Full Name: Lisa Marie Diane Kudrow
Birth Date: July 30, 1963
Birth Place: Encino, California, USA
Height: 5' 9½"
Quote: Q:What's the hardest part of being Lisa Kudrow? A: "Answering questions about being Lisa Kudrow."
Lisa Kudrow didn't have to become an actress. With a degree in biology from Vassar College, she could have gone to work for her father, one of the foremost doctors on migraine headaches, or her older brother, a neurologist. For her, acting was just something she did for fun during junior high school. This all changed in 1985 when Jon Lovitz, one of her brother's friends, joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. Suddenly, being a professional actress wasn’t some mystical role that other people had handed down to them from the heavens. It was now an achievable thing.
Kudrow started along this path by auditioning for The Groundlings, Jon Lovitz's former improv troupe. They turned her down, but referred her to Cynthia Szigeti, a noted improvisation teacher. It was in these classes that she met Conan O'Brien, who she remained friends with for several years.
By 1990, Kudrow had learnt enough to be accepted into The Groundlings. There, she joined a cast that included Phil Hartman and Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman). This led to small roles in sitcoms such as Cheers, Newhart, and Coach, as well as bit parts in movies. In 1992, she landed a recurring role on Mad About You as the waitress Ursula Buffay.
The next year, she received what could have been her big break. She was cast as Roz Doyle in Frasier, Kelsey Grammar's new show. Unfortunately, Kudrow, now 30, found herself intimidated by Grammar, who was playing the same character that he had been playing for 11 years in Cheers. She was fired during the filming of the pilot and replaced by Peri Gilpin. That same week, Conan O'Brien, with whom Kudrow was now more than friends, was asked to replace David Letterman on NBC's late-night talkshow. Although he was reluctant to take the job, Kudrow convinced him to go ahead with it, even though this meant him moving to New York, effectively ending their relationship.
NBC decided to give Kudrow another chance the following year. This time, she was cast as new-age ditzy Phoebe Buffay in Friends. The show was a huge success and was used as the lead-in for NBC's popular Thursday night line-up. She was nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy three times, eventually winning in 1998. In an interesting twist, her character from Mad About You, Ursula, was introduced into the show as Phoebe's identical twin sister.
Her new-found stardom led to more small parts in the movies The Crazysitter (1995), Mother (1996), and Hacks (1997), before she landed her first starring role in Romy And Michele's High School Reunion. Co-starring Mira Sorvino, the movie told the hilarious tale of two women pretending to be more successful than they really are for their high-school reunion. The critics enjoyed the movie in spite of themselves, and it went on to moderate success.
Her next movie, Clockwatchers, was released with much anticipation at the 1997 Sundance Festival. Kudrow, Toni Collette, Parker Posey, and Alanna Ubach co-starred as four office temps starting work for a large, faceless corporation. Unfortunately, the movie captured too much of the tediousness and monotony of office work, resulting in very few people actually showing up to watch the movie. Notable was an attempt by Kudrow to move away from her 'dumb blonde' image.
She continued to move further away from that image with The Opposite of Sex. A twisted tale that sliced through the barriers of political correctness, Opposite went over the heads of most of the audiences, resulting in limited box office receipts, despite critical praise.
Kudrow then made two movies: Hanging Up and Analyze This. Hanging Up, which also stars Dianne Keaton and Meg Ryan, tells the tale of three sisters bonding over the approaching death of their father. Analyze This stars Robert DeNiro as a powerful mobster and Billy Crystal as his psychiatrist.
Kudrow now lives with her husband, French advertising executive Michel Stern, whom she married on May 27th, 1995. When she's not acting in a movie or TV, she can be seen performing with the Transformers. As well, she still teaches with The Groundlings. Some of her time is also devoted to the raising of her son, Julian Murray Stern, who was born May 7th, 1998. Hopefully, these all go as well as her other projects have gone.
Lisa Kudrow Filmography
The Deal (2007) .... Diedre Hearn
The Women (2007)
P.S., I Love You (2008) .... Denise Hennessey
Kabluey (2007) .... Leslie
"American Dad!" .... The Ghost of Christmas Past (1 episode, 2006)
- The Best Christmas Story Never (2006) TV Episode (voice) .... The Ghost of Christmas Past
"The Comeback" .... Valerie Cherish (13 episodes, 2005)
"Father of the Pride" .... Foo-Lin (2 episodes, 2004-2005)
- The Siegfried and Roy Fantasy Experience Movie (2005) TV Episode (voice) .... Foo-Lin
- What's Black and White and Depressed All Over? (2004) TV Episode (voice) .... Foo-Lin
Happy Endings (2005) .... Miriam 'Mamie' Toll
"Hopeless Pictures" (2005) TV Series (voice) .... Sandy
Wonderland (2003) .... Sharon Holmes
Marci X (2003) .... Marci Feld
Analyze That (2002) .... Laura Sobel
Bark! (2002) .... Dr. Darla Portnoy
Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001) (voice) .... Ava
... aka DR.2 (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka DR2 (USA: promotional abbreviation)
All Over the Guy (2001) .... Marie
"King of the Hill"
- The Exterminator (2001) TV Episode (voice) .... Marjorie Pittman
- The Baby's Here! (2001) TV Episode .... Doctor
Lucky Numbers (2000) .... Crystal
... aka Bon numéro, Le (France)
Hanging Up (2000) .... Maddy Mozell
... aka Aufgelegt! (Germany)
Analyze This (1999) .... Laura MacNamara Sobel
"Hercules" (voice) .... Aphrodite
... aka Disney's Hercules (USA: complete title)
- Hercules and the Gorgon (1999) TV Episode (voice) .... Aphrodite
- Hercules and the Big Kiss (????) TV Episode (voice) .... Aphrodite
- Lard of the Dance (1998) TV Episode (voice) .... Alex Whitney
The Opposite of Sex (1998) .... Lucia DeLury
Hacks (1997) .... Reading Woman
... aka Sink or Swim (USA: video title)
... aka The Big Twist (USA)
Clockwatchers (1997) .... Paula
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) .... Michele Weinberger
"Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist"
- Reunion (1997) TV Episode (voice) .... Lisa
"Saturday Night Live"
... aka SNL
... aka SNL 25 (USA: new title)
- Episode 22.2 (1996) TV Episode .... Host
Mother (1996) .... Linda
"Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man"
- The One with Lisa Kudrow in a Small Role (1996) TV Episode (voice) .... Female Beta Maxians
"Hope & Gloria"
- A New York Story (1996) TV Episode .... Phoebe Buffay
The Crazysitter (1995) .... Adrian Wexler-Jones
... aka Two Much Trouble
"Friends" (1994 - 2004) .... Phoebe Buffay
In the Heat of Passion II: Unfaithful (1994) .... Teller
... aka Behind Closed Doors
... aka Unfaithful
- Like Father, Like Daughter (1994) TV Episode .... Lauren
- About Face (1993) TV Episode .... Nurse Alice
"Bob" .... Kathy Fleisher
- The Entertainer (1993) TV Episode .... Kathy Fleisher
- Bob and Kaye and Jerry and Patty (1993) TV Episode .... Kathy Fleisher
- My Dinner with Brad Schimmel (1993) TV Episode .... Amy
"Room for Two"
- Not Quite... Room for Two (1992) TV Episode .... Woman in Black
In the Heat of Passion (1992)
... aka Heat of Passion (USA)
"Mad About You" (1992 - 1999) TV Series .... Ursula Buffay
Murder in High Places (1991) (TV)
The Unborn (1991) .... Louisa
Dance with Death (1991) .... Millie
"Life Goes On"
- Becca and the Band (1990) TV Episode .... Stella
- The Last Newhart (1990) TV Episode .... Sada
To the Moon, Alice (1990) (TV) .... Friend of Perky Girl
- Two Girls for Every Boyd (1989) TV Episode .... Emily
L.A. on $5 a Day (1989) .... Charmer
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