Liza Powel O’Brien (born 12th November 1970, Age: 52 years old) is an American screen writer, playwright, and former ad executive best known as the wife of Conan O’Brien.
Late Night will always hold a special place in the heart of Conan O’Brien. This was the show where the legendary comic built his legacy, going from a relatively unknown writer to one of the longest-serving late-night talk show hosts on American Television with numerous accolades to his name. It is also where he met his beloved wife, Liza Powell.
Powell was an ad executive when she and O’Brien met on the set of his show in 2000. They hit it off immediately and got married in 2002. The couple remains together to date, and Powell has supported her husband through career highs and lows. She has also been doing exploits of her own as a screenwriter and playwright.
Liza Powel O’Brien is the Daughter of Jake Powell, a Seattle-based Jazz Musician
Liza Powel O’Brien was born on 12th November 1970. Her birthplace is Bainbridge, Washington, and her original name is Elizabeth Ann Powel. She is of Caucasian ethnicity, and her nationality is American. Liza Powel O’Brien hails from a tight-knit family which comprises her mom, Pamela Powel, and her dad – Jake Powell. Her mom’s occupation is unavailable, but her dad is a retired insurance man and a jazz musician.
Jake Powell is a guitarist and the leader of a Seattle-based Dixieland band. He and his bandmates regularly play at venues such as restaurants, and their genre of music is traditional jazz. Lisa Powell spent her formative years in Seattle and had a wonderful childhood. For her education, she completed a high school diploma before earning her degree at Vassar College.
Liza Powel O’Brien and Conan O’Brien Began Dating in 2000 and Got Married in 2002
Liza Powel O’Brien first met Conan O’Brien during the taping of his Late Night show in 2000. They were doing a skit for the worst advertisers, and her company was contracted to help package the skit. She was amongst the staff that helped out, and O’Brien was taken with her almost immediately. He later reached her, and they went on a couple of dates. They later commenced a relationship. Liza and O’Brien dated for 18 months before they tied the knot on 12th January 2002.
The wedding took place in Liza’s hometown of Seattle and was celebrated at the St. James Cathedral. The officiating minister was O’Brien’s long-time friend and college roommate, Rev. Paul O’Brien, and Liza wore a long-sleeved white dress trimmed with lace. The couple exchanged vows before their loved ones and friends and later treated their guests to a wonderful reception ceremony.
The Couple’s Marriage has Lasted Over 20 Years, with Liza Helping Her Husband through the Rough Patches in His Career
Liza Powel O’Brien and Conan O’Brien have been married for 21 years now, and their union keeps on going strong. The couple has made several joint red carpet appearances over the years. They have also been photographed by paparazzi as they go about their normal lives or embark on vacations. The couple has also collaborated professionally.
Liza has appeared as herself on some of her husband’s shows, namely Conan, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, and SXSW Flashback. She was also one of his first guests on season 3 of his Inside Conan Podcast in 2021. The couple is yet to reveal the secret to their long-lasting union, but we can make some intelligent guesses. Conan O’Brien has previously gushed that Liza is intelligent, funny, and a good person at heart.
There is also the fact that she is quite supportive and has helped him through the low points of his career. In 2009, Conan O’Brien left his long-running hosting duties on Late Night for The Tonight Show. He hoped to build an equally long legacy on The Tonight Show, but this did not materialize due to network politics. He was forced out after just seven months, which threw him into a depression.
It was left to Liza to pick up the pieces. She kept him busy with tasks such as cooking dinner and doing the school runs. She also granted a rare interview to Rolling Stone in 2010, where she vigorously defended her husband. The Seattle native admitted that it was very painful for her husband to let go of his hallowed ground but stated that it was not his fault that the show had lost cultural relevancy.
The whole saga caused a lot of uncertainty for the family, but Liza stood strong. Her husband was later able to rejig his career with a comedy tour. In November 2010, he returned to late-night with his eponymous show on TBS.
Liza Powell and her Husband Have Two Children, Namely Neve and Beckett
Liza Powel and Conan O’Brien have welcomed two children in their marriage. The first is a daughter named Neve, who was born on 14th October 2003. The second is their son, Beckett, born on 10th November 2005. The entire family previously resided in a plush Central Park penthouse worth $25 million. They, however, relocated to Los Angeles, following their father’s departure from Late Night, in 2009 and have remained there ever since.
They have also resided in a Brentwood mansion worth $10 million at that time. Their present home is a $20 million mansion in Pacific Palisades, which they purchased in 2011. The home has six bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms. There is also a theatre, a home gym, a swimming pool with an inset spa, and a children’s playroom. Since the kids are grown up, such a playroom will hardly be needed now.
Neve is of college-age, while Beckett is probably in his senior year of high school. Liza and her husband make lots of effort to protect their kids from the intrusive spotlight, but they do step out occasionally. For instance, in 2016, the entire family was spotted courtside at an NBA game. Conan has revealed that one of his biggest challenges is helping his kids put together their toys. Of course, they are past that stage now, and he will be focused on guiding them through life.
Liza Powel O’Brien is a Former Ad Executive Turned Screen Writer and Playwright
Liza Powel O’Brien now earns her living as a screenwriter, but she initially commenced her career in the advertising industry. She was quite good at what she did and went on to become a senior copywriter and executive at Foote, Cone, and Belding, one of the largest advertising agency networks in the world.
Liza O’Brien left the advertising industry in the early 2000s and is now a playwright and screenwriter. To prepare herself for this career direction, she first attended Columbia University’s School of the Arts and obtained an MFA in fiction writing.
Since graduating, she has penned several plays, including
- The Council
- The Whole Story
- Love Lifts Us Up
- The Dance
- Ruthie Goes Shopping
- John Wayne Times
- The Distinguished Gentleman
- The Great Experiment
Liza’s plays have been developed and presented at various venues, including The Geffen Playhouse, The Blank Theatre, Unscreened LA, The Lark Play Development Centre, Hedgebrook, and Naked Angels LA. She serves on the board of The Lark. She is also a reading committee member for the Ojai Playwrights Conference.