January 29, 1952
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
American character actress Lisa Emery did yeoman work on stage and in small screen parts before finding mainstream recognition on streaming service programming. After beginning her career on the New York stage in the early-1980s, the Pittsburgh native moved into screen work during the middle part of the decade with small roles on the miniseries "Doubletake" (CBS, 1985) and the horror film "Dreamaniac" (1986). In the '90s, the actress began a consistent run of small parts, including a role on the daytime soap opera "As the World Turns" (CBS, 1956-2010) and in the indie comedy "How to Be Louise" (1990). Roles in the the TV shows "H.E.L.P." (ABC, 1990) and "Class of '96" (FOX, 1993) led to parts in the high-profile projects "Wolf" (1994), "In & Out" (1997), and "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2004). Her lengthy theater credits provided the opportunity to move into a more prominent TV role when public television aired a filmed version of the Off-Broadway play "Far East" (2001), with Emery in a role that she originated on stage. She found similar success appearing opposite Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Coolidge in the public television production of Clare Boothe Luce's play "The Women" (2002). She continued acting in guest roles on television, including a recurring role on "Ed" (NBC, 2000-04) as well as multiple episodes of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) and "Louie" (FX, 2010-15). On the big screen, she appeared opposite Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in the comedy "Admission" (2013). Her profile jumped significantly when she signed on to the Marvel superhero drama "Jessica Jones" (Netflix, 2015-) playing Louise Thompson, the warped mother of the villain Killgrave. She followed that with a supporting role in the Jason Bateman-Laura Linney drama "Ozark" (Netflix, 2017-) where she portrayed the wife of Peter Mullan's crime boss.