Lisa Kudrow reached dizzying heights of fame after starring as funny-girl Phoebe in the hit TV show Friends. Although that was her first and most notable role, this queen has some serious acting chops and comedic skills, going on to star in numerous TV and movie roles.
How did she get started?
When she first got famous in the mainstream, she was playing Phoebe Buffay, writer of the “Smelly Cat” song, masseuse, and guitarist. Some of you might remember her twin sister Ursula, who went out with Joey a few times. In real life, this actress earned millions playing this role, but there are some things you might not know about the star growing up.
A nose job that changed her life
Lisa Kudrow has always spoken out about dealing with body image issues (which we’ll discuss later) but it all started with insecurities about her nose. When she was younger, she worried it was too big, and ended up getting a nose job when she was 16. To this day, she says this move gave her the confidence to pursue her career as an actress, and it positively affected her life.
Working with dad before acting
Lisa Kudrow has a bachelor’s degree in biology, and her father was a physician. Little do people know, she actually worked for him and was credited in one of his studies as one of the researchers. In the meantime, she started acting, but still remained on his staff for 8 years. She’s more Ross Geller than Ross himself, it turns out!
She almost didn’t get cast
In 1993, Lisa Kudrow was cast in Frasier, but got fired after the pilot episode. Instead, they went with Peri Gilpin. If she hadn’t gotten laid off from this gig, she wouldn’t have become the famous Phoebe Buffay, which she’s so famous for today.
Dealing with body image on the show
Working next to young, size zero waifs like Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox led Lisa Kudrow to deal with body issues, and the actress has even been quoted as saying she felts like a ”mountain of a woman” next to her co-stars. It even led to her losing an excessive amount of weight, which made her feel sick all the time.
Eventually, she came to terms with her height and the fact that she was older than Cox and Aniston. She eventually came to realize that her wisdom was a good thing that gave her seniority, not something to feel insecure about.
She doesn’t watch her work
Lisa Kudrow has admitted that she doesn’t watch Friends reruns for fear that she might not like what she sees. We’re not sure if she means physically or is talking about her acting skills, but Lisa, if you’re out there, you were our favorite actress on the show! She’s also revealed that her son isn’t interested in Friends and hasn’t watched the show. Blasphemy!
A physical transformation
In 1994, Kudrow portrayed Phoebe with those famous long, blond locks. Since then, she’s rocked a bob, curls, and waves, but that straight, cascading look is how we’ve all come to recognize her. But back in the 80s when she was in her youth and all the way up to her 20s, this babe rocked short brown hair and still looked like a total smoke show!
In recent times, she’s rocked shorter, layered hair styles as a modern power move, helping her age elegantly and timelessly. Currently 57 years old, we think that Kudrow looks better than ever.
Where is she now?
Nowadays, Kudrow is a producer, actor, and writer. Since Friends she got roles in films like Neighbors, P.S. I Love You, and The Girl on the Train. She even featured as Congresswoman Josephine Marcus on the ABC show Scandal, and played a hilarious Lori-Anne Schmidt on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Showtime’s Web Therapy was a big moment for Kudrow, who created the series and was nominated for an Emmy. Fun fact: in this series, Kudrow and her directors only wrote the outlines — all the dialogue was improvised! Recently, she’s starred in the Netflix show Space Force with Steve Carell.
A future as a producer
She might be known as an actress, but Lisa Kudrow is an award-nominee producer. It’s a little-known fact that she is executive producer for Who Do You Think You Are? A show that analyzes the family tree of people. It earned six Emmy nominations and one win. She even has her own production company, called Is or Isn’t Entertainment.