Lisa Kudrow Learns Her Family's Painful Secret

When Lisa Kudrow decided to bring the British reality show Who Do You Think You Are? to the U.S., she knew she wanted to be the first guest. But the former Friends star -- who executive-produces the new NBC series (premiering the first week of March) -- was in for a surprise.

Who Do You Think You Are? takes celebrities on a journey through their family history, linking their ancestors to famous historical figures and events. Kudrow says that her father had already done a lot of geneaology work -- “he has a 46-page family tree” -- so she wasn’t sure what else the show’s researchers could uncover. What they found was an Eastern European cousin who survived the Holocaust. Along with the show’s crew, Kudrow traveled to Belarus to learn his story, and she described the experience to The New York Daily News as difficult, inspiring and deeply personal: "It's the being there and walking the same path that these people walked to their deaths that doesn't allow you to keep it at an emotional distance.”

Other celebs to be featured on the new series include power couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon and Brooke Shields. Kudrow says her famous friends were eager to sign up and learn about their family histories and she thinks the show would be just as fascinating with non-celebrities, because everybody in America has a unique story.

Who Do You Think You Are? premieres March 5 (8 p.m. ET) on NBC. Watch preview clips and learn facts about your own family on the offical website.

How much do you know about your family history? Chime in below!

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