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Lucy Liu

Lucy LiuAKA Lucy Alexis Liu

Born: 2-Dec-1968
Birthplace: Queens, NY

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: See Note [1]
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Ling on Ally McBeal

Lucy Liu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants to America, and was raised in an Italian neighborhood in New York City. While studying Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, she auditioned for a small role in the school production of Alice in Wonderland as envisioned by Andre Gregory, assuming she was the wrong ethnicity to play the lead. But she was cast as Alice, drew good notices, and decided to become an actress.

When Liu first came to Hollywood, she earned the rent by working in a massage parlor and as a waitress, and in her first professional role she played a waitress at the Peach Pit diner in an early episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. In 1995 she played the mother of an AIDS patient in several episodes on ER. In her first noteworthy big screen role, she played one of Tom Cruise's ex-girlfriends in Jerry Maguire, then took a featured role as a college student obsessed with getting good grades on the mid-1990s sitcom Pearl with Rhea Perlman and Malcolm McDowell. She played a stripper in City of Industry with Harvey Keitel and a dominatrix in Payback with Mel Gibson. Her biggest break came on TV's Ally McBeal with Calista Flockhart, where Liu played the brutally honest, ever-litigious Ling Woo.

She had an almost-starring role as the kidnapped Princess Pei Pei in Shanghai Noon with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. She played one of Charlie's Angels with Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, but reportedly did not get along with Bill Murray on the set, leading to Murray's replacement by Bernie Mac in the sequel. She starred opposite Antonio Banderas in the action flop Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, had a small but pivotal role as a murdering mistress in the jails of Chicago with Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, played the deadly crimelord Cottonmouth, leader of the Crazy 88s, in Kill Bill Vol. 1 with Uma Thurman, and starred as the risen-from-the-dead reporter in the thriller Rise with Michael Chiklis.

Liu speaks fluent Mandarin and Italian and adequate French and Japanese, plays the accordion, and is proficient in Kali Eskrima Silat, a form of Indonesian knife and stick fighting. She produced Freedom's Fury, a 2006 documentary about the 1956 Olympic semifinal water polo match between Hungary and Russia, held just after Russia invaded Hungary.


[1] No known liaisons with females. But this juicy but inconclusive quote from Jane magazine, which is no longer published: "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. It 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, nobody cares."

Father: Tom Liu (civil engineer, emigrated from China)
Mother: Cecilia Liu (biochemist, emigrated from China)
Sister: Jenny Liu (b. 1966)
Brother: Alex Ya Liu
Boyfriend:
Nicholas Lea (actor, together 1997-98)
Boyfriend: Zach Helm (screenwriter, dated and engaged 2003-04)
Boyfriend: Will McCormack (actor, dated 2004)

    High School: Stuyvesant High School, New York City, NY (1986)
    University: New York University (one year, transferred out)
    University: BS, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

    Endorsement of Gap 2007
    Endorsement of Intel 2005
    Endorsement of Revlon 2000
    John Kerry for President
    Chi Omega Sorority
    Chinese Ancestry

    TELEVISION
    Elementary Dr. Joan Watson (2012-)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    The Man with the Iron Fists (2-Nov-2012)
    Secret of the Wings (16-Aug-2012) [VOICE]
    Pixie Hollow Games (19-Nov-2011) [VOICE]
    Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (2-Nov-2011)
    Kung Fu Panda 2 (26-May-2011) · Viper [VOICE]
    The Trouble with Bliss (28-Apr-2011)
    Detachment (25-Apr-2011)
    Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (23-Jul-2010) [VOICE]
    Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (3-Sep-2009) [VOICE]
    Tinker Bell (11-Sep-2008) [VOICE]
    Kung Fu Panda (15-May-2008) [VOICE]
    The Year of Getting to Know Us (24-Jan-2008) · Anne
    Rise: Blood Hunter (28-Apr-2007)
    Code Name: The Cleaner (5-Jan-2007)
    Lucky Number Slevin (24-Feb-2006)
    Domino (25-Sep-2005) · Taryn Mills
    3 Needles (9-Sep-2005)
    Mulan II (3-Nov-2004) [VOICE]
    Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (10-Oct-2003) · O-Ren Ishii
    Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (18-Jun-2003) · Alex
    Chicago (10-Dec-2002) · Kitty Baxter
    Cypher (7-Oct-2002) · Rita
    Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (18-Sep-2002) · Sever
    America: A Tribute to Heroes (21-Sep-2001) · Herself
    Hotel (12-Sep-2001)
    Charlie's Angels (22-Oct-2000) · Alex
    Shanghai Noon (19-May-2000)
    Play It to the Bone (25-Dec-1999)
    The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (3-Sep-1999)
    Molly (Jul-1999) · Brenda
    True Crime (19-Mar-1999)
    Payback (5-Feb-1999) · Pearl
    Love Kills (1998)
    Guy (17-Dec-1997) · Woman at Newsstand
    Riot (27-Apr-1997) · Tiffany
    City of Industry (14-Mar-1997) · Cathi Rose
    Gridlock'd (29-Jan-1997) · Cee-Cee
    Flypaper (1997)
    Jerry Maguire (13-Dec-1996) · Former Girlfriend
    Bang (1995)


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