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Lisa Edelstein

Edelstein at the Fox House Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2007, September 2007
Born May 21, 1966 (1966-05-21) (age 43)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Playwright
Years active 1990–present
Official website

Lisa Edelstein (pronounced /ˈliːsə ˈɛdəlstiːn/; born May 21, 1966[1]) is an American actress and playwright. She currently stars as Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the television drama, House M.D.


Early life

Edelstein was born to Alvin and Bonnie Edelstein in Boston, Massachusetts. Her family is Jewish,[1] and her father is a pediatrician in New Jersey at Chilton Memorial Hospital. The youngest of three children, she was raised in Wayne, New Jersey and attended Wayne Valley High School, graduating in 1984.[2] She moved to New York City at the age of 18 to study theatre at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. 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.


After being dubbed a "celebutante" by New York Times magazine during her club kid days,[3] Edelstein used her newfound celebrity to write, compose and star in an original musical called Positive Me in response to the growing AIDS crisis of the 1980s. After a brief stint hosting Awake on the Wild Side for MTV in 1990, she spent the early '90s appearing in guest roles on several popular comedies, including Mad About You, Wings, The Larry Sanders Show, Sports Night and Seinfeld, where she played George Costanza's frustrated girlfriend, the "Risotto Girl".

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

The actress 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) and the 1997 video game adaptation of Blade Runner. Edelstein's film credits include What Women Want with Mel Gibson, Keeping the Faith with Ben Stiller, a cameo in As Good as it Gets with Jack Nicholson & Helen Hunt and Daddy Day Care with Eddie Murphy.

In 2004, she was cast as Dr. Lisa Cuddy, the Dean of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital and frequent character foil to title character Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) on Fox's hit show House, M.D..

She starred in Lifetime Movie Network's Special Delivery alongside Brenda Song.[4]

Personal life

Edelstein currently resides in Los Angeles with her cat and three rescue dogs.[5] She is a vegetarian[6] and an avid practitioner of Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga.[7] She frequently volunteers for the Best Friends Animal Society. In her spare time she enjoys writing, painting and composing music.[8]


Year Film Role Notes
1991 The Doors Makeup Artist
1997 As Good as It Gets Woman at Table
1998 Susan's Plan Penny Myers
1999 30 Days Danielle
2000 Keeping the Faith Ali Decker
What Women Want Dina
2001 Black River Laura
2002 Obsessed Charlotte (imaginary hot doctor)
2003 Daddy Day Care Crispin’s Mother
2005 Fathers and Sons Irene
Say Uncle Sarah Faber
2008 Special Delivery Maxine Carter


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Mad About You Lynne Stoddard 1 episode
1993 Seinfeld Karen 2 episodes
1995–1997 Almost Perfect Patty Karp 9 episodes
1996-1997 Relativity Rhonda Roth Episode 1 to Episode 17
Superman: The Animated Series Mercy Graves 8 episodes
1997 ER Aggi Orton "Ambush (S4E1)"
1998 Just Shoot Me! Erin Simons "Sewer!"
Frasier Caitlin "Frasier Gotta Have It"
1999 Sports Night Bobbi Bernstein 3 episodes
1999–2000 The West Wing Laurie "Brittany" Rollins 5 episodes
2000–2001 Ally McBeal Cindy McCauliff 5 episodes
2001–2002 Felicity Lauren 6 episodes
2002 Leap of Faith Patty Episode 1 to Episode 6
2003 Without a Trace Dr. Liana Sardo Moving On
The Practice Diane Ward 2 episodes
Justice League Mercy Graves 1 episode
2004 Judging Amy Sylvia Danforth "The Quick and the Dead"
2004–present House, M.D. Dr. Lisa Cuddy Regular cast member
2005 Justice League Unlimited Mercy Graves 1 episode
2007 "King Of The Hill" Powder Puff Boys Season 12 Episode 3


  1. ^ a b }}{{Cite web |url= |title=IMDB
  2. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "North Jersey-bred and talented too", The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2007. "Lisa Edelstein: Class of 1984, Wayne Valley High School"
  3. ^ James St. James. Party Monster. Simon & Schuster, 2003.
  4. ^ Kimberly Nordyke (January 15, 2008) House actress making "Delivery" for Lifetime Reuters. Accessed 2008-01-16.
  5. ^ The Dean of Medicine on TV’s House Is Often Called The Florence Nightingale of Dogs - March 2006
  6. ^ A Chat with Lisa Edelstein - September 4, 2006
  7. ^ Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga
  8. ^ Biography

External links

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