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Hugh Laurie

David Tennant

Peter Paige

Lisa Edelstein Biography

Home > Actresses > E > Edelstein, Lisa > Biography

Birth Name: Lisa Edelstein
Born: 05/21/1966
Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Born in Boston, MA on May 21, 1967, Edelstein made a splash in New York in the '80s as a celebrated member of the city's nightlife scene (so much so that the New York press dubbed her a "top celebutante" in 1986). At the same time, Edelstein was also pursuing a degree in theater at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and used her training to co-write and produce one of the first AIDS-related musical productions, "Positive Me," which made its debut at La Mama in 1989. The following year, television viewers got their first look at Edelstein when she co-hosted MTV's ill-fated attempt at a morning program, "Awake on the Wild Side" (1990). The program lasted less than a year, and Edelstein quickly graduated to small roles in films like "The Doors" (1991) and "Love Affair" (1994).

Her first attention-grabbing role was Karen, the risotto-loving girlfriend to George Costanza (Jason Alexander) in two 1993 episodes of "Seinfeld;" the turn (which continued to garner Edelstein praise through the years) was followed by nine episodes on the forgettable CBS comedy "Almost Perfect" (1995-96), which thankfully introduced her to TV producer, Thomas Schlamme, with whom she would work on several subsequent shows. A memorable turn as a lesbian on Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick's short-lived cult series "Relativity" (ABC, 1996-97) came later, as did an appearance as a documentarian on the 1997 live episode of "ER" (NBC, 1994- ). Edelstein also branched out into voice-over work for the video game adaptation of "Blade Runner" (1997) and the highly regarded "Superman: The Animated Series" (WB, 1996-2000), for which she voiced Mercy Graves, henchwoman to Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown); Edelstein returned to the character for "The Superman/Batman Movie" in 1998, and several episodes of "Justice League" (Cartoon Network, 2001- ).

Edelstein logged numerous episodic appearances for the next few years, as well as a few supporting roles in features like "As Good As It Gets" (1997) and "30 Days" (1999), before reuniting with Schlamme for writer Aaron Sorkin's criminally underrated comedy series, "Sports Night" (ABC, 1998-99), in which Edelstein appeared twice as Bobbi Bernstein, a sports anchor with a perceived grudge against series regular Josh Charles. The collaboration scored again with Sorkin and Schlamme's next program, "The West Wing," in which she enjoyed several appearances as Rob Lowe's romantic interest, a law student who also moonlights as an escort. In 2000, Edelstein took on another challenging role, that of Jason LeGros' transsexual girlfriend on "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002). The following year, Edelstein earned the wrath of "Felicity" (WB, 1998-2002) fans by playing Lauren, who lures away and becomes pregnant by Felicity's love interest, Scott Speedman's Ben.

More episodic appearances followed, including that of James Spader's love interest on "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004), as well as features like "Daddy Day Care" (2003), before Edelstein landed on "House" The role of Cuddy was ostensibly that of foil to Hugh Laurie's eccentric and brilliant Dr. House, but Edelstein's particular knack with comedy granted the character a sharp wit of her own that gave their sparring a witty sparkle. And the show's creators wisely added a wrinkle to her character - that Cuddy wishes to have a baby so thus, seeks a sperm donor - which allowed for some likable romantic tension between these two ostensible foes.

After "House" came to an end, Edelstein kept busy with short guest-star arcs on television series ranging from courtroom drama "The Good Wife" (CBS 2009- ) and romantic mystery-drama "Castle" (ABC 2009- ) to Seth MacFarlane's satiric cartoon "American Dad" (Fox 2005- ) and scabrous media satire "House of Lies" (Showtime 2012- ).