Lisa Kudrow has been honored with five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as the spacey but lovable folk singer and massage therapist Phoebe–and she took home the statuette in 1998. She has also received a Screen Actors Guild Award (and two additional nominations) for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, an American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female Performer in a TV Series and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance on Friends.
In addition to her success on television, Kudrow has received rave reviews for her feature film roles. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award from the New York Film Critics and received an Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Chicago Film Critics Award nomination for her role in The Opposite of Sex. She also starred in the film Analyze This, for which she won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award.
Kudrow’s recent film credits include starring roles in Lucky Numbers, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Mother, Clockwatchers and Wonderland.
While Kudrow has always been passionate about acting, she never thought of it as a career until after college. While growing up, she performed and reenacted many of her favorite movie scenes for family and friends. She graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, with a bachelor of science degree in biology. She returned to Los Angeles, intending to pursue a career in research, but her passion to act and perform resurfaced when her brother’s good friend, actor/comedian Jon Lovitz, inspired her to pursue her dream. She began studying with improvisational instructor Cynthia Szigeti and acting teacher Ian Tucker. In 1989, Kudrow was accepted as a member of the famed Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings.
Kudrow maintains the distinction of having been in two outstanding television series simultaneously. Along with her role on Friends, she portrayed the ditzy waitress Ursula on the comedy Mad About You. Playing the twin sisters Ursula and Phoebe, Kudrow had the opportunity to concurrently appear in what were, at the time, two of the most popular series on television.
A native of California, Kudrow resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son.