Lisa Valerie Kudrow (born July 30, 1963 is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer. She gained worldwide recognition for her ten-season run as Phoebe Buffay on the television sitcom Friends, for which she received many accolades, including an Emmy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
She went on to produce, write and star in the 2005 HBO series The Comeback, which was revived nine years later and began airing its second season in November 2014 She also is currently starring in Web Therapy which is in its fourth season on Showtime. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class – Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program for the show in 2012. She is also one of the executive producers of the TLC reality program Who Do You Think You Are. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Program for the series in 2012.
Away from television, Kudrow has also appeared in many films, including Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997), The Opposite of Sex (1998), Analyze This (1999) and its sequel Analyze That (2002), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), Wonderland (2003), Happy Endings (2005), P.S. I Love You (2007), Bandslam (2008), Hotel for Dogs (2009), Easy A (2010), and Neighbors (2014).
Throughout her career she has received ten Emmy Award nominations, twelve Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Lisa Kudrow was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Nedra S. (née Stern), a travel agent, and Dr. Lee N. Kudrow (born 1933), 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, and Hungary; some of them lived in the village of Ilya, in the Minsk area. Her paternal great-grandmother, Mera Mordejovich, was murdered in Ilya during the Holocaust. Her paternal grandmother, Grunya Farberman, immigrated to Brooklyn, where her father grew up.
Kudrow attended Portola Middle School in Tarzana, California. In 1979, at the age of 16, she underwent rhinoplasty to reduce the size of her nose. She graduated from Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. Kudrow received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Vassar College, intending to follow in her father’s footsteps and research headaches. 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.
On May 27, 1995, Kudrow married Michel Stern, a French advertising executive They have one son, Julian Murray, who was born on May 7, 1998. Kudrow’s pregnancy was written into Friends (seasons 4 and 5), with her character Phoebe having triplets as a surrogate mother for her brother Frank and his wife Alice because they were not able to have children.