Lisa Kudrow Net Worth, Bio, Awards and Earnings

What is Lisa Kudrow’s net worth and salary?

Lisa Kudrow is an American actress who has a net worth of $130 million. With that kind of money, Lisa Kudrow could rescue every single smelly cat in the world. Lisa is best known for her role as Phoebe Buffay on the decade-long sitcom “Friends.” Her portrayal of Phoebe from 1994 to 2004 earned her critical acclaim, including a Primetime Emmy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and cemented her status as a key figure in TV comedy. Kudrow was also the co-creator, producer, and star of the HBO series “The Comeback,” which received critical acclaim for its satirical take on the television industry and for Kudrow’s performance as a fading TV star.

Films in which Lisa Kudrow has appeared have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. She has starred in the 1997 cult comedy “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and the 1998 romcom “The Opposite Sex.” For the latter she was nominated for several awards and won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her biggest film role in terms of international box office was as “Mother” in the 2017 animated movie “The Boss Baby,” which earned $530 million worldwide.

Lisa Kudrow Friends Salary History

For the first season of Friends, each cast member earned $22,500 per episode. That works out to $540,000 for the first season. Their salaries were boosted to $40,000 per episode in the second season. That works out to $960,000 for the second season. Ahead of the third season when their contracts were up, the cast banded together to negotiate as a group. They ended up with a deal that paid $75,000 per episode of season three ($1.875 million for the season), $85,000 for season 4 ($2.04 million), $100,000 for season 5 ($2.5 million) and $125,000 in season 6 ($3.125 million). Ahead of season 7 the cast negotiated for a massive raise. They each ended up earning $750,000 per episode in seasons 7 and 8 ($18 million per season). For seasons 9 and 10, each cast member earned $1 million per episode. That works out to $24 million for season 9 and $18 million for season 10. If you total it all up, each cast member of Friends earned around $90 million in base salary alone from the show before backend bonuses and on-going royalties.

Friends Royalties

As part of their 2000 contract negotiations, the cast was able to demand backend points on the show which would allow them to earn royalties off the show’s sale into syndication. Up to that point, the only other TV stars who had ownership stakes in shows were Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Cosby. Friends continues to generate north of $1 billion per year in syndication royalties and streaming deals. It has been reported that each cast member in some years can earn $10-20 million in royalties alone.

Early Life

Lisa Kudrow was born in Encino, California on July 30, 1963. The youngest of three children in an upper middle class Jewish family, Kudrow initially believed she might follow in the footsteps of her father, a doctor and headache specialist. She used her biology degree earned from Vassar College to work for eight years in her father’s practice before she got her acting break.

Career Before Friends

Kudrow belonged to improv and comedy troupes before landing small roles on “Cheers” and “Bob.” She also had a recurring role as Ursula Buffay, a kooky waitress, on “Mad About You,” a character that would later become the twin sister of her iconic “Friends” role, Phoebe Buffay. Additionally, Kudrow featured in the pilot of the sitcom “Frasier,” but was replaced before the show aired.

Interestingly, Lisa’s portrayal of Phoeby Buffay actually began on a different sitcom. On the 1990s Ursula Buffay, an oddball waitress on the 1990s NBC sitcom Mad About You led to her eventual role as the naïve, aloof massage therapist Phoebe Buffay. Although Ursula and Phoebe were cast in two different NBC shows, they were twins in both storylines.


Lisa Kudrow’s portrayal of Phoebe Buffay on the legendary sitcom “Friends” remains one of her most iconic and enduring roles. From 1994 to 2004, across the show’s ten seasons, Kudrow’s character stood out with her quirky, whimsical personality and offbeat sense of humor. As Phoebe, Kudrow delivered a performance that was both hilarious and heartwarming, showcasing her adeptness at both physical comedy and nuanced emotional expression. Her character’s eccentricities, including her unique songwriting with hits like “Smelly Cat,” endeared her to audiences worldwide and became a staple of the show’s comedic landscape.

Kudrow’s work on “Friends” earned her critical acclaim, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1998 and multiple additional nominations. Phoebe’s character development over the series, from her quirky antics to more profound story arcs involving her family and romantic relationships, highlighted Kudrow’s range as an actress.

Lisa Kudrow Net Worth, Bio, Awards and Earnings

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Personal Life

Lisa Kudrow maintains a relatively private personal life. She married French advertising executive Michel Stern in 1995, and the couple has one son, Julian Murray Stern. Born in 1998, Julian’s birth coincided with the fourth season of “Friends,” and Kudrow’s pregnancy was written into the show. Known for being down-to-earth and keeping out of the Hollywood limelight, Kudrow is an advocate for education and has been involved in various charitable activities.

Real Estate

Lisa Kudrow owns several mansions around the world, most-notably in the Los Angeles area. In 1996, she spent $1.9 million to buy a 6,400-square-foot home in Beverly Hills. In 2001, she spent $2.4 million to buy a second Beverly Hills home, not far from Rodeo drive. In April 2017, she sold a penthouse in Park City, Utah, for $3.6 million. It’s unclear how much she spent on the home.

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