Birthplace: Encino, California
Television and film actress best known for her Emmy-winning role as New Age-y massage therapist Phoebe Buffay on NBC's hit Friends (1994–2004). A Vassar graduate with a degree in biology, Kudrow never planned to become an actress, but when Jon Lovitz (of Saturday Night Live fame), a family friend, encouraged her to try out for an L.A. comedy group, she made the switch to the acting life. After a few bit appearances on TV shows such as Cheers and Newhart she secured a recurring role on NBC's Mad About You in 1993 as Ursula the waitress. Her big break came when she was chosen to play Phoebe for the sitcom Friends, which premiered in 1994. Feature film credits include Mother (1996), Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (1997), Analyze This (1999) and its sequel Analyze That (2002) and Hanging Up (2000). Her most recent project was the HBO series Comeback (2005).