|Real Name: Lucy Alexis Liu|
|Birthday: Dec. 2, 1968|
|Birth Place: New York, New York|
Native New Yorker Lucy Liu shot to celebrity fame in 1998 when she played the evil Ling Woo on the hit comedy "Ally McBeal" next to Calista Flockhart (1997-2002). Liu went on to take the role as the tiny, ass kicking hero of action movies like “Charlie’s Angels” and “Kill Bill, Vol. 1” (2003). In 2007, Lucy returned to a regular television role with the Darren Star drama “Cashmere Mafia” (2007), playing one of a group of independent professional women supporting each other through the tribulations of career, love and romance.
Lucy Liu was born on Dec. 2, 1968 and raised in the Jackson Heights district of Queens, New York. Her parents are Taiwanese immigrants with careers in biochemistry and civil engineering who encouraged their kids to get a University education and take up professional careers of their own. Not wanting to make waves, the theater and arts oriented Liu kept her dreams of a becoming an actress private, studying her favorite films for encouragement. In 1986,Liu graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and then attended New York University, but after only two years, transferred to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While Lucy worked on finishing a degree in Asian Languages and Culture, it was becoming harder to overlook her lifelong aspirations of becoming an actres.
In 1990, Lucy Liu broke the news to her family, regardless of her freshly earned University degree, that she was relocating to Los Angeles to work on becoming an actress. “I just knew it was the only thing I felt strongly about,” she recalled in an interview.
In less than two years, she got her first job with a role as a Peach Pit waitress on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990-2000). Liu was soon appearing in guest spots on both dramas and comedies, ranging from “The X-Files” with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (1993-2002) to “Coach” (1989-1997). One of her more impressive roles was a recurring character playing a woman whose young teenage son was suffering from complications of AIDS on NBC's medical television drama, "ER" giving her the opportunity to work alongside heavy Hollywood super talent like Noah Wyle and George Clooney.
1996, her young film career began with a small part as an
ex-girlfriend in the 1996 hit "Jerry Maguire", working with
super stars Tom
Cruise and Renee
Zellweger. The following year, Liu played an exotic
dancer in the Harvey Keitel action film "City of Industry," but
she was about to get her big breakthrough with a role her parents would be proud
In 1998, she auditioned for the role of Nelle Porter on hit television comedy drama series, “Ally McBeal.” The role was given to Portia de Rossi, but David E. Kelley was so impressed with her talent that he promised to write a guest cameo part for her in the series.
The appearances of Ling Woo, a frantically bitchy, politically incorrect attorney, were such an audience draw that Woo was added as a cast member in the show’s third season. During her work on the television series, her hilarious comic talents gained her many fans, as well as an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Lucy Liu was a star.
The 1999 movie "Payback" with mega sexy celebrity Mel Gibson may have proven to be her breakthrough role. Lucy starred as Pearl, a leather clad dominatrix who became so likable, that the first script was reworked to give her more screen time. The smash hit movie led to a job with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson in the Wild West comedy adventure "Shanghai Noon" (2000), before she was cast for her first and most famous leading screen role alongside Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz as one of "Charlie's Angels" (2000). The girl hero movie was a hit - a fresh new variation on the television action comedy lead by female heroes and a respectful nod to the classic 1970's girl-cop series that were very popular. Even more important was the addition of the Asian American actress as spokesperson for a new age of big movie roles.
Following the success of "Charlie's Angels," her film career had its share of rough spots. Liu played opposite Antonio Banderas in the science fiction thriller "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever" in 2002. Liu next took a role in the Oscar winning film of the Broadway hit "Chicago" with Renee Zellweger in 2002, giving a great performance as killer Kitty Baxter. In 2003, she again joined with Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore for the sequel "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle".
Not missing a beat, Liu joined Quentin Tarantino's for "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003), giving a magnificent performance as Japanese Chinese American O-Ren Ishii, Queen of the Tokyo underworld and leader of the crazy 88 Fighters. She also brought attention to the 2004-05 season of the "Friends" spin off situation comedy "Joey" by playing the clean-cut television producer Lauren Beck on several episodes.
a change, Lucy Liu began to focus more on dramas, playing a role as an FBI
psychologist in the feature film story “Domino” starring Keira
and as a Mandarin black market blood dealer in “3 Needles” dealing with
the international AIDS
Liu made her first attempt at producing with the documentary “Freedom’s Fury” (2006), which focused on a 1956 Olympic water polo tournament between Russia and Hungary that paralleled the countries struggle over power. Liu came back to the big screen as a polished coroner trying to help Josh Hartnett survive a case of mistaken identity in the action thriller “Lucky Number Slevin” working with the talented Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman in 2006, before taking an executive producer credit and a supporting actress role on the Cedric the Entertainer comedy “Code Name: The Cleaner” (2007).
Her next project went straight to video with the thriller “Rise: Blood Hunter” (2007) - that found her zombie columnist character on a search for revenge against the vampires that took her life.
Her career got a bump with a return to series television on “The Cashmere Mafia” (2007). Created and developed by the executive producer of “Sex and The City”, the greatly anticipated sixty minute, multi camera drama promised to make the most of her famous personality as a tough, self-reliant woman and a loyal friend with great taste in clothes. After two guest appearances on the comedy "Ugly Betty" (2006-), Liu was cast in the comedy "The Year of Getting to Know Us" (2008) with Jimmy Fallon and Sharon Stone, about a commitment-phobic man reunites with his estranged, ailing father and comes to terms with his own childhood.
Lucy Liu was on fire again.
In 2008 she lent her voice to the summer feel-good comedy movie "Kung Fu Panda" (2008) with Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jack Black, about Po the Panda, who is the laziest animal in all of the Valley of Peace, but unwittingly becomes the chosen one when enemies threaten their way of life. She wrapped her year with the action thriller "Charlie Chan" (2009) about the granddaughter of a renown detective who makes a name for herself in the world of crime-busting.
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