Truth or Hoax: Did Ellen DeGeneres Reject Role as Phoebe Buffay in ‘Friends’?

Jennifer Anniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow surprised their fans with a "Friends" mini-reunion during the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards. 

During her chat with host Jimmy Kimmel, "The Morning Show" actress described the two as her "roomies" and joked that she has been living with them since 1994. 

That same year is also the debut of one of the most iconic and beloved TV series of all time, paving the career of the trio as Monica Geller, Rachel Green and Phoebe Buffay, alongside "Friends" co-stars Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing,) Matt Le Blanc (Joey Tribianni) and David Schwimmer (Ross Geller).

As the hit NBC comedy sitcom reached its 26th anniversary, rumors sparked that daytime host Ellen DeGeneres almost got the part of Phoebe Buffay. 

To recall, the hippie guitar-playing chic of Central Park was portrayed by Kudrow that launched her career in Hollywood.

Following her successful role in the show, the "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" star received her first Primetime Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and her first Golden Globe nomination. 

Who Is Phoebe Buffay?

The blond beauty has a fun and quirky persona, but with the most complex character among the group. 

Unlike her friends who were born in a comfortable life, she had to work odd jobs just to make a living. She worked as a masseuse and musician at the local coffee shop, thus the birth of the iconic song "Smelly Cat."

Did Ellen DeGeneres Turn Down the Role of Phoebe Buffay in "Friends?"

Decades after "Friends" finally bid goodbye following 10 seasons, Ellen DeGeneres broke her silence and spoke about the never-ending speculations. 

In her previous interview with "The Howard Stern Show" back in 2015, CBR cited that she never refused the iconic role because it was never offered to her in the first place.

The outlet also pointed out that it is impossible for the veteran comedian to audition since it is also the year where she launched her own daytime talk show, six months before the comedy sitcom debuted. 

Actors Who Almost Starred in "Friends"

Like Ellen DeGeneres, there are several notable stars who reportedly auditioned for the role of Phoebe Buffay. This includes "Glee" star Jane Lynch, who also looked like the veteran host. 

However, she told The Huffington Post that although she is a diehard fan of "Friends," the rumor about her auditioning for the Phoebe Buffay role was just another urban legend.

Another one is the Primetime Emmy winner Kathy Griffin, but she was initially considered for the role before losing to Kudrow. 

Surprisingly, the role of Rachel Green was reportedly offered to "Madam Secretary" actress Tea Leoni, but she had to turn down for a sitcom called "The Naked Truth" that only lasted for three seasons. 

Next is "Will and Grace" actor Eric McCormack, who had multiple auditions for the role of Ross. However, it was previously reported that the character was really written for David Schwimmer. 

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