Lisa Emery Biography


Birthday: January 29, 1956 (Aquarius)

Born In: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Lisa Emery is an American actress who is best known for her performances in the movies Unfaithful (2002) and Admission (2013) and in the TV series Jessica Jones (2015). She started her career as a stage actress and in over three decades, she has done Broadway, movies, and television. However, major chunk of her resume consists of theatre work. In many of her plays, she has mesmerized audiences with multiple roles. She had been nominated thrice for Drama Desk Award (1992, 2006, and 2011). Lisa Emery has never planned her acting career, but she has always had a steady supply of great work. Currently her Netfilx series Ozark and USA Network crime drama series The Sinner have both been approved for fourth season.

Quick Facts

Age: 68 Years, 68 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Josh Pais (m. 1990 – div. 2003)

children: Zane Pais

Born Country: United States

Actresses American Women

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Females

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

More Facts

education: Circle in the Square Theatre School, Hollins University


Lisa Emery got admission at the Hollins University. Her major was arts, but she found studying arts frustrating. It was by chance one day that she found herself in an acting class. That day in the class they were exploring women issues and Vietnam and she found the whole experience exciting. That is when she decided to pursue acting as a career.

After graduating, Lisa Emery moved to New York with her boyfriend. She studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre for a year and this was a turning point in her career. After doing couple of years of stage work in the early 1980s, she made her Broadway debut in 1983 in Passion, which was directed by Marshall W. Mason.

Lisa Emery made her first television appearance in 1985 in Doubletake, a mini-series on CBS. In 1986, she made her first movie appearance in Dreamaniac, a horror movie directed by David DeCoteau. After this she started getting steady supply of roles in movies, television, and theatre.

In 1987, she was seen in her second Broadway appearance in Burn This, in which she essayed the role of Anna Mann. In 1990, she made her second film appearance in How to be Louise. In this movie, she essayed the role of Nancy and the movie is about a woman’s journey to find her self-identity.

In 1991, Lisa Emery was cast in Marvin’s Room as Lee. The play is about a man called Marvin who has been sick for 20 years and is dying slowly in his room. His daughter Bessie, who is herself suffering from leukemia, is taking care of him. His other daughter, Lee (Lisa Emery) is physically okay but is dealing with two troubled teenage sons in her life. In 1992, she was nominated for the Drama Desk Award under the category of Outstanding Feature Actress in a Play for her role in Marvin’s Room. In 1994, her movie career took another big leap with an appearance in Wolf starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer.

She starred in A.R. Gurney’s Far East, which opened at the Lincoln Center Theatre in 1999. It featured Michael Hayden, Bill Smitrovich, Sonnie Brown, and Connor Trinner.

She played Karen in Donald Marguiles’ Dinner With Friends, an off-Broadway production that opened at Variety Theatre on 4 November 1999. It had a one year successful run there before moving to New York. The play is about Karen and her husband, Gabe. Both of them are food writers and they are forced to re-evaluate their marriage and comfort zone when their friends, Tom and Beth, split up.

In 2002, she was seen in another prominent movie, Roger Dodger. However, it was her work in theatre where she got prominent roles and nominations also. In 2003, her role of a woman who murdered her husband with a kitchen knife in the play Iron was noted. She won the Obie Award under the category of Outstanding Performance for this play in 2004. The same year she was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award -Outstanding Lead Actress for Iron.

Lisa Emery’s theatre work kept on getting her nominations. In 2006, her role in Abigail’s Party got her nominated for the Drama Desk Award- Outstanding Feature Actress in a Play. The same year, she was also nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award- Outstanding Feature Actress for Abigail’s Party. Her third Drama Desk Award nomination was in 2011 for her role in The Collection & A Kind of Alaska.

On the movie front, Lisa Emery was seen in regular interval in movies like, People I Know (2002) The Night Listener (2006), Cold Souls (2009), and Admission (2013).

Lisa Emery’s long acting career is also peppered with numerous meaningful roles in television also. In 1991, she made her first appearance in Law & Order and went on to appear in the show in 1994, 2000, and 2009. She also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2002 and 2005. She went on to appear in television shows like, Damages (2007), Fringe (2008), Louie (2011), and Elementary (2015). However, it was her role of Darlene Snell in Ozark (2017) that got her noticed. In this show, she along with her husband runs a multi-million dollar heroin empire. Her another prominent television show is The Sinner, which was renewed for the third season in 2020.

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Family & Personal Life

Lisa Emery was born on January 29, 1956, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Her mother was an aspiring actress, while her father worked as an advertising executive. In 1990, she married Josh Pais, an American actor known for playing Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They divorced in 2003 and have a son called Zane. In 1982, she made East Village her home and continues to live there till date.

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