Natasha Bianca Lyonne Brownstein is a U.S. actress and producer best known for her role in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange is the New Black (2013-2019), for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress, and for her role as Nadia Vrbokov in the Netflix series Russian Doll (2019-), which she also co-created, produced, wrote and directed. She has also worked on the following projects. For the latter, Lyonne was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Lyonne was born in New York to Yvette Buchinger and Aaron Brownstein, a boxing promoter, race car driver, radio host and cartoonist distantly related to Al Jaffee. Lyonne’s parents were of Orthodox Jewish descent and she was also raised Orthodox. Her mother was born in Paris, France, the daughter of Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivors . Lyonne once joked about the structure of her family, saying that “her father’s side was Flatbush and her mother’s side was Auschwitz.” Her grandmother Ella came from a large family. Grandmother Ella came from a large family, of which only she, her two sisters and two brothers survived, which Lyonne attributes to her blonde hair and blue eyes. Her grandfather, Morris Buchinger, ran a watch company in Los Angeles. During the war, he went into hiding as a non-Jew in a Budapest tannery. Lyonne spent his first eight years in Great Neck, New York.
He immigrated with his parents to Israel, where he spent 18 months. While in Israel, she starred in the 1989 Israeli children’s film April Fool, which sparked her interest in acting. After her parents’ divorce, Lyonne and her brother Adam returned to the United States with their mother. Upon her return to New York, Lyonne attended Ramaz School, a private Jewish school, where she received Talmud lessons and read Aramaic on scholarship, Lyonne says. She was expelled from the school for selling marijuana. Lyonne grew up on the Upper East Side, where she felt like an outsider. Her mother moved the family to Miami, where Lyonne attended Miami Country Day School. She did not graduate from high school. She dropped out her senior year to enroll in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in the film department. To graduate from high school, he had to complete his freshman year at Tisch School of the Arts, but dropped out because he could not afford the tuition.
He studied film and philosophy at New York University for a short time.
Lyonne lived on the Upper West Side until her father, who ran as a Democrat for Manhattan’s 6th Council District in 2013, distanced himself from her and died in October 2014. Lyonne claims she was not close to her mother and had lived with her since she was 16.
What is Natasha Lyonne best known for?
Lyonne is perhaps best known for her role as the devious “Jessica” in the movie American Pie.
In 1999 Natasha Lyonne played the role of Jessica in American Pie. Lyonne gave Jessica a witty expression and understated charm that allowed her to be the voice of reason among her friends. She has been working professionally since 1986, when she played the charming Opal, one of Pee Wee’s childhood friends in Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Just before the success of “American Pie,” audiences had just begun to admire Lyonne in her first film role as the faceless Vivian in “Slums of Beverly Hills.”
Around the time of American Pie’s cultural triumph, Lyonne became an indie darling as the lead in But I’m a Cheerleader, also a coming-of-age comedy in which she played the star of the show. For several years after her film success, Lyonne struggled with her personal addiction. Now, more than 20 years after the release of American Pie, she has revived her career and her sobriety. Here’s a look at Natasha Lyonne’s breakthrough performance in American Pie.
At 18, she bought a small apartment near Gramercy Park with money from Everybody Says I Love You; in the early 2000s, she had legal problems, including a drunk driving arrest and problems with neighbors; in 2005, complaints from other tenants about her behavior led to her eviction by her landlord, actor Michael Rapaport.
In 2005, Lyonne suffered from hepatitis C, a heart infection, and a collapsed lung and was admitted to Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan (pseudonym), where she was also treated with methadone for her heroin addiction. In January 2006, a warrant was issued for her arrest after she missed a court date for previous legal matters. Her attorney stated that an emergency situation had arisen, but gave no further details. Later that year, Lyonne entered alcohol and drug treatment and later appeared in court. The judge sentenced her to a conditional discharge.
In 2012, Lyonne underwent open-heart surgery to repair damage to her heart valves caused by endocarditis, which could have led to her sudden death if left untreated. After recovering from the surgery, she spoke about her previous health problems on The Rosie Show in March 2012.
Lyonne lives in New York’s East Village. She has been dating Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen since 2014. Lyonne confirmed that they ended their relationship in April 2022.