Lisa Kudrow is an American actress known for Phoebe Buffay on Friends’ television sitcom (1994–2004). She was also successful in film and theatre. She graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and firm pre-medicine/pre-law major; however, after taking an acting class at the behest of her cousin, Whoopi Goldberg, she found acting to be a rewarding career choice. After graduating from Vassar College in 1987, Kudrow studied at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego before moving to Hollywood. She made her first screen appearance as ‘Dr. Vivian Bearing’ in 1991’s Dying Young alongside Julia Roberts. Since then, she has appeared in successful films, such as The Opposite of Sex (1998), Analyze This (1999) and its sequel Analyze That (2002), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), and Wonderland (2003). Her performance in the made-for-television film Right to Die earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special.
She is best known for playing Phoebe Buffay on the popular television sitcom Friends, a huge success worldwide. She has also appeared in other widely praised television series such as Huff, Web Therapy, the animated shows BoJack Horseman, The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, and Aziz Ansari’s Master None.
Kudrow also performed on stage. In 2004, she made her Broadway debut in a revival of The House of Blue Leaves. Her performance was awarded the Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and a female actor’s Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance. In 2020 she played “Hypatia of Alexandria” in episode 12 of season 2 of “The Good Place.”
As expected from such an experienced actress, Kudrow has also appeared in many award-winning series and movies. She has been nominated and won several over the years.
To know more about your favorite actress, here are the 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Lisa Kudrow:
# 1 – She struggled with her weight as a child and teenager
Lisa Kudrow was overweight as a child and teenager, which made her self-conscious about her appearance, which stayed with her into adulthood. In 1993 she had surgery to reduce the size of her chin after it caused discomfort when she ate.
# 2 – She has two cats named Bob and Stella (who starred in an episode of Friends)
After becoming cat owners in the 1990s, Lisa and her then-boyfriend David Arquette decided to tattoo their names on their arms so that nobody else could own them. This allowed him to adopt one of the cats after they split up legally, and he took custody of it, while Lisa kept custody of the other due to being its biological owner. The cat appeared on an episode of Friends under the title ‘Fat Cat.’
# 3 – She helped write an episode of Mad About You with Paul Reiser
After guest-starring in two sitcom episodes, Lisa Kudrow was offered a part as a regular cast member but turned it down to focus on her role in Friends. However, she later went back to work with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt on their later series Mad About You, where she co-wrote an episode entitled ‘The Apartment,’ which aired four years after being written.
# 4 – In addition to being a talented actress, Kudrow is also a Hollywood producer and writer
Kudrow co-created an HBO series called Web Therapy which stars herself as a therapist who will see patients via webcam. The show received positive criticism from critics and even earned her a third Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series- Comedy or Musical.
# 5 – She was turned down for a role in Die Hard 4 because she didn’t want to reveal her age
In 2013 Kudrow revealed that she had been rejected from an unspecified role in a Die Hard movie due to not wanting to say how old she was – presumably either Die Hard 4 or Live Free or Die Hard, which featured female roles written for someone around 40 years of age. Later that year, she did get a part in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, although that film received mixed reviews, which could also be why she wasn’t cast in the Die Hard movie.
# 6 – She was inspired to become an actress by her sister (who never acted again after appearing in one TV show)
Kudrow’s first major role came as Phoebe Buffay on Friends, which she worked on for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004. During this time, she met Lisa Kudrow, who became a big inspiration for her to follow into acting due to how much it seemed to mean to her. However, she abandoned acting after appearing in one episode of Mad About You alongside Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt, which only aired once before being canceled. After Friends ended, Kudrow returned to work with Reiser and Hunt on their next The Comeback, playing Valerie Cherish, a character directly inspired by Kudrow’s sister.
# 7 – She changed her last name from ‘Hoffman’ to avoid being confused with another actress with the same first name
When Kudrow began acting under her maiden last name, she soon found that people would often assume she was related to Dustin Hoffman (a mistake that still happens today). As such, she decided to change it to avoid any potential confusion or annoyance that this might cause. Due to changing it later in life, there is already an actress named Lisa Hoffman working today, but this hasn’t caused any problems as neither has ever been featured on-screen at the same time (except for one episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Kudrow played a fictionalized version of herself and Hoffman played a character who had slept with Kudrow’s on-screen husband).
# 8 – She is one of only two actors to appear in every episode of Friends (the other being David Schwimmer)
Kudrow worked as a regular cast member on Friends for ten years between 1994 and 2004 before returning for the finale episode in 2004; she appeared more than any other actor, although many more had recurring roles throughout the series. The other actor in every episode was David Schwimmer, marking them as the most intense workers behind the scenes of what is popularly regarded as one of the best sitcoms ever made.
# 9 – Her first album went double platinum without any airplay or advertising
In 2003 Kudrow recorded an album entitled ‘The Comeback,’ which was released under the brand name of ‘Harpo.’ Despite receiving no promotion and not releasing any official singles. The album went on to go platinum in both America and Canada, becoming one of the best-selling debut albums by a celebrity in history. A second album – ‘Is It Low’ – was planned but later abandoned after poor sales of her first effort.
# 10 – For a short time in her 20s, Lisa lived with actor Matthew Perry.
They both appeared on the sitcom Friends, and she was reportedly attracted to Matthew Perry while they were working together. However, he didn’t feel the same way about her and turned down all of her advances.
If you’re a fan of The Friends or know her as the one who played Phoebe on the show, this article will fill in some gaps for you. Lisa Kudrow is an actress and producer with many television credits to her name. She’s also involved in several charity organizations that improve mental health and help others live better lives.