By portraying the bohemian guitarist Phoebe Buffay in Friends, Lisa Kudrow became one of the most beloved actresses on television. When the show ended, she continued acting on other TV programs, web series, and movies. As of 2022, Lisa Kudrow has a net worth of $90 million. This makes her the fifth richest cast member on Friends.
Lisa Valerie Kudrow was born on July 30, 1963, in Encino, Los Angeles. Her father, Lee, works as a physician, while her mother, Nedra, is a travel agent. She grew up with three siblings: David, Derick, and Helene.
She went to Portola Middle School and graduated from Taft High School. Intending to follow in the footsteps of her father, young Lisa studied biology at Vassar College.
Acting was never a part of her initial career plans. After getting her bachelor’s degree, she was employed by her dad’s research team, working there for eight years.
Kudrow got her first acting gig with “The Groundlings,” a sketch and improv comedy school. As a comic, she joined several comedic groups, which helped her get minor acting parts in sitcoms that aired in the 1980s and 1990s.
Her first regular role on television was on NBC’s sitcom “Mad About You” as the oddball waitress Ursula Buffay. Ursula has a twin sister named Phoebe, who later became a main character in Friends.
When the series started airing in 1994, Lisa reprised her role as Ursula. However, she was most known as Phoebe, who was famous among women for not being afraid to speak her mind. In season four, Phoebe’s pregnancy was written into the season’s storyline as Lisa was pregnant in real life.
While Friends was still shooting, Lisa Kudrow featured in comedy movies, including Marci X, Dr. Dolittle 2, and Analyze This. She also appeared in The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, and King of the Hill.
When her main show ended in 2004, she portrayed the lead character in the HBO comedy-drama “The Comeback.” In 2008, she started an online series titled “Web Therapy” which ran for four seasons.
It was given a TV version on the Showtime network in 2011. She also worked on several other media projects, such as Easy A, BoJack Horseman, Cougar Town, and Scandal.
Net Worth and Earnings
Friends is undeniably Lisa’s biggest source of wealth. Her per-episode salary in the first season was $22,500. It increased to $40,000 in season two, $75,000 in season three, $85,000 in season four, $100,000 for season five, and $125,000 in season six.
In seasons seven and eight, she was paid $750,000 per episode. It was raised to $1 million in seasons nine and ten. Although the show has ended, it’s still airing on Netflix and many TV networks. This gives Lisa Kudrow royalty fees, which is a big factor in her $90 million fortune.
In 1995, Kudrow became the wife of Michael Stern. The couple owns multiple mansions around the world, but it is reported that they reside in a property located in Los Angeles.
When Lisa got pregnant with Michael’s baby, Julian, Phoebe Buffay became a surrogate mother in Friends. While working on the series, Lisa revealed that she suffered from body dysmorphic disorder.