- Lisa Valerie Kudrow
July 30, 1963 (age 58)
- Actor, Television Producer, Screenwriter, Comedian, Voice Actor, Film Producer
- Michel Stern
- Nedra Stern, Lee N. Kudrow
Lisa Valerie Kudrow (born July 30, 1963) is an American actress, comedian and producer. She gained worldwide recognition for her ten season run as Phoebe Buffay in the television sitcom Friends, for which she received many accolades, including an Emmy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
She went on to produce, write and star in the short lived HBO series The Comeback, and is currently starring in Web Therapy which is in its second season on Showtime. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program for the show in 2012. She is also one of the executive producers of the NBC reality program Who Do You Think You Are. She is nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Program for the series in 2012.
Away from television, Kudrow has also appeared in many films, including Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997), The Opposite of Sex (1998), Analyze This (1999), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), Happy Endings (2005), P.S. I Love You (2007), Bandslam (2008), Hotel for Dogs (2009) and Easy A (2010).
Throughout her career she has received nine Emmy Award nominations, twelve Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Lisa Kudrow was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Nedra S. (née Stern), a travel agent, and Dr. Lee N. Kudrow (born 1933), a headache specialist and physician. She has an older sister, Helene Marla (born 1960), and an older brother, Santa Monica neurologist David B. Kudrow (born 1957). Kudrow was raised in a middle-class Jewish family. Her ancestors emigrated from Belarus and lived in the village of Ilya, in the Minsk area, and her great-grandmother was murdered in the Holocaust.
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. She graduated from Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. She received her BA in Biology from Vassar College, intending to follow in her father's footsteps and research headaches. 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.
At the urging of her brother's childhood friend, comedian Jon Lovitz, Kudrow began her comedic career as a member of The Groundlings. Briefly, Kudrow joined with Conan O'Brien and director Tim Hillman in the short-lived improv troupe Unexpected Company. She was also the only regular female member of the Transformers Comedy Troupe. She played a role in an episode of the NBC sitcom Cheers. She tried out for Saturday Night Live in 1990, but the show chose Julia Sweeney instead. 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. 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.
Kudrow was hired to play the role of Roz Doyle in Frasier, but the part was re-cast with Peri Gilpin during the filming 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". 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.
On May 27, 1995, Kudrow married Michel Stern, a French advertising executive. They have one son, Julian Murray, who was born on May 7, 1998. Kudrow's pregnancy was written into Friends (seasons 4 and 5), with her character Phoebe having triplets as a surrogate mother for her brother and his wife because they were not able to have children.