Lisa Valerie Kudrow (; born July 30, 1963) is an American actress, comedian, writer, singer, and producer. After making guest appearances in several television sitcoms in the 1980s, Kudrow came to international prominence in the 1990s portraying Phoebe Buffay in the American sitcom Friends, which earned her Primetime Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards. Kudrow also portrayed Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula on both Friends and Mad About You. Kudrow has received several awards, 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. Her Friends character was widely popular while the series aired and was later recognized as one of the greatest female characters in American television. 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 was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for both seasons. In 2007, Kudrow received praise for her starring role in the film Kabluey and appeared in the box office hit film P.S. I Love You. She produced and starred in the Showtime program Web Therapy (2011–2015), which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. She is a producer on the TLC reality program Who Do You Think You Are, which has garnered her five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Kudrow has also made several notable film appearances, including roles in Analyze This (1999), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), 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), The Boss Baby (2017), Long Shot (2019) and Booksmart (2019). Her films have grossed over $2 billion worldwide.
1989–1994: Early career. At the urging of her brother's childhood friend, comedian Jon Lovitz, 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." 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 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 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." 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. 1994–2004: Friends and breakthrough. Kudrow was the first Friends cast member to win an Emmy Award with her 1998 honor as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her starring role as Phoebe on Friends (NBC, 1994–2004). 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.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 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. Nine years after the original season, HBO revived the series in 2014 for an abbreviated second season. Kudrow received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Comeback. Her production company is ‘Is or Isn't Entertainment’.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 was murdered in the Holocaust.Kudrow co-created an improvised comedy web series, Web Therapy on Lstudio.com. The improv series, which launched online in 2008, has earned several Webby nominations and one Outstanding Comedic Performance Webby for Kudrow, who plays therapist Fiona Wallice. She offers her patients three-minute sessions over iChat. In July 2011, a reformatted, half-hour version of the show premiered on Showtime, before being cancelled in 2015 after four seasons. Kudrow has guest starred on multiple television series such as Cougar Town, BoJack Horseman, Angie Tribeca, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Scandal.Following Friends, Kudrow has also appeared in films such as Easy A, Hotel for Dogs (film), Happy Endings, and Neighbors. In 2016, she reprised her role as Carol Gladstone in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and co-starred in the thriller film The Girl on the Train.Kudrow played Hypatia of Alexandria in season 4 episode 12 of The Good Place "Patty".She is currently, along with Mary McCormack, an executive producer of the syndicated game show, 25 Words or Less; sometimes, Kudrow herself is one of the two celebrity guests playing with a contestant on the show. On April 8, 2020, it was announced that Kudrow was cast as Maggie Naird in the upcoming Netflix comedy series, Space Force.
On May 27, 1995, Kudrow married French advertising executive Michel Stern. They have a son, Julian Murray Stern. Kudrow's pregnancy was written into the fourth season of Friends with her character, Phoebe, having triplets as a surrogate mother for her younger half-brother Frank (Giovanni Ribisi) and his wife Alice (Debra Jo Rupp). In 2019, during an interview with Marc Maron, Kudrow revealed that she experienced body dysmorphic disorder while working on the show.
Lisa Kudrow was born in Encino, Los Angeles, California, to Nedra S. (née Stern), a travel agent, and Lee N. Kudrow, a physician who specialized in the treatment of headaches. 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. Her ancestors emigrated from Belarus, Germany, Hungary and Poland, 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). Her paternal great-grandmother, Mera Mordejovich, was murdered in Ilya during the Holocaust. Her paternal grandmother emigrated to Brooklyn, where her father grew up.Kudrow attended Portola Middle School in Tarzana, California. She graduated from Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles where then N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Eazy-E and actress Robin Wright also attended. Kudrow received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Vassar College, intending to become an expert on headaches like her physician father. 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.
Movies & TV Series
2 Movies · 2 TV Series
A four-star general begrudgingly teams up with an eccentric scientist to get the U.S. The military's newest agency is ready for lift-off.
Celebrity Escape Room
Jack Black is the master of ceremonies, leading Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Adam Scott, and Ben Stiller through a laugh-filled escape room adventure as they solve puzzles, find clues, and crack jokes t...
Recovering addict and comedian Mae tries to control the addictive behaviors and intense romanticism that permeate every facet of her life. Life is further complicated by a new and all-consuming relati...
Like a Boss
Two female friends with very different ideals decide to start a beauty company together. One is more practical, while the other wants to earn her fortune and live a lavish lifestyle.
4 Movies · 1 TV Series
Friends 25th: The One with the Anniversary
Your friends are still there for you, 25 years later! Celebrate the milestone anniversary of the beloved sitcom, coming to the big screen for the first time ever! Make sure to get to the theater early...
Fred Flarsky has a knack for getting into trouble and he is a gifted and free-spirited journalist. Charlotte Field is a smart, sophisticated and accomplished politician who is one of the most influent...
Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas
The quirky and heart-warming story of Jess, who goes on the greatest first date of her life, but inadvertently ghosts Ben, when she tragically dies in a car accident on the way home. Jess will need th...
On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic teenage superstars realize that they should have worked less and played more. The girls were determined to never fall short of their peers and ...
A group of friends living at the dawn of human civilization are the first to discover necessities like fire and the wheel. We'll watch as they stumble onto humanity's best, and worst, innovations. Art...
The Boss Baby
A story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.
After being dumped by the best man via text, Eloise was relieved of her maid of honor duties and decided to attend the wedding, only to find herself seated with five other people at the table.
4 Movies · 2 TV Series
Join or Die with Craig Ferguson
Featuring comedian Craig Ferguson debating provocative and timely topics in his unorthodox and iconoclastic manner. Each episode features a panel of guests which will include celebrities, comedians an...
The Good Place
Eleanor Shellstrop, an ordinary woman who, through an extraordinary string of events, enters the afterlife where she comes to realize that she hasn't been a very good person. With the help of her wise...
Must See TV: An All Star Tribute to James Burrows
The stars of America's greatest comedies - like Cheers, Friends, Taxi and The Big Bang Theory - get together for one night only to honor Director James Burrows. Watch Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute ...
El Americano: The Movie
Cuco, a mexican parrot, goes on an adventure from Mexico to Hollywood in order to get help from El Americano, a famous superhero from TV, against an evil band of birds trying to take control of his fa...
The Girl on the Train
Rachel Watson, devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees...
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
The home of Mac and Kelly Radner has a young child next to the sorority house. The radner's enlisted the help of their former nemeses from the frat to battle the rowdy sisters.
1 Movie · 2 TV Series
The Late Late Show with James Corden
Once Craig Ferguson retires, James Corden will be taking over The Late Late Show. The show is a late night talk show that interviews celebrities and has its own bits. And of course, it's all hosted by...
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
When a woman is rescued from a doomsday cult and lands in New York City, she must navigate a world she didn’t think even existed anymore.
Taylor Swift: The 1989 World Tour - Live
Taylor delivers the concert event of the year. Filmed at Sydney's ANZ Stadium in front of 76,000 fans, The 1989 World Tour - Live captures the excitement and energy of the hottest pop star in the worl...
1 Movie · 1 TV Series
Hollywood Game Night
Hollywood Game Night is an American television series currently airing on NBC. It premiered on July 11, 2013. The series follows two contestants who take part in a casual game night with celebrities....
Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot
Actors, crew and executives who worked at Warner Bros. Pictures recall their days at the studio.
1 TV Series
5 Movies · 2 TV Series
Jules Cobb is a mom in her forties facing the often humorous challenges, pitfalls and rewards of life's next chapter. Along for the journey is her son, her ex-husband, her husband/neighbor and her fri...
RuPaul's Drag Race
The world's most famous drag queen will be the host, mentor and judge for the ultimate in drag queen competitions. The top drag queens in the United States. In full glamazon drag, he will be crowned s...
The Other Woman
Emilia, a law-school graduate, falls in love with her married boss, Jack. After Emilia marries Jack, her happiness turns unexpectedly to grief following the death of her infant daughter. Devastated, E...
A high school social outcast and the popular girl bond through a shared love of music.
A coming-of-middle-age comedy that chronicles the unlikely friendship between failed author Richard Dunne and a Long Island teen who teaches him a thing or two about growing up, all under the disappro...
On the gritty streets of LA, the destinies of four people desperate for connection and redemption are about to collide.
Hotel for Dogs
Placed in a foster home that doesn't allow pets, 16-year-old Andi and her younger brother, Bruce, turn an abandoned hotel into a home for their dog. Soon other strays arrive, and the hotel becomes a h...
1 TV Series
Leslie is left with few options when her husband is sent back to war in the Middle East. A modest amount of help arrives in the form of his brother, Salman, who is less than prepared to care for the c...
P.S. I Love You
A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life.
1 Movie · 3 TV Series
The series focuses on an eccentric motley crew that is the Smith family and their three housemates: Father, husband, and breadwinner Stan Smith; his better half housewife, Francine Smith; their colleg...
Hopeless Pictures is an American animated comedy series starring the voice of Friends actress Lisa Kudrow, Seinfeld guest actor Bob Balaban, and produced and broadcast by the IFC. The cartoon follows ...
The series initially follows Valerie Cherish, a veteran sitcom actress who has been out of the spotlight for more than a decade, as she attempts in 2005 to return to the industry that made her famous....
An ensemble cast telling 10 stories with intertwining characters. One story is about a father and son who are dating the same woman . Another features a woman who long ago gave her baby up for adoptio...
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
Real Time with Bill Maher
Each week Bill Maher surrounds himself with a panel of guests which include politicians, actors, comedians, musicians and the like to discuss what's going on in the world.
A Jewish-American Princess is forced to take control of a hard-core hip-hop record label and tries to rein the one of the label's most controversial rappers.
On the afternoon of July 1, 1981, Los Angeles police responded to a distress call on Wonderland Avenue and discovered a grisly quadruple homicide. The police investigation that followed uncovered two ...
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
Each year, hopeful singers from all over the country audition to be part of one of the biggest shows in American television history. Who will become the new American Idol?
A veterinarian is called to examine a woman who thinks she is a dog.
The mafia's Paul Vitti is back in prison and will need some serious counseling when he gets out. Naturally, he returns to his analyst Dr. Ben Sobel for help and finds that Sobel needs some serious hel...
Dr. Dolittle 2
A group of beavers ask Dr. Dolittle to save their habitat from loggers. The only hope is to get the forest preserved because it's the home of a protected bear, but there's a problem: the bear's the on...
All Over the Guy
A contemporary romantic comedy exploring the unlikely pairing of two 20-somethings thrown together by their respective best friends in hopes of igniting their own romance.
Three sisters bond over their ambivalence towards the approaching death of their father, to whom none of them was particularly close.
Russ Richards is a TV weatherman and local celebrity on the verge of losing his shirt. Desperate to escape financial ruin, he schemes with Crystal the TV station's lotto ball girl to rig the state lot...
3 Movies · 1 TV Series
King of the Hill
The life of propane salesman Hank Hill, who lives with his overly confident substitute Spanish teacher wife, wannabe comedian son Bobby, and naive niece Luanne, is the subject of an animated series. H...
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
Two not-too-bright party girls reinvent themselves for their high school reunion. Armed with a borrowed Jaguar, new clothes and the story of their success as the inventors of Post-It notes, Romy and M...
The relationship between four female temps all working for the same credit company is threatened with the arrival of a new hire, who lands a permanent position one of the women was vying for.
Sink or Swim
Brian is a television writer-producer who has to script a 22-episode anthology, but lacks inspiration. He witnesses a strange romantic encounter between two figures on the balcony of hotel near his fl...
1 Movie · 1 TV Series
E! True Hollywood Story
Hollywood celebrities, movies, TV shows, and well-known public figures are the subject of a documentary series on E!. salacious re-tellings of Hollywood secrets, show-biz scandals, celebrity murders a...
After two failed marriages a science fiction writer decides that coming to terms with his mother will improve his chances for a successful relationship, so he moves in with her.
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
The misadventures of a group of friends as they navigate the pitfalls of work, life and love in Manhattan.
In the Heat of Passion II: Unfaithful
When a wheelchair-bound wife dies from an apparent accident, her husband and his adult stepdaughter turn out to be lovers, who conspired to murder her. However, tensions surface when complications ari...
When a petty criminal escapes from jail, she lays low by posing as a babysitter for two semmingly precious children. But when she decides to sell them for a quick profit, she gets more than she bargai...
2 Movies · 1 TV Series
Mad About You
Young, urban newlyweds Paul and Jamie Buchman try to sustain their marital bliss while sidestepping the hurdles of love in the '90s.
In the Heat of Passion
A struggling actor lands the part of a rapist in a TV reenactment for a "Crimebusters" segment. He soon meets a beautiful rich woman whom he begins an affair with, even though she is married. Her husb...
Dance with Death
A string of murders at a local strip joint give a reporter the chance to do undercover investigation. She gets a job as a stripper at the establishment, where she befriends some of the other women, wh...
1 TV Series
2 TV Series
The story about a blue-collar Boston bar run by a former sports star and the quirky and wonderful people who worked and drank there.
Dick Loudon and his wife Joanna decide to leave life in New York City and buy a little inn in Vermont. Dick is a how-to book writer, who eventually becomes a local TV celebrity as host of "Vermont Tod...
1 TV Series
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lisa_Kudrow", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.