Lisa Kudrow plays the weird and wonderful masseuse and songstress, Phoebe Buffay in Friends. Her plentiful quirks and songs about stinky animals are an inspiration to eccentrics everywhere. ...
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Lisa Kudrow plays the weird and wonderful masseuse and songstress, Phoebe Buffay in Friends. Her plentiful quirks and songs about stinky animals are an inspiration to eccentrics everywhere.
Lisa was born in California, the daughter of a travel agent, and a headache specialist. She was raised in an upper-middle class Jewish family with an older brother and sister.
She was super smart at school and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology. More importantly though, it was around this time that Lisa took guitar lessons: a skill which would prove so crucial to her in years to come. She was also a pool shark.
Kudrow originally followed in her father's footsteps - researching headaches and stuff, but after becoming noticed for her on-stage fabulousness, she thusly began a career as an actress instead.
Her break as a comedy actress came as a member of The Groundlings, joining such funny folk as Will Ferrell and Janeane Garofalo. She also briefly teamed up with Conan O’Brien and director Tim Hillman in the short-lived improv troupe Unexpected Company.
Then TV opportunities came a-knocking: she landed a role in an episode of Cheers and tried out for Saturday Night Live but lost out to Julia Sweeney. She bagged a recurring role in the CBS show, Bob, but her character was eliminated at the end of the first season.
Lisa’s first major TV role was Ursula Buffay (yes, Buffay. And no, it’s not a coincidence! It’ll make sense in a second…) the eccentric waitress on Mad About You - a character that would later appear in Friends' as Phoebe's twin sister (told you)!
Lisa was also briefly hired to play Roz in Comedy Central’s Frasier, but the part was re-cast during the filming of the pilot after producers decided she wasn’t quite right.
Luckily, one of the people working on Frasier was also working on Friends and suggested she should audition for the show. She did, she was amazing and, well, you know the rest!
Her role as Phoebe Buffay won Lisa the 1998 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and countless other gongs and nominations. In fact, Lisa is the most Emmy-nominated cast member of the show, with six nods in total.
Lisa has done her fair share of movies too. Her film credits include Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Hanging Up, Marci X, Analyze This, Analyze That, P.S I Love You, The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings.
Since Friends, Kudrow has appeared in a number of big TV shows including The Comeback, Cougar Town (with Courteney Cox) and Web Therapy. She’s also provided voiceovers for King of the Hill, Hercules, American Dad and The Simpsons.
Random fact: Lisa was terrified of the duck that guest-starred in Season 3 of Friends. In other news, she is a vegetarian.
For more randomness, see every episode of Friends (and watch Phoebe’s bits).