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Lucy Liu

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Also Known As: Lucy Alexis Liu Died:
Born: December 2, 1968 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, artist, aerobics instructor, caterer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Stunningly beautiful and fiercely intelligent, actress Lucy Liu broke free of many of the stereotypes that typically pigeonholed Asian performers - particular female - in Hollywood. Following a string of early appearances on such popular series as "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), Liu skyrocketed to fame in 1998 when she joined the cast of the quirky legal comedy "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) as the deliciously malicious Ling Woo. The actress quickly parlayed her sudden popularity into roles on the big screen in feature film hits like "Shanghai Noon" (2000), "Charlie's Angels" (2000) and a bravura performance as Japanese crime lord O-Ren Ishii in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003). Later theatrical disappointments like "Lucky Number Slevin" (2006) and "Rise: Blood Hunter" (2007) gave way to more lucrative voice roles in such animated features as "Kung Fu Panda" (2008) and "Tinker Bell" (2008). And while starring roles on small screen efforts like "Cashmere Mafia" (ABC, 2008) failed to bear fruit, a recurring part on the critically-hailed police drama "Southland" (NBC, 2009/TNT, 2010- ) did much to reestablish her credentials as a serious actress. With her obvious beauty enhanced by with an...

Stunningly beautiful and fiercely intelligent, actress Lucy Liu broke free of many of the stereotypes that typically pigeonholed Asian performers - particular female - in Hollywood. Following a string of early appearances on such popular series as "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), Liu skyrocketed to fame in 1998 when she joined the cast of the quirky legal comedy "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) as the deliciously malicious Ling Woo. The actress quickly parlayed her sudden popularity into roles on the big screen in feature film hits like "Shanghai Noon" (2000), "Charlie's Angels" (2000) and a bravura performance as Japanese crime lord O-Ren Ishii in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003). Later theatrical disappointments like "Lucky Number Slevin" (2006) and "Rise: Blood Hunter" (2007) gave way to more lucrative voice roles in such animated features as "Kung Fu Panda" (2008) and "Tinker Bell" (2008). And while starring roles on small screen efforts like "Cashmere Mafia" (ABC, 2008) failed to bear fruit, a recurring part on the critically-hailed police drama "Southland" (NBC, 2009/TNT, 2010- ) did much to reestablish her credentials as a serious actress. With her obvious beauty enhanced by with an undeniable strength of character, Liu embraced her heritage even as she refused to let it define her as an artist.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
2.
 Detachment (2011)
4.
 Kung Fu Panda (2008)
5.
 Tinker Bell (2008)
7.
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Queens, NY
1989:
Cast in lead role in University of Michigan production of "Alice in Wonderland"
:
Appeared on TV commercials
1991:
Landed early television role on Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210" as a Peach Pit waitress
1995:
Played memorable recurring role on NBC's "ER" as a woman whose son suffered from complications of AIDS
1996:
Feature debut, a small part in "Jerry Maguire"
1996:
Cast as a regular on "Pearl" (CBS), playing college student Amy Li alongside Rhea Pearlman
1997:
Played an exotic dancer in "City of Industry"
1997:
Played Luke Perry's racist, self-loathing girlfriend on Showtime's "Riot"
1998:
Joined cast of Fox legal comedy "Ally McBeal" as Ling Woo; left show early in fifth season to pursue film career
1999:
Cast as the sadistic dominatrix/hit woman for Chinese mafia in "Payback"
1999:
Landed featured role in "Play It to the Bone"
2000:
Portrayed a kidnapped Chinese princess in "Shanghai Noon" opposite Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson
2000:
Portrayed Alex Munday, one of "Charlie's Angels" in McG's film adaptation of the popular 70s series
2002:
Appeared in small but vital role as murderess Kitty Baxter in "Chicago"
2003:
Re-teamed with Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz to reprise their roles in "Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle"
2003:
Played assassin O-Ren Ishii/Cottonmouth in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill"; film released in two parts "Kill Bill Vol. 1" (2003) and "Kill Bill Vol.2" (2004)
2004:
Guest starred on several episodes of NBC's "Joey" as a tough-talking executive producer
2005:
Portrayed a psychologist opposite Keira Knightley in action-thriller "Domino"
2006:
Played the girl next door opposite Josh Hartnett in thriller "Lucky Number Slevin"
2006:
Appeared in one of three short stories about global HIV pandemic "3 Needles"
2007:
Guest starred on ABC's "Ugly Betty"
2008:
Co-starred on short-lived ABC series "Cashmere Mafia," from "Sex and the City" producer Darren Star
2008:
Joined cast of ABC drama "Dirty Sexy Money"
2008:
Lent voice to the character Viper in animated feature "Kung Fu Panda"
2010:
Made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning hit play "God of Carnage"
2011:
Again lent her voice to the animated feature "Kung Fu Panda 2"
2012:
Guest starred on TNT's "Southland" as seasoned policewoman Jessica Tang
2012:
Cast as Dr. Watson to Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes on "Elementary" (CBS)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New York University: New York , New York -
Stuyvesant High School: New York , New York - 1986
University of Michigan: Ann Arbor , Michigan - 1990

Notes

In addition to her acting, Liu has a successful career as a visual artist, her mixed media compositions frequently on display in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. In 1994, she was given a grant to study in China based on her show at SoHo's Cast Iron Gallery. The time immersed in Chinese culture changed her approach to art and activism.

Liu on Ling Woo, her character on "Ally McBeal": "I'm kind of getting into a place where I can actually be--it sounds a little strange--sexual as a woman and as a minority. And that's really unusual. I think that's really kind of exciting for me."

To critics who assert that the exotic and often malicious Ling Woo feeds into American popular stereotyping and fetishizing of the Asian-American woman, Liu replied: "What stereotype am I perpetuating? I haven't done anything that I feel is anything like that. I think people think too PC about everything." --From Boston Herald, March 12, 1999.

"One reason I decided to pick up martial arts was because I was so sick of people saying, 'Do you know kung fu?' Now I can say, 'Yes I do.'"-Lui People October 21, 2002

Lucy was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004

"I try to keep my personal life private," says Liu, "because then I can be whatever I am supposed to be on film. People have said, 'Wow, you are such a bitch!' and I say, 'Thank you.'"---Liu to People May 10, 2004

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Nicholas Lea. Actor. Dated in 1997-98.
companion:
Zach Helm. Writer. Dating as of July 2003; announced engagement April 2004.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Tom Liu. Entrepreneur. Emigrated to USA from China.
mother:
Cecilia Liu. Biochemist. Emigrated to USA from China.
brother:
John Liu. Born c. 1965.
sister:
Jenny Liu. Born c. 1966.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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