• She began her professional acting career while studying theater at N.Y.U.
  • She enjoys writing, composing music and painting.
  • BFA in Drama - New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1988).
  • She currently resides in Los Angeles.
  • Her father, Alvin Edelstein, was a pediatrician.
  • Practices Ashtanga yoga six days a week.
  • She is of Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent.
  • Daughter of Alvin Edelstein and Bonnie Edelstein.
  • Has been a vegetarian since she was 16.
  • Played a transsexual on Ally McBeal (1997), a sex-obsessed artist on Frasier (1993), and a high-priced call girl on The West Wing (1999).
  • Lisa authored, composed and performed the musical "Positive Me," one of the earliest AIDS-related theater productions, at Ellen Stuart's La Mama in Manhattan.
  • Lisa was raised in Wayne, NJ. She graduated from Wayne Valley High School, class of 1984.
  • Has two dogs: Shazam! and Kapow!.
  • Donates time to the animal sanctuary Best Friends.
  • Speaks some Spanish.


  • I was one of those people who was literally famous for doing nothing . . . I was always a part of the club scene in New York and eventually was able to produce my own musical about AIDS ["Positive Me"] because of the audience and press I received as a club kid. Eventually I was called in to screen test for this MTV show because word was out I was this neat club kid turned playwright. I got the job and basically was humiliated on the air every day. I'm an actor, not a hostess. It was horrifying. I had all this baby fat, so I was just HUGE on camera . . . I still can't watch one frame of the show. Then I got all this hate mail because I couldn't play the part right . . . Luckily the show got canceled after seven months. I was so relieved.
  • There are so many good roles for women out there, I don't understand it when people say the role choices are fewer as you get older. I find the opposite to be true -- there are less good roles out there for the hot 20-year-olds because the normal girl parts just aren't interesting.
  • I think it's really important for celebrities to use their power of money and fame to get their voices out there. It's funny to me that we're expected to keep quiet just because of who we are. Why do I lose my right to speak my mind because I'm famous? People criticize Michael Moore, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon for standing up for what they believe in, but that's what they do. They never pretended to be anyone else.
  • The hardest part about being vegan is shoes. I mean, really, that's the only difficult part, finding shoes that don't have leather on them.


  • Lisa E.