- "What you want, you run away from. What you need, you don't have a clue. What you've accomplished makes you proud, but you're still miserable."
- ―- Dr. House's "performance review" of Cuddy in No More Mr. Nice Guy
Cuddy was born in late 1967 or early 1968. In the Season 7 episode Small Sacrifices her age is established as forty-two, with her forty-third birthday approaching. She tells House that she lied to Human Resources about her age when she first applied for a vice president of administration job at age twenty-nine, because she thought she would be taken more seriously if she were in her early thirties.
In the Season 5 episode The Social Contract, she claimed to be 38. However, House had been working for Cuddy for eight years prior to the beginning of Season 1, and House owed her 6 years of clinic duty in the show's pilot. Therefore, she has been House's boss for at least 13 years, indicating that she was 38 when the show started and is currently 45.
She quit her job as Dean of Medicine the day after House crashed her house with his car and escaped to avoid responsibility for his actions.
She was portrayed by Lisa Edelstein.
Cuddy was born in 1968. Her mother, Arlene Cuddy, is still living, but her father is deceased. Her father was Jewish from birth, but her mother was a Catholic who converted to Judaism when Arlene married Cuddy's father. She has one sister, Julia Cuddy. She also comes from a long line of physicians - her great grandfather published a key medical text. We also know that she has also wanted to be a doctor ever since she was 12 years old. She was the editor of her high school yearbook. She often felt her mother treated her more harshly than her younger sister, but later came to believe that her mother only pushed her knowing that she was capable of great things. The only other salient fact about her early life is that she admitted to Wilson (who later told House) that she once slept with her father’s best friend.
Lisa Cuddy went to the University of Michigan where she was in the pre-med program and, in addition, audited classes in their medical school. During this time, she met Gregory House, who was working at the university bookstore during the time he was appealing his expulsion from Johns Hopkins Medical School.
It has never been revealed where Cuddy went to medical school, but we do know that she finished second in her graduating class at the age of 26 and made Alpha Omega Alpha, an honor society for medical students. Remarkably, she was disappointed with the result.
It has never been revealed where Cuddy did her internship or residency, but we do know she completed a fellowship in endocrinology. .
Cuddy was married for six days in 1987 in New Jersey, as revealed in the Season 7 episode Small Sacrifices and the marriage ended in divorce. No further information about her brief marriage or about the identity of her husband was given.
Nothing is known of her early career. At the age of 29, she lied about her age (saying she was 31) in order to get a Vice-President position at PPTH. A year later, ostensibly at the age of 32 (when she was in reality 30) she became the second youngest Dean of Medicine in the history of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (even at the older age) and one of only three women in the United States to hold such a position at a major hospital
Shortly after becoming Dean of Medicine, Cuddy was approached by House once again. He had recently been fired from yet another job - the fourth time. He was virtually unemployable. Her official explanation is that House “came cheap” (i.e. she didn’t have to pay him much). However, there has been a great deal of speculation as to why she did hire him. She has also carefully avoided questions about why she hasn’t fired him, except to constantly describe House as “the best doctor we’ve got”.
Cuddy is now Chief Administrator and Dean of Medicine of PPTH. She is hard working. However, her number one problem is still Gregory House, who regularly abuses his teaching fellows, constantly disregards hospital protocol, chooses which cases he will work on, doesn’t get as much in fees as he spends on staff and procedures, and (most importantly) hasn’t done any clinic duty in six years. At the end of her rope, Cuddy withdraws House’s hospital privileges until he starts making up his clinic duty at the rate of 4 hours per week. House reluctantly and grudgingly agrees.
Cuddy scores a major coup for the hospital when she lands a major donor for the hospital, Edward Vogler, who pledges $100,000,000 on the condition he be made chairman of the Board of Directors. Cuddy is more than happy to oblige, but it soon turns out this will not be a picnic. Vogler insists on running the hospital like one of his businesses and when he learns that House is both a money loser and won’t follow the rules (like wearing a lab coat), and he soon made it a project to turn House into a productive employee or destroy him entirely. Cuddy scrambles to save House and Vogler finally agrees to give him a chance - fire one of his fellows to save money. Cameron suggests to House that instead they propose an across- the-board salary cut that will save exactly the same amount of money. When House proposes this, Vogler rejects the suggestion outright, and Cuddy soon realizes that Vogler isn’t trying to save money, he’s trying to get House in line. House tries to molify Vogler by offering up Robert Chase, but unbeknownst to anyone, Chase is Vogler’s only “rat” in House’s department as Cameron and Foreman turn him down flat. House refuses to fire anyone else.
Vogler holds out a poisoned olive branch - if House will endorse his new drug, he will let House keep his department intact. House goes back on the deal - House goes to a major conference and embarrasses Vogler by damning the drug with faint praise and pointing out its costs outweigh its benefits.
Cameron resigns to try to mollify Vogler, but he’s on the warpath. He demands the board revoke House’s tenure. Cuddy supports Vogler, but when Wilson refuses to go along, Wilson is tossed off the board and House is given a one day reprieve. Cuddy is ready the next day to vote against House, but when House pulls off not one, but two miracles in that period, she refuses to go along. Vogler moves to have her tossed off the board, but she gives an impassioned speech to the rest of the board and instead of voting against her, they toss Vogler off the board instead. House, Wilson and the team are elated, but with the loss of $100,000,000, Cuddy realizes there is nothing to celebrate.
Needing a new general counsel, at the end of the season, Cuddy hires Stacy Warner who wants to stay at PPTH to take care of her husband during his rehabilitation. However, given Stacy’s former relationship with House, they get House’s permission first. He agrees, but is less than enthusiastic.
Cuddy has to make her first major decision when Chase is suspended for failing to diagnose a bleeding ulcer and the hospital’s discipline panel also decides to order that House be supervised for a month for his part in the case. She assigns Eric Foreman to oversee his boss, primarily because Foreman is the one fellow who can stand up to him, and secondarily because he’s turning out to be one of the most talented doctors she has.
Cuddy is impressed by Foreman’s early performance - most importantly because all the paperwork is being handed in on time. She talks about making the situation permanent. However, when a famous patient comes in while House is away, Cuddy reluctantly allows Foreman to handle the case himself. Despite the fact that House is stuck to outperform his team and all talk of having Foreman take over permanently is shelved.
House is soon in serious trouble again. After insulting and assaulting a patient (with a rectal thermometer) in the clinic, Cuddy insists House apologize. When House refuses, the situation escalates when the patient turns out to be a police detective. He follows House and finds him with Vicodin on his person and arrests him for drug possession. A little digging finds a few hundred spare Vicodin in House’s apartment, and some prescriptions that look forged. House soon finds himself being charged with trafficking and fraud.
Cuddy and Wilson insist House agree to a deal to keep his license and keep out of prison. When House refuses, his Vicodin is cut back, then cut off. When House still manages to outperform them, Wilson feels regret and withdraws his support for the deal. However, in his desperation, House steals a patient’s oxycodone and once again finds himself in court. With everything on the line, Cuddy forges a prescription record and perjures herself to make it appear that House stole nothing but a placebo. House is saved, but at a price - he must fall in line.
When Foreman becomes fed up and resigns, Cuddy goes to the Board and gets permission to substantially increase Foreman’s salary and offer him his own diagnostic team. However, Foreman refuses because he knows that when the chips are down, Cuddy will just go back to House.
Behind House's back, Cuddy hired Cameron to be the senior attending physician in the emergency room. She also learns that Chase wants to be close to Cameron, despite the fact he has other options available. When he suggests he wants to become a board certified surgeon, Cuddy pulls strings and convinces head surgeon Dr. Dave Thomas to let him work in the surgical department.
After House’s entire team quits and he refuses to hire anyone else (or do any actual work), Cuddy challenges him to treat a patient within 24 hours. House thinks he’s succeeded, but when the patient keeps getting worse, it takes him a few days to find out what’s wrong. Cuddy finally convinces him he needs a team.
However, she’s not pleased with the solution - a reality show style competition. House manages to keep it within budget by cutting base salaries, but Cuddy gets angry when a patient dies during the “second round”.
Meanwhile, Foreman finds himself out of work again. Cuddy once again offers him a good job if he comes back, but Foreman turns her down flat. However, when Foreman finds out he’s unemployable, he agrees to Cuddy’s conditions, but she withdraws her offer and instead insists Foreman return at his old salary and stay on House’s team to keep an eye on him.
She tries to manipulate the contest by making a deal with Jeffrey Cole to get a shot to eliminate high-risk practitioner Lawrence Kutner, but House sees through it. Finally, she gives House an ultimatum to narrow his choices down to two. When House asks for suggestions, she tries to manipulate him by suggesting Chris Taub and Kutner, thinking he will reject them because she suggested them. However, House sees right through it and chooses them. Seeing that House has an all-male team, she allows him to hire Thirteen as well, then realizes House manipulated her into allowing him to hire all three.
During the season, Cuddy also has to deal with a nurse’s strike.
Cuddy has an admirer in Season 5, House’s new private detective Lucas Douglas, who tries to slip his invoices past as medical expenses when House won’t pay them. Although Cuddy is flattered, she hardly sees Lucas as an ideal match.
She also comes close to firing Thirteen when she finds her in the clinic taking IV fluids to recover from a late night of partying. However, House manages to save her by firing her himself and then re-hiring her.
Although Cuddy had been trying to become pregnant through in-vitro fertilization, she finally decides to adopt. She lines up an adoption with a young woman who admires how much Cuddy has accomplished, and when complications develop, Cuddy helps save the baby’s life. However, the mother decides to keep the baby. Heartbroken and angry, she lashes out at House,but they embrace and kiss. However, nothing comes of it.
However, another miracle happens. While treating a dying young woman, Cuddy realizes that the patient has eclampsia and must have recently given birth. The patient finally admits it, and Cuddy goes to retrieve the abandoned body. Instead, she finds that the infant has survived and has been kept alive by a homeless couple. She convinces them to give her the baby so she can take her to the hospital to care for her. When the mother dies and the father and grandparents don’t want the child, Cuddy becomes a foster parent for her and names her Rachel. Although she finds it difficult to become attached to the child, it finally happens and she decides to adopt her.
Meanwhile, House becomes more erratic and almost loses his job when he announces to the entire hospital that he’s slept with Cuddy. Cuddy is angry at first until she realizes House really believes it.
After House recovers, but says he doesn’t want to practice medicine anymore, Cuddy reluctantly allows Foreman to take over the department. However, Thirteen and Taub soon leave, and Cuddy allows Foreman to team up again with Chase and Cameron until he can hire new fellows. However, House wants back in and she lets him. She also flirts with him continuously.
Meanwhile, Cuddy finds someone is stealing in accounting and, since she never learned how to use the yellow pages, turns to the only private detective she knows, Lucas. This time, romance blossoms as Lucas soon bonds with her and Rachel.
House finally decides that he wants to pursue Cuddy and discovers that Lucas is back. Cuddy chooses to put up with House’s attempt to break them up, and then Wilson’s treachery in outbidding her for the one bath/no yard condo she wanted to move her new family into.
Once again, Cuddy risks her career by playing chicken with the hospital’s largest insurance company Atlantic Net. When they offer her a 4 percent across-the-board increase for procedures, she demands 12 percent and threatens to cut off their contract. They come back with 8 percent, but she still holds out and, when the deadline passes, she announces the contract is over. With no response, she is willing to admit defeat and go to the board to resign when the insurance company rep comes back with a new contract agreeing to the full increase.
At the end of the season, she becomes engaged to Lucas. When House finds out, he expresses interest in her, but she blows him off cruelly. However, a few hours later, she breaks up with Lucas, and comes to House to admit she loves him.
Cuddy's relationship with House gets off to a good start. Despite some early bumps, such as setting boundaries at work and House's ongoing non-sexual relationship with his former hookers, the relationship grows well. Despite his best instincts, House starts to become attached to Rachel Cuddy when he realizes that they can never have a relationship without House having contact with Rachel and later how important it is to Cuddy that she gets into the best possible pre-schools. They settle into a regular pattern of sexual encounters interspersed with dating and even spending quiet times together evenings and weekends.
The relationship hits another hitch when House finally meets Cuddy's mother Arlene. The two take an immediate dislike to each other even though Arlene presses both of them to formalize their relationship. The three-way dynamics get worse when Arlene nearly dies of heavy metal poisoning that Cuddy had early tossed off as hypochondria compounded by House's combination of medical genius and bad bedside manner.
House keeps working hard at the relationship, but often his extraordinary efforts bring forward extraordinary screw ups. Nevertheless, House humbles himself and Cuddy remains forgiving. However, when a health scare gets House wondering whether he has the courage to make it through the bad times, he turns back to Vicodin in order to get the courage to be at Cuddy's bedside. Even when the problem turns out to be harmless, Cuddy realizes House went back on drugs and breaks up with him.
Cuddy sticks to her guns as House descends into a daze of Vicodin, alcohol, hookers and bad behavior. However, when House marries a woman who needs a green card, Cuddy finds that although she promised herself it wouldn't get to her, she realizes that House has managed to hurt her because she still cares about him. Even Arlene makes one last desperate stab to get them back together, but when House sees through the attempt, she tells them both that they've given up their last chance.
Cuddy tries to confront House about their leftover feelings and just when it seems that they have gotten it all out in the open, House sees Cuddy with another man although she's recently told him that she wasn't seeing anyone. He drives his car into her living room. House flees the country and Cuddy hands in her notice the following day. Her current whereabouts are unknown to the audience.
Lisa's portrayer, Lisa Edelstein, was demoted from the main cast. She did not appear in any of the episodes but was mentioned a few times through the course of the season.
Main article - Huddy
Cuddy first knew of House when she was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan while he was at medical school. She describes him as "already a legend" at the time.
Cuddy decided to hire House despite the fact that she acknowledged that he had already been fired from four other hospitals. The exact reason why she decided to hire House has always been kept ambiguous. She has claimed that she recognized him as an "excellent doctor who couldn't get hired at a blood bank, so [she] got [him] cheap." However, it has frequently been suggested that they had a relationship at one time - a possibility that has been confirmed at least in part by House's reference to a one-night stand when Cuddy cited his qualifications as the reason for his hiring. In Humpty Dumpty, House offered his theory that Cuddy hired him since she believes the world can be made perfect, and that he can be a better person than he is.
The relationship between Cuddy and House is a strained one. House frequently ignores or works around Cuddy's instructions. He has often exposed the hospital to unlimited liability, and has a habit of alienating important donors to the hospital. However, Cuddy is frequently reminded how much better a doctor House is than she is. She admires House for his ability to ignore emotional considerations when a patient's life is on the line, and his persistence in acting for the patient's best interests. House describes Cuddy as "a control seeking narcissist" which ironically, is a perfect description of himself.
House constantly bombards Cuddy with sexually suggestive comments, often remarking about the display of her breasts or the size of her buttocks. She has always seemed to enjoy this and even encouraged it during the poker game in All In. Once House started taking an interest in Cuddy's relationships, Cuddy began to believe that House was actually attracted to her. However, her reaction appeared to be that House had an earlier opportunity to have a relationship with Cuddy and did not do so.
In the episode titled, "Who's Your Daddy?" it was suggested that Cuddy was going to ask House for a sperm donation so that she could become pregnant. However, she refrained at the last moment.
Not only has Cuddy consistently protected House from the wrath of the hospital's board of directors (House has tenure and can only be removed by unanimous vote of the directors, including Cuddy), she once perjured herself to save House from indictment. However, her loyalty has often come at a very high price, such as insisting House do more clinic duty, or provide more guidance to students.
It was revealed it the episode "Lucky Thirteen", Cuddy will soon be adopting a baby. This doesn't seem to sit well with House. When the baby's mother subsequently chooses to keep the child, House and Cuddy kiss after House consoles Cuddy in "Joy". When House goes through an extremely painful withdrawal from Vicodin in "Under My Skin" Cuddy is there to assist him throughout the process. The two both admit their feelings for one another, and the episode ends with House and Cuddy passionately kissing.
However, in "Both Sides Now", it is revealed that House was only hallucinating and that Cuddy had never helped him overcome his addiction to Vicodin and detox.
In Season 6, "Epic Fail", Cuddy seemed surprised and a bit saddened when House came back to tell her he was quitting. Later on, she visited House in his apartment while he was cooking with a Chinese woman. Cuddy asked House if she was the reason he left. House said no. Later, in "The Tyrant", House came back to the hospital when he learned that the pain in his leg goes away when he works on a medical case. Cuddy allowed House to come back, but not to his old position right away since his medical license would take a few weeks to be reinstated. Even though Foreman asked Cuddy to not let House come back, she decided to keep House anyway.
In the episode "Known Unknowns", while attending a medical conference, House admits to Cuddy that he had feelings for her when he first saw her at the Michigan University library, catching her off guard. The next day, he went up to her hotel room to ask if he could help with her baby, only to find out that Lucas was in the room with the baby. Cuddy and Lucas tell House they started going out right after House was admitted to Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. Later, in the episode "Ignorance Is Bliss", House tries to break up Cuddy and Lucas. Cuddy invites House to her home for Thanksgiving dinner, but gave him the wrong address to stop him from ruining the evening. She never apologizes to him. House's feelings were hurt by Cuddy's deception, although he doesn't show it. Afterwards, House breaks into Lucas' home in a "drunk" stupor, and confesses his feelings for Cuddy. She shows up at his place the next day and tells him that she and Lucas broke up. However, House finds out she lied to him when she didn't accept free tickets he offered him.
In "Wilson", Cuddy decides to move in with Lucas, and is seeking House's approval through Wilson. She tells Wilson that she found a nice loft for her and Lucas to live in, although she didn't realize House was listening. Later on, she tells Wilson that she was unable to buy the loft. Wilson actually told his ex-wife Bonnie to deny Cuddy the loft at every opportunity, in order to punish Cuddy for hurting House's feelings.
In "Help Me", Cuddy tells House that she and Lucas are engaged to be married. House accuses her of hiding their engagement from him stating that she wasn't wearing her engagement ring. She then tells him that the ring was in her desk drawer because she had to go help injured people in the crane accident they are both working at. She tells house she is "done" with him and having to always tip-toe around him to make sure he is okay. At the end of "Help Me", she is in House's bathroom while he is on the floor with Vicodin in his hand after the patient he was working on with Cuddy dies from a fat embolism after he amputated her leg after much debate with Cuddy throughout. Before he takes the Vicodin, Cuddy enters his home, they have a short yet emotional conversation, where Cuddy reveals that she ended it with Lucas and that she loves him, and that she can't move forward in her life because all she thinks of is House. This surprises House, leaving him speechless, until Cuddy helps him up, and they share a tender kiss. He questions whether he is hallucinating again, like last year, and she asks him if he took the Vicodin; he says no, ignoring the fact that he hallucinated not taking any during his psychotic episode a year before. Then she smiles, and he kisses her again, before the camera shows their hands intertwined.
In "Bombshells", Cuddy broke up with House because he was taking Vicodin again.
- She is left handed, which House points out in the beginning of Three Stories.
- She was the only main character of the entire series who was not present in the series finale.
- Lisa Cuddy at Wikipedia
- Character page at IMDB
- Lisa Cuddy at Tumblr
- Lisa Cuddy at House MD Guide
- Lisa Cuddy at TV Fanatic
- Lisa Cuddy at YouTube
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|Season 6||Lisa Cuddy||Robert Chase|
This article was the featured article for October, 2010.