in Mad About You (1993-1999). Kudrow gained worldwide recognition for portraying Phoebe Buffay on the television sitcom Friends (1994-2004), for which she received several accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series from six nominations, two Screen Actors Guild Awards from 12 nominations, and a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Kudrow starred in the cult comedy film Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) and followed it with an acclaimed performance in the romantic comedy The Opposite of Sex (1998), which won her the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress and a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female. In 2005, she went on to produce, write and star in the HBO comedy series The Comeback, which was revived nine years later for a second season. Kudrow received two Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nominations for both seasons.

Kudrow produced and starred in the Showtime program Web Therapy (2011-2015), which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. She is also one of the executive producers of the TLC reality program Who Do You Think You Are, which gained three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program.

Kudrow has also made several notable film appearances, including roles in Analyze This (1999), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), P.S. I Love You (2007), Bandslam (2008), Hotel for Dogs (2009), Easy A (2010), Neighbors (2014) and its sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016), The Girl on the Train (2016), and The Boss Baby (2017).

Lisa Kudrow was born in Los Angeles, California, to Nedra S. (née Stern, born 1934), a travel agent, and Lee N. Kudrow (born 1933), a physician who specialized in the treatment of headaches.[3] She has an older sister, Helene Marla (born 1955), and an older brother, Santa Monica neurologist David B. Kudrow (born 1957). Kudrow was raised in a middle-class Jewish family and had a Bat Mitzvah ceremony.[4][5] Her ancestors emigrated from Belarus, Germany, Hungary and Poland,[6] and some of them lived in the village of Ilya, in the Minsk area. Kudrow's paternal grandparents were David Kudrow (born in Mogilev, Belarus) and Gertrude Farberman (born in Ilya, Belarus).[6] Her paternal great-grandmother, Mera Mordejovich, was murdered in Ilya during the Holocaust. Her paternal grandmother immigrated to Brooklyn, where her father grew up.[7][8]

Kudrow attended Portola Middle School in Tarzana, California. In 1979, at the age of 16, she underwent rhinoplasty to reduce the size of her nose.[9] She graduated from Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles where then N.W.A. member Ice Cube also attended. Kudrow received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Vassar College, intending to follow in her father's footsteps and research headaches.[citation needed] Kudrow worked on her father's staff for eight years while breaking into acting, earning a research credit on his study on the comparative likelihood of left-handed individuals developing cluster headaches.[10]



Kudrow visiting Vassar College in 2004

1989-1994: Early career

At the urging of her brother's childhood friend, comedian Jon Lovitz,[4] she began her comedic career as a member of The Groundlings, an improv and sketch comedy school in Los Angeles. Kudrow has credited Cynthia Szigeti, her improv teacher at The Groundlings, for changing her perspective on acting, calling her "the best thing that happened, on so many levels."[11][12] Briefly, Kudrow joined with Conan O'Brien and director Tim Hillman in the short-lived improv troupe Unexpected Company.[13] She was also the only regular female member of the Transformers Comedy Troupe.[14] She played a role in an episode of the NBC sitcom Cheers.[15] She tried out for Saturday Night Live in 1990, but the show chose Julia Sweeney instead.[16] She had a recurring role as Kathy Fleisher in three episodes of season one of the Bob Newhart sitcom Bob (CBS, 1992-1993), a role she played after taking part in the memorable series finale of Newhart's previous series Newhart.[17] Prior to Friends, she appeared in at least two produced network pilots: NBC's Just Temporary (also known as Temporarily Yours) in 1989, playing Nicole; and CBS' Close Encounters (also known as Matchmaker) in 1990, playing a Valley girl.[3]

Kudrow was cast to play the role of Roz Doyle in Frasier, but the role was re-cast with Peri Gilpin during the taping of the pilot episode. Kudrow said in 2000 that when rehearsals started, "I knew it wasn't working. I could feel it all slipping away, and I was panicking, which only made things worse."[4] Her first recurring television role was Ursula Buffay, the eccentric waitress on the NBC sitcom Mad About You. Kudrow would reprise the character on the NBC sitcom Friends, in which Kudrow co-starred as massage therapist Phoebe Buffay, Ursula's twin sister.[18]

1994-2004: Breakthrough

For her starring role as Phoebe on Friends (NBC, 1994-2004) Kudrow won the 1998 Emmy Award[19] for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. According to the Guinness Book of World Records (2005), Kudrow and co-stars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox became the highest paid TV actresses of all time, earning $1 million per episode for the ninth and tenth seasons of Friends.[20] During her tenure on Friends Kudrow appeared in multiple comedic films such as Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Hanging Up, Marci X, Dr. Dolittle 2, Analyze This and its sequel Analyze That, and dramatic films, such as Wonderland and The Opposite of Sex.

She also guest starred on numerous television series during Friends, including The Simpsons, Hope and Gloria, King of the Hill, and hosting Saturday Night Live.

2004-present: Post-Friends

Kudrow at the 1st Streamy Awards

Kudrow starred as protagonist Valerie Cherish on the single-season HBO series The Comeback (premiered June 5, 2005), about a has-been sitcom star trying for a comeback. She also served as co-creator, writer, and executive producer. The series was cancelled by HBO before being renewed for a second season nearly a decade after being originally cancelled. Kudrow received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Comeback.[21]

Kudrow serves as the executive producer for the American version of the UK television series Who Do You Think You Are?, in which celebrities trace their family trees. The subjects of the first series included Kudrow herself, in which it was discovered her great-grandmother died in the Holocaust.[22][23]

Kudrow co-created an improvised comedy web series, Web Therapy on The improv series, which launched online in 2008, has earned several Webby nominations and one Outstanding Comedic Performance Webby for Kudrow, who plays therapist of unspecified credentials Fiona Wallice. She offers her patients three-minute sessions over iChat.[21] In July 2011, a reformatted, half-hour version of the show premiered on Showtime,[24][25] before being cancelled in 2015 after four seasons.[26] Kudrow has guest starred on multiple television series such as Cougar Town, BoJack Horseman, Angie Tribeca, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Scandal.[27]

Following Friends, Kudrow has also appeared in films such as Easy A, Hotel for Dogs, Happy Endings, and Neighbors. In 2016, she reprised her role as Carol Gladstone in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,[28] and co-starred in the thriller film The Girl on the Train.[29]

Personal life

On May 27, 1995, Kudrow married Michel Stern, a French advertising executive. They have one son, Julian Murray Stern, who was born on May 7, 1998.[30][31] Kudrow's pregnancy was written into Friends (seasons 4 and 5), with her character Phoebe having triplets as a surrogate mother for her brother Frank and his wife Alice because they were not able to have children. Her fluency in French was also written into Phoebe's character as she struggled to teach Joey.[32]


Kudrow at the film premiere of The Other Woman in 2009


Year Film Role Notes
1983 Overdrawn at the Memory Bank Extra
1986 America 3000 Warrior Women Leader uncredited
1989 L.A. on $5 a Day Charmer
1991 To the Moon, Alice Friend of Perky Girl Short film
The Unborn Louisa
1992 Dance with Death Millie
In the Heat of Passion Esther
1994 In the Heat of Passion 2: Unfaithful Teller
1995 The Crazysitter Adrian Wexler-Jones
1996 Mother Linda
1997 Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Michele Weinberger
Clockwatchers Paula
Hacks Reading Woman
1998 The Opposite of Sex Lucia DeLury
1999 Analyze This Laura MacNamara Sobel
2000 Hanging Up Maddy Mozell
2000 Lucky Numbers Crystal
2001 All Over the Guy Marie
Dr. Dolittle 2 Ava Voice
2002 Bark! Dr. Darla Portnoy
Analyze That Laura Sobel
2003 Marci X Marci Field
Wonderland Sharon Holmes
2005 Happy Endings Mamie
2007 Kabluey Leslie
P.S. I Love You Denise
2009 Hotel for Dogs Lois Scudder
Powder Blue Sally
Paper Man Claire Dunn
Bandslam Karen Burton
The Other Woman Dr. Carolyn Soule
2010 Easy A Mrs. Griffith
2014 Neighbors Carol Gladstone
2016 El Americano: The Movie Lucille Voice
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Carol Gladstone
The Girl on the Train Martha
2017 Table 19 Bina Kepp
The Boss Baby Mrs. Templeton Voice
2018 Lovesick Fool - Love in the Age of Like Ozma Short film, Voice
2019 Booksmart In post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Married to the Mob Pilot
Cheers Emily Episode: "Two Girls for Every Boyd"
1989 Just Temporary Nicole Television film
1990 Newhart Sada Episode: "The Last Newhart"
Life Goes On Stella Episode: "Becca and the Band"
1991 Murder in High Places Miss Stich Television film
1992 Room for Two Woman in Black Episode: "Not Quite... Room for Two"
1993-1999 Mad About You Ursula Buffay / Karen 24 episodes
1993 Flying Blind Amy Episode: "My Dinner with Brad Schimmel"
Bob Kathy Fleisher 3 episodes
1993-1994 Coach Lauren / Nurse Alice 2 episodes
1994-2004 Friends Phoebe Buffay Main role, 236 episodes
1995-2001 Ursula Buffay Recurring role, 8 episodes
1996 Hope & Gloria Phoebe Buffay Episode: "A New York Story"
Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Female Beta Maxians (voices) Episode: "The One with Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role"
Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Lisa Kudrow/Sheryl Crow"
1997 Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Lisa (voice) Episode: "Reunion"
1998 The Simpsons Alex Whitney (voice) Episode: "Lard of the Dance"
1998-1999 Hercules: The Animated Series Aphrodite (voice) 4 episodes
2001 King of the Hill Marjorie Pittman (voice) Episode: "The Exterminator"
Blue's Clues Dr. Stork (voice) Episode: "The Baby's Here!"
2005 Father of the Pride Foo-Lin (voice) 2 episodes
Hopeless Pictures Sandy (voice) 2 episodes
2005, 2014 The Comeback Valerie Cherish 21 episodes; also co-creator, writer and executive producer
2006 American Dad! The Ghost of Christmas Past (voice) Episode: "The Best Christmas Story Never"
2008-2014 Web Therapy Fiona Wallice 132 episodes; also co-creator, writer and executive producer
2010 Cougar Town Dr. Amy Evans Episode: "Rhino Skin"
2010-present Who Do You Think You Are? Herself[33] Executive producer; Episode: "Lisa Kudrow"
2011-2015 Web Therapy Fiona Wallice 44 episodes; also co-creator, writer and executive producer
2011 Allen Gregory Sheila (voice) Episode: "Mom Sizemore"
2013 Wendell and Vinnie Natasha Episode: "Swindel & Vinnie"
Scandal Congresswoman Josephine Marcus 4 episodes
2015 BoJack Horseman Wanda Pierce (voice) 7 episodes
2016 Angie Tribeca Monica Vivarquar Episode: "Pilot"
Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows Herself Television documentary
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Fairy Godmother (voice) / Lori-Ann Schmidt 2 episodes
2017 RuPaul's Drag Race Guest 1 episode
2018 Grace and Frankie Sheree 3 episodes
Bright Futures Narrator Unsold television pilot

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Lisa Kudrow

Kudrow has been honored with numerous accolades over her career. For her role in the sitcom Friends, she received six nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards, winning in 1996 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Kudrow has also received twelve nominations and two wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as one win and eight nominations at the American Comedy Awards.


Lisa Kudrow supports the following charitable causes: Cancer, Children, AIDS, Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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