Lisa Edelstein

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Lisa Edelstein
Lisa Edelstein crop.jpg
Edelstein at the Fox House Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2007, May 2007
Born(1966-05-21) May 21, 1966 (age 47)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active1990–present
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Lisa Edelstein
Lisa Edelstein crop.jpg
Edelstein at the Fox House Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2007, May 2007
Born(1966-05-21) May 21, 1966 (age 47)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active1990–present

Lisa Edelstein (/ˈlsə ˈɛdəlstn/; born May 21, 1966)[1][2] is an American actress and playwright best known for playing Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the medical drama series House M.D..

Early life and education[edit]

Edelstein was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Bonnie and Alvin Edelstein. Her father is a pediatrician at Chilton Memorial Hospital[3] (since retired). Her family is Jewish.[4] The youngest of three children, she was raised in Wayne, New Jersey,[5] and attended Wayne Valley High School, graduating in 1984.[6][dead link]

At 16, Edelstein was a cheerleader for Donald Trump's New Jersey Generals. Edelstein soon encountered trouble when she organized a protest, because the team was forcing the cheerleaders to go and stand in bars while wearing their uniforms. Edelstein said she felt this was "akin to prostitution" and started a cheerleader strike.[7]

She moved to New York City at the age of eighteen to study theatre at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[8] While living in New York, she became involved in the club scene (known there only as "Lisa E.") and caused enough of a stir in the community to be dubbed New York City's "Queen of Downtown" by writer and fellow celebutante James St. James, who briefly refers to Edelstein in his 1999 book Disco Bloodbath.[9]



After being dubbed a "celebutante" by The New York Times magazine during her club kid days[5] Edelstein used her new-found celebrity to write, compose, and star in an original musical called Positive Me in response to the growing AIDS crisis of the 1980s.[5][10] After hosting Awake on the Wild Side for MTV in 1990,[11] she spent the early 1990s appearing in guest roles on several popular comedies, including Mad About You, Wings, and The Larry Sanders Show. On Sports Night, she played a sports reporter who claimed to be a former lover of Josh Charles's character whom he did not remember. On Seinfeld, she played George Costanza's frustrated girlfriend, the "Risotto Girl" (the only girlfriend of George's to appear in multiple episodes other than Susan Ross).

Edelstein picketed during the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike, which halted the production of House.

Bigger roles in TV dramas soon followed, among them the lesbian sister on ABC's Relativity (1996); a high-priced call girl turned Rob Lowe's date on The West Wing (1999); an assigned male at birth (AMAB) transgender woman on Ally McBeal (2000); and Ben Covington's (Scott Speedman) girlfriend on Felicity (2001). She also continued to land guest star spots on such shows as ER, Frasier, Just Shoot Me!, Without a Trace, and Judging Amy.

She has lent her voice to several animated programs including King of the Hill, American Dad!, Superman: The Animated Series (as Mercy Graves, Lex Luthor's bodyguard, a role she later reprised in several episodes of Justice League), Legend of Korra (as Kya, Tenzin's sister) and the video game adaptation of Blade Runner (1997). Edelstein's film credits include small parts and cameos in What Women Want, Keeping the Faith, As Good as It Gets, and Daddy Day Care.

From 2004 to 2011, she played Dr. Lisa Cuddy, the Dean of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital and frequent character foil and ex-girlfriend to title character Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) on Fox's TV series House In May 2011, Edelstein announced that she would not return for the eighth and final season of House.[12]

Edelstein starred in the Lifetime network movie Special Delivery with Brenda Song.[13] In June 2011, it was revealed that she would join the cast of The Good Wife for a "juicy" multi-episode arc in the third season. She played Celeste Serano, an attorney and one of Will Gardner's (Josh Charles) old flames, in an echo of the relationship between their Sports Night characters.[14]

On July 10, 2013, TVLine announced that Edelstein will join the sixth season of the ABC series Castle for a multi-episode arc.[15]

Other appearances[edit]

Edelstein appeared on the September 2010 cover of H magazine.[16] She posed naked for PETA in an ad promoting vegetarianism, a diet she has followed for most of her life.[17]



1991The DoorsMakeup artistcameo
1997As Good as It GetsWoman at tablecameo
1998Susan's PlanPenny Myers
1998L.A. Without a MapSandra
199930 DaysDanielle
2000Keeping the FaithAli Decker
2000What Women WantDina
2003Daddy Day CareCrispin's mother
2005Say UncleSarah Faber
2013She Loves Me NotAmy[18]


1992L.A. LawEpisode: "My Friend Flicker"
1992Mad About YouLynne StoddardEpisode: "Out of the Past"
1993Good AdviceRobinEpisode: "The Kiss"
1993SeinfeldKaren2 episodes
1993WingsMarsha PeeblesEpisode: "Labor Pains"
1994The Larry Sanders ShowDiane FrenchEpisode: "The Mr. Sharon Stone Show"
1994Wild OatsEpisode: "Pilot"
1995–1997Almost PerfectPatty Karp9 episodes
1995PartnersCindy WolfeEpisode: "Who's Afraid of Ron and Cindy Wolfe?"
1996–1997RelativityRhonda Roth17 episodes
1995Superman: The Animated Series (Voice)Mercy Graves8 episodes
1996Ned & StaceyJanineEpisode: "Friends and Lovers"
1997ERAggi OrtonEpisode: "Ambush"
1998Just Shoot Me!Erin SimonsEpisode: "Sewer!"
1998FrasierCaitlinEpisode: "Frasier Gotta Have It"
1998IndiscreetBeth SussmanTV movie
1999Sports NightBobbi Bernstein3 episodes
1999–2000The West WingLaurie "Brittany" Rollins5 episodes
2000Grosse PointeShawn ShapiroEpisode: "Satisfaction"
2000–2001Ally McBealCindy McCauliff5 episodes
2001Black RiverLauraTV movie
2001–2002FelicityLauren6 episodes
2002ObsessedCharlotteTV movie
2002Leap of FaithPatty6 episodes
2003Without a TraceDr. Lianna SardoEpisode: "Moving On"
2003A Date with Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew LusterMaeve FoxTV movie
2003The PracticeDiane Ward2 episodes
2003Justice League (Voice)Mercy Graves2 episodes
2004Judging AmySylvia DanforthEpisode: "The Quick and the Dead"
2005Fathers and SonsIreneTV movie
2005Justice League Unlimited (Voice)Mercy GravesEpisode: "Clash"
2008Special DeliveryMaxine CarterTV movie
2007King of the Hill (Voice)AlexisEpisode: "The Powder Puff Boys"
2004–2011HouseLisa Cuddy153 episodes
2007–2011American Dad! (Voice)Sharri Rothberg6 episodes
2011Childrens Hospital (Cameo)Herself/Lisa CuddyEpisode: "Run, Dr. Lola Spratt, Run!
2011The Good WifeCeleste Serano3 episodes
2011Paul The Male MatchmakerJillianEpisode: "Know When You Are Not Ready"
2011Night of the HurricaneSharri RothbergTelevision special
2012Blue-Eyed ButcherKelly SieglerTV movie
2012ElementaryHeather Van OwenEpisode: "The Long Fuse"
2013House of LiesBrynnEpisode: "Sincerity is an Easy Disguise in This Business"
Episode: "The Runner Stumbles"
2013ScandalMrs. StannerEpisode: "Top of the Hour"
2013The Legend of KorraKyaVoice actress, season 2
2013CastleRachel MccordEpisode: "Valkyrie"
Episode: "Dreamworld"
Episode: "Need to Know"



  1. ^ Chase's Calendar of Events, 2011 Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional. 2010. p. 282. ISBN 0-07-174026-0. 
  2. ^ Laufenberg, Norbert B. (2005). Entertainment Celebrities. Trafford Publishing. p. 203. ISBN 1-4120-5335-8. 
  3. ^ "Lisa Edelstein". 
  4. ^ Miller, Gerri. "Fall TV:Lisa Edelstein". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Vaughan, Bonnia. "Small-Screen GemLisa Edelstein – The actress talks about her role on Relativity", Entertainment Weekly, October 6, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2011. "Thanks to Relativity – and her role as lovelorn lesbian Rhonda – the Wayne, N.J., native has another opportunity to set a strong example."
  6. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "North Jersey-bred and talented too", The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2007. Retrieved June 25, 2007. "Lisa Edelstein: Class of 1984, Wayne Valley High School"
  7. ^ Lisa Edelstein Talks About Being a Cheerleader for Donald Trump (VIDEO) [1]
  8. ^ "Lisa Edelstein- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ James St. James. Party Monster. Simon & Schuster, 2003.
  10. ^ "Theater". New York Magazine (New York Media, LLC) 22 (45): 150. November 13, 1989. ISSN 0028-7369. 
  11. ^ "Lisa Edelstein Interview". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ "House Shocker: A 'Disappointed' Lisa Edelstein Calls It Quits". TV Line. May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ Kimberly Nordyke (January 15, 2008) House actress making "Delivery" for Lifetime Reuters. Accessed 2008-01-16.
  14. ^ "Lisa Edelstein moves from House to The Good Wife". June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 10, 2013). "Castle Exclusive: Lisa Edelstein Joins Season 6 Cast — What's Her Connection to Beckett". Tvline. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ Edelstein on the cover of the September 2010 H mag at H's official site; Retrieved September 17, 2010
  17. ^ Christina Everett, "'House' Star, 44, Poses Nude for PETA," NY Daily News, April 18, 2012.
  18. ^ "She Loves Me Not (2013)". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ "People's Choice Awards Nominees and Winners 2011". Retrieved January 9, 2012. 

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