Lisa Kudrow is an American actress best known for her role as Phoebe Buffay in the television sitcom Friends, credited in 238 episodes from 1994-2004.
Kudrow was born in Encino, California. Her father, Lee, was a physician and her mother, Nedra, was a travel agent.
Lisa was raised in Tarzana and played varsity-level tennis in high school and college, and is a pool shark who has mastered some of the more difficult trick shots.
She graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology. At first, she wanted to pursue a career in research, so she returned to Los Angeles to begin working with her father.
However, Lisa got inspired to perform by one of her brother's friends, comedian Jon Lovitz, and so the tall (5' 8") blond-haired, green-eyed beauty entered show biz.
Lisa auditioned for the improv theatre group, The Groundlings, based in Los Angeles. Cynthia Szigeti, a well-known improv teacher, took Lisa under her wing. In that class, Lisa became a friend of Conan O'Brien. Graduating with honours in 1989, Lisa became a full-fledged member of The Groundlings.
Breaking into TV, she got a recurring role as Ursula, the ditsy waitress on Mad About You. This led to her starring role on Friends.
In the debut season (1994-95) of Friends, Lisa earned an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series; in 1998, she won that award for her role as Phoebe, the ditsy but lovable folk singer.
Lisa has also been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and American Comedy Awards for her performances.
Lisa made the transition to the big screen with a lot of success. In 1997, she starred opposite Oscar winner Mira Sorvino in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. She garnered more praise for her film work when she got the New York Film Critics Award for her starring role in The Opposite of Sex, in 1998.
Lisa married Michel Stern, an advertising executive, on May 27, 1995. On May 7, 1998, they had a son, Julian Murray. They live in Los Angeles.
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 of unspecified credentials Fiona Wallice.
In July 2011, a reformatted, half-hour version of the show premiered on Showtime.