Jamie McCarthy, Frazer Harrison/GettyLisa Kudrow credits fellow comedian - and former beau - Conan O'Brien as an inspiration for her to pursue an acting career.
The actress, better known as her sitcom counterpart Phoebe Buffay, told More magazine that though the two comedians hit it off initially, it didn't take long for the pair to realize that their chemistry was less than romantic.
"He was really smart, really funny, and he thought I was funny," Kudrow said of her red-headed improv classmate. The two dated briefly, "but found we were better as friends," she said.
After her first improv session left her debating her career choice - "I was embarrassed. Everyone was trying too hard" - it was O'Brien who inspired her to stick it out and eventually become a member of the renowned Groundlings comedy troupe in L.A.
From there, Kudrow went on to tackle her now-famous, quirky character Phoebe on NBC's hit "Friends."
"Lisa came in to audition and just nailed it," producers Marta Kauffman and David Crane said of the blond-haired actress. "Phoebe ran the risk of being cartoonish, and Lisa brought so much humanity to her."
Kudrow, who was previously hired - and fired - as "Roz" on Frazier after just three days of rehearsal, struck it big in the role, but never let it get to her head, according to castmate Matthew Perry.
"She was probably the most grounded of anyone, while I, rather famously, dealt with it the worst," he said, referring to his drug and alcohol addictions. The worst she ever behaved, he noted, was one time when she "slowly and deliberately tipped a chair over onto the floor."
But with fame came the inevitable invasions of privacy.
"I think in People magazine I said that I had once hoped I would be a virgin when I got married," Kudrow said of the rumors swirling that she was a virgin when she married at age 31. "And then Jay Leno made a joke in his monologue about me being a virgin, and the story got started."
The actress still chooses to remain mum about the topic, however - for the sake of her 13-year-old son Julian.
"If I haven't told my son yet, then I shouldn't tell everybody else," she quipped.