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Lucy Alexis Liu (Chinese: 劉玉玲 Liú Yùlíng, born
December 2, 1968) is an Emmy Award-nominated American bisexual actress. She
became known after starring in the television series Ally McBeal (1996-2000) and
has also appeared in several notable film roles, including Kill Bill and
Born December 2, 1968 (age 38)
Queens, New York, USA
Notable roles Ling Woo in Ally McBeal (1998 – 2002)
Alex Munday in Charlie's Angels (2000)
O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill (2003)
Liu was born in New York City, and was raised with
her older brother, Alex Liu (Liú Yá Lì), and older sister, Jenny Liu (Liu Jin
Li), in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York by Chinese immigrant parents. Liu
has said that she grew up in a "diverse" neighborhood; her family spoke
Chinese at home and she did not learn English until she was five years old.
Her father worked as a civil engineer and her mother as a biochemist in Taiwan,
but they sacrificed to come to the United States. Liu, at her parents'
insistence, devoted her spare time to studying, and she attended New York City's
famous Stuyvesant High School. She attended New York University for one year,
before transferring to University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she joined the
Chi Omega sorority and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Asian
Languages and Cultures. At one point, Liu worked as a waitress in
Liu began acting in 1989, after auditioning for a
role in the University of Michigan's production of Alice in Wonderland during
her senior year. Liu was cast in the lead role, although she had originally only
tried out for a supporting part. Liu had small roles in films and TV
(including the Hell Money episode of The X-Files) before landing a role on Ally
McBeal. Liu originally auditioned for the role of 'Nelle Porter' (played by
Portia de Rossi), and the character "Ling Woo" was later created specifically
for her. Liu's part on the series was originally not meant to be regular but the
enthusiastic audience response to the actress' 'feisty' Ling Woo secured Liu as
a permanent cast member. It also earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award
nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
Liu became better known with her turn as Alex in
the Charlie's Angels movie, alongside established Hollywood stars Drew Barrymore
and Cameron Diaz. The film became a hit, earning more than $125 million in the
U.S., and a worldwide total of more than $258 million. The sequel, Charlie's
Angels: Full Throttle, opened to poor reviews but was a box-office hit again,
earning more than $252 million. In between the two films, Liu starred with
Antonio Banderas in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, a critical and box-office
Liu next played O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth), one of
the major villains in Quentin Tarantino's 2003 film, Kill Bill. She won an MTV
Movie Award for "Best Movie Villain" for the part. Subsequently, Liu appeared on
several episodes of Joey with Matt LeBlanc, who played her love interest in the
Charlie's Angels movies. She also had smaller roles as Kitty Baxter in the smash
hit Chicago, and as a psychologist opposite Keira Knightley in the thriller
Domino. In 2006, she played leading lady and love interest to Josh Hartnett in
the popular crime thriller Lucky Number Slevin. Other appearances include a
cameo on the animated show Futurama and recently, The Simpsons.
In April 2006, the documentary Freedom's Fury
premiered, with Liu as executive producer. The film dramatizes the 1956
Hungarian Revolution, climaxing with the infamous water polo showdown between
Hungary and the Soviet Union at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, known as the 'Blood
In The Water match'.
Her film 3 Needles was released on December 1,
2006. In the film, she plays Jin Ping, an HIV-positive Chinese woman. Liu agreed
to star in the film for lower than usual pay because she wanted to spread
awareness about the way AIDS is improperly treated in China and Thailand.
Liu's other recent roles include Code Name: The Cleaner, an action comedy
released January 5, 2007 and, Rise, a supernatural thriller co-starring Michael
Chiklis in which Liu plays an undead reporter, Watching the Detectives, an
independent romantic comedy co-starring Cillian Murphy, and Kung Fu Panda, an
animated film scheduled for 2008 in which she will voice a snake. Liu has
also signed on to star in Beautiful Asian Brides and a new version of Charlie
Chan which has been in pre-production since 2000; she will produce both
In 2004, Liu announced her engagement to New York
playwright Zach Helm. Their relationship ended in 2005.
In a Jane interview, she indicated the possibility
that she was bisexual, but has not stated anything definite. She is quoted as
saying, "I think people sometimes get the wrong impression when they're like,
'Oh, well, so-and-so was straight and then she was gay, and now she's straight
again,' you know? But it's like, how many times do I have to kiss a woman before
I'm gay? Everybody wants to label people. Sometimes you just fall in love with
somebody, and you're really not thinking about what gender or whatever they
happen to be. I think that if I happen to fall in love with a woman, everyone's
going to make a big deal out of it. But if I happen to fall in love with a man,
With her parents' work ethic, Liu continued, "I'm
always multitasking, doing 10 things at once". She is fluent in Chinese, and
also speaks some Italian, Spanish and Japanese, a language she learned in
preparation for her role in Kill Bill. She also rock climbs, practices
martial arts, skis, and plays the accordion. Liu is also an artist in several
media, and has had three gallery shows showcasing her collage, paintings, and
In 2001, Liu was the spokesperson for the Lee
National Denim Day fund-raiser which raises millions of dollars for breast
cancer research and education. In 2005, Liu was appointed a U.S. Fund for UNICEF
Ambassador; in that capacity, she has traveled to Pakistan and Lesotho, among
other countries. Early in 2006, Liu received an "Asian Excellence Award" for
Visibility, since she is considered the most well-known and visible Asian
American in the media today. She is also the first Asian-American woman to host
Saturday Night Live. Liu has said about her background, "when you grow up
Asian-American it’s difficult because you don’t know if you’re Asian or you’re
American. You get confused" and that "You need to recognize where your
background is from. I think it’s important. Just for yourself. It makes you more
whole. It does."
Liu has a tattoo of a tiger on her lower back.
She will also guest star on two episodes of Ugly
The Minnesota band Dropping Daylight wrote a song
entitled "Lucy" about the lead singer, Sebastion Davin's, passionate dream about
1992 Rhythm of Destiny (伴我縱橫)
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, episode "The
March to Freedom"
1996 The X-Files, episode "Hell Money"
1996 ER -Episode "And Baby Makes Two"
1996 Jerry Maguire
1997 City of Industry
1998 Love Kills
1998 – 2002 Ally McBeal, seasons 2-5
1999 True Crime
1999 The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human
1999 Play It to the Bone
2000 Shanghai Noon
2000 Charlie's Angels
2001 Futurama, episodes "I Dated a Robot" and "Love
2001 Sex and the City, episode "Coulda, Woulda,
2002 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
2003 Kill Bill: Volume 1
2004 Kill Bill: Volume 2
2004 Mulan II
2005 3 Needles
2005 The Simpsons, episode "Goo Goo Gai Pan"
2006 Lucky Number Slevin
2007 The Cleaner
2007 Ugly Betty
2007 Watching the Detectives
2007 Eliot Rockett
2008 Beautiful Asian Brides
2008 Kung Fu Panda
2008 Charlie Chan
Maya and Miguel
Jackie Chan Adventures
SSX Tricky - Elise (video game)
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
Roberts, Sheila. "Lucy Liu Interview, CodeName The Cleaner", Movies Online,
2006-12-21. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
^ a b Radish, Christina. "Lucy
Liu and Shawn Ashmore Talk about "3 Needles"", MediaBlvd Magazine,
2006-12-21. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
^ "Liu Shocked by Ridiculous
Chinese AIDS 'Cures'", Contact Music, 2006-11-29. Retrieved on 2006-11-29.
^ "How many times do I have to
kiss a woman before I'm gay?". Jane Magazine. Retrieved on 2006-11-29.
^ Belge, Kathy. Lucy Liu. Lesbian
Life at About.com. Retrieved on 2006-11-29.
^ Tucker, Reed (2006-05-01).
"Painting By Numbers With Lucy Liu". Esquire. Retrieved on 2006-12-06.
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