Lisa Emery

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Lisa Emery
Born (1952-01-29) January 29, 1952 (age 67)
Alma mater Hollins College
Years active 1986–present
Josh Pais
(m. 1990; div. 2003)
Children 2

Lisa Emery (born January 29, 1952) is an American stage, film, and television actress.

Early life

Emery was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the daughter of an aspiring actress from Charlottesville, Virginia and an advertising executive who worked in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She attended Hollins College, where she planned to study painting, but became interested in drama classes instead because "they were having way more fun." After graduation she studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre School for a year, then began to audition.[1]

Emery moved to New York with her then longtime boyfriend. They eventually broke up and she enrolled in the Circle in the Square two-year program. She ended up moving into the East Village in 1982 where she currently resides.[2]


Emery's theatre credits include The Matchmaker, Dinner with Friends (1999), What the Butler Saw (2000), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (2006), Talley & Son, Burn This (1987), Rumors, Present Laughter, The Women (2001), Marvin's Room (1991), Abigail's Party (2005), and Relatively Speaking (2011). She has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play three times.[3][4]

Emery's film credits include A Map of the World, Unfaithful, The Night Listener, and Margot at the Wedding. On television she had a recurring role on Ed and has made guest appearances on Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Third Watch, Fringe, Damages, Jessica Jones and Ozark.

Charles Isherwood, in his review of Relatively Speaking (George Is Dead by Elaine May) for The New York Times, wrote of Emery: "Carla, a thankless straight-woman role played with skill by the fine Lisa Emery..."[5]

Personal life

Emery was married to actor Josh Pais; their son, Zane, appeared with his mother in Margot at the Wedding.[6]

Emery did not seek a film or television career and did not think of career strategies. "I take it as it comes... Perhaps I'd regret it if I were less happy now. I live perfectly well and love what I do."[7]

Awards and nominations

Source: PlaybillVault[8]

  • Drama Desk Award 2011, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play - The Collection & A Kind of Alaska (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award 2006, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play - Abigail's Party (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award 1992, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play - Marvin's Room (nominee)
  • Lucille Lortel Award 2009, Outstanding Featured Actress - Distracted (nominee)
  • Lucille Lortel Award 2006, Outstanding Featured Actress - 'Abigail's Party (nominee)
  • Lucille Lortel Award 2004, Outstanding Lead Actress - Iron (nominee)
  • Obie Awards 2003-2004, Outstanding Performance - Iron (winner)[9][10]


  1. ^ Interview New York Times, December 7, 2003]
  2. ^ Meet: Lisa Emery April 9, 2015 Archived April 10, 2015, at
  3. ^ Emery, accessed November 3, 2015
  4. ^ "Emery Off-Broadway", accessed November 3, 2015
  5. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Each Family, Tortured in Its Own Way", The New York Times, October 20, 2011, p.C1
  6. ^ "A Working Stiff With Style". The New York Times. December 7, 2003.
  7. ^ Horwitz, Simi (May 3, 2012). "Lisa Emery Makes a Triple Play in 'Lonely, I'm Not'". Backstage.
  8. ^ "Lisa Emery", accessed November 3, 2015
  9. ^ Iron, accessed November 3, 2015
  10. ^ Zinoman, Jason. "Theater: OBIE Awards" New York Times, May 19, 2004

External links

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