Lisa Kudrow

Though she made her name portraying slightly ditsy, even flaky characters on the small screen, actress Lisa Kudrow also proved to be an adept performer in both independent and studio films. After several years as a guest star on several popular shows, Kudrow skyrocketed to superstardom alongside her five cast mates on the immensely successful sitcom "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004). For ten seasons, fans of the show delighted in Kudrow's deft portrayal of the naïve, but strangely wise Phoebe Buffay, a masseuse and struggling folk singer who seemingly once lived an impossibly storied life, complete with being homeless throughout her entire adolescence. But unlike her five co-stars, Kudrow actively sought to subvert the image she created onscreen by tackling a diverse range of characters in features, including an excellent performance as a sexually repressed spinster in "The Opposite of Sex" (1998), though she sometimes catered to that ditzy image, as she did in the popular comedy, "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" (1997). Nonetheless, Kudrow managed to break away from her Phoebe persona following the show's exit in 2004, though the critically-acclaimed series "The Comeback" (HBO, 2005) was more of a cult phenomenon than her previous mainstream success. However, Kudrow began to thrive on the margins: while appearing in popular films like "Easy A" (2010) "Neighors" (2014) and its sequel "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" (2016) and the thriller "The Girl on the Train" (2016), Kudrow created and starred in improvised comedy webseries, "Web Therapy" (2008-14). A modified TV version ran on Showtime from 2011 to 2015, giving the star new popularity and once again confirming the diversity of her talent.