Real name: Lisa Marie Diane Kudrow
Birthdate: July 30, 1963
Partner: Michel Stern
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Lisa Marie Diane Kudrow (born July 30, 1963) is an Emmy Award- and SAG-winning American actress best known for her role as Phoebe Buffay in the hugely popular sitcom Friends.
Kudrow originally intended to follow in her father's footsteps - researching headaches. However, she was 'discovered' and began her career as an actress. Kudrow began her comedic career as a member of The Groundlings, joining the ranks of those such as Will Ferrell and Janeane Garofalo. Briefly, Lisa 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, a group directed by Stan Wells that currently plays at the Empty Stage Comedy Theatre. She played a role in an episode of Cheers opposite Woody Boyd. She tried out for Saturday Night Live in 1990, but the show chose Julia Sweeney instead. She had a recurring role in Bob, Bob Newhart's third CBS outing, but her character was eliminated at the end of the first season. She was hired to play the role of Roz in Frasier, but the part was re-cast during the filming of the pilot episode because producers didn't think she was right for the part. However, one of the people working on Frasier also worked on Friends and suggested Lisa audition for the show. Her first major television role was Ursula Buffay, the eccentric waitress on Mad About You (this character would later appear in 'Friends' as Phoebe's twin sister.
Kudrow received a salary of one million dollars per episode for the last two seasons of Friends. According to the Guinness World Book of Records (2005), Kudrow (along with her female co-stars) became the highest paid TV actress of all time with her $1 million-per-episode paycheck for the tenth season of Friends.
Her film credits include comedic roles in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Hanging Up, Marci X, Analyze This and its sequel Analyze That.
After 'Friends', Kudrow portrayed Valerie Cherish, the main character on the HBO original series The Comeback. The series premiered on HBO on June 5, 2005. She also served as co-creator, writer, and executive producer. The show, about a has-been sitcom star trying for a comeback, was not renewed for a second season. Kudrow received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Comeback, making her the first Friends cast member to receive a major award nomination since Friends ended.
Golden Globe Awards
- 1996 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, "Friends" (Nominated)
Screen Actors Guild Awards
- 1996 - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, "Friends" - (Nominated)
- 1999 - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, "Friends" - (Nominated)
- 2000 - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, "Friends" - (Won)
- 2004 - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, "Friends" - (Nominated)