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 48)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Robert Russell (m. 2014)
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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 48)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationActress, playwright
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)Robert Russell (m. 2014)

Lisa Edelstein (/ˈlsə ˈɛdəlstn/; born May 21, 1966)[1][2][3] is an American actress and playwright known for playing Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the medical drama series House M.D.. On Sunday, May 25, 2014, she married the artist Robert Russell.

Early life[edit]

Edelstein was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Bonnie and Alvin Edelstein. Her father is a pediatrician at Chilton Memorial Hospital[4] (since retired). Her mother is a retired social worker. Her family is Jewish.[5] The youngest of three children, she was raised in Wayne, New Jersey,[6] and attended Wayne Valley High School, graduating in 1984.[7]

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.[8]

She moved to New York City at the age of eighteen to study theatre at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[9] 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 the Night" by writer and fellow celebutante James St. James, who briefly refers to Edelstein in his 1999 book Disco Bloodbath.[10]



After being dubbed a "celebutante" by The New York Times magazine during her club kid days[6] 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. The play, performed at the La MaMa theatre in New York City, received many accolades.[6][11] After a regrettable experience hosting Awake on the Wild Side for MTV in 1990,[12] she appeared for a few seconds as a backstage make-up artist in the Jim Morrison biography "The Doors" followed by 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 as well as small parts and cameos in the films What Women Want, Keeping the Faith, As Good as It Gets, and Daddy Day Care.

From 2004-2011 she portrayed her biggest and most notable role to date, Dr. Lisa Cuddy, the Dean of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital and frequent adversary, friend, and eventual girlfriend of title character Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) on Fox's TV series House. Edelstein has often spoken fondly of her experiences on the show and fellow cast and crew, especially her friendship and strong working relationship with colleague Hugh Laurie.

In May 2011, Edelstein announced that she would not return for the eighth and final season of House.[13]

In June 2011, she guest-starred in a three-episode arc of The Good Wife third season as attorney Celeste Serrano.[14] She guest-starred in Scandal in 2013 and later three episodes of the ABC series Castle.

She is set to star as the lead role of "Abby McCarthy" in the Bravo new series Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, a one-hour long comedy-drama loosely based on the book series by Vicki Iovine and scheduled to premiere on December 2, 2014.

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).

Other appearances[edit]

Edelstein is a passionate supporter of Best Friends Animal Society, of which she is an Ambassador. She supports human rights organizations and is a patron of the Arts. She has appeared in numerous magazines including the September 2010 cover of H magazine.[15] She posed for PETA in an ad promoting vegetarianism, a diet she has followed for most of her life.[16]



1991The DoorsMakeup artist
1997As Good as It GetsWoman at table
1998Susan's PlanPenny Myers
1998IndiscreetBeth SussmanTelevision movie
1998L.A. Without a MapSandra
199930 DaysDanielle
2000Keeping the FaithAli Decker
2000What Women WantDina
2001Black RiverLauraTelevision movie
2002ObsessedCharlotteTelevision movie
2003A Date with Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew LusterMaeve FoxTelevision movie
2003Daddy Day CareCrispin's mother
2005Say UncleSarah Faber
2005Fathers and SonsIreneTelevision movie
2008Special DeliveryMaxine CarterTelevision movie
2011Night of the HurricaneSharri RothbergTelevision movie
2012Blue-Eyed ButcherKelly SieglerTelevision movie
2013She Loves Me NotAmy[17]


1992L.A. LawFrancine FlickerEpisode: "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 OatsUnknownEpisode: "Pilot"
1995–97Almost PerfectPatty Karp9 episodes
1995PartnersCindy WolfeEpisode: "Who's Afraid of Ron and Cindy Wolfe?"
1995Superman: The Animated SeriesMercy Graves8 episodes
1996Ned & StaceyJanineEpisode: "Friends and Lovers"
1996–97RelativityRhonda Roth17 episodes
1997ERAggi OrtonEpisode: "Ambush"
1998Just Shoot Me!Erin SimonsEpisode: "Sewer!"
1998FrasierCaitlinEpisode: "Frasier Gotta Have It"
1999Sports NightBobbi Bernstein3 episodes
1999–2000The West WingLaurie "Brittany" Rollins5 episodes
2000Grosse PointeShawn ShapiroEpisode: "Satisfaction"
2000–01Ally McBealCindy McCauliff5 episodes
2001–02FelicityLauren6 episodes
2002Leap of FaithPatty6 episodes
2003Without a TraceDr. Lianna SardoEpisode: "Moving On"
2003The PracticeDiane Ward2 episodes
2003Justice LeagueMercy Graves2 episodes
2004Judging AmySylvia DanforthEpisode: "The Quick and the Dead"
2004–11HouseLisa Cuddy153 episodes
People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Actress
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2005Justice League UnlimitedMercy GravesEpisode: "Clash"
2007King of the HillAlexisEpisode: "The Powder Puff Boys"
2007–11American Dad!Sharri Rothberg6 episodes
2011Childrens HospitalHerself/Lisa CuddyEpisode: "Run, Dr. Lola Spratt, Run!"
2011The Good WifeCeleste Serano3 episodes
2011Paul The Male MatchmakerJillianEpisode: "Know When You Are Not Ready"
2012ElementaryHeather Van OwenEpisode: "The Long Fuse"
2013House of LiesBrynn2 episodes
2013ScandalMrs. StannerEpisode: "Top of the Hour"
2013The Legend of KorraKya9 episodes
2013CastleRachel Mccord3 episodes
2014Girlfriends' Guide to DivorceAbbySeries lead



  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. ^ NOTE: TV Guide gives birth year as 1967: "Lisa Edelstein". Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Lisa Edelstein". 
  5. ^ Miller, Gerri. "Fall TV:Lisa Edelstein". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ 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."
  7. ^ 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"[dead link]
  8. ^ Lisa Edelstein Talks About Being a Cheerleader for Donald Trump (VIDEO) [1]
  9. ^ "Lisa Edelstein- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ James St. James. Party Monster. Simon & Schuster, 2003.
  11. ^ "Theater". New York Magazine (New York Media, LLC) 22 (45): 150. November 13, 1989. ISSN 0028-7369. 
  12. ^ "Lisa Edelstein Interview". Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  13. ^ "House Shocker: A 'Disappointed' Lisa Edelstein Calls It Quits". TV Line. May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Lisa Edelstein moves from House to The Good Wife". June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ Edelstein on the cover of the September 2010 H mag at H's official site; Retrieved September 17, 2010
  16. ^ Christina Everett, "'House' Star, 44, Poses Nude for PETA," NY Daily News, April 18, 2012.
  17. ^ "She Loves Me Not (2013)". Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ "People's Choice Awards Nominees and Winners 2011". Retrieved January 9, 2012. 

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