Real name: Lucille Francis Ryan
Birthdate: March 29, 1968
Partner: Robert G. Tapert
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Lucy Lawless (born Lucille Frances Ryan on March 29, 1968 in Mount Albert) is a New Zealand actress and singer best known for her role as Xena on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess from 1995 to 2001.
Lawless is the fifth of seven children born to Frank and Julie Ryan. She has five brothers and one sister. Lucy began acting in secondary school. At Auckland University, she studied foreign languages for a year. She dropped out and left for Europe with her boyfriend, Garth Lawless, to travel in Germany and Switzerland. The couple then moved to Australia, where Lucy worked briefly as a gold miner.
In 1994, Lawless appeared in Hercules and the Amazon Women, the pilot film for Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In the episode, she played a man-hating Amazon named Lysia. Her key role was given to her when she was asked to play a villainous warrior woman named Xena in an episode entitled "The Warrior Princess" which aired in March 1995. Vanessa Angel had originally been cast in the role, but fell ill and was unable to travel to New Zealand for shooting. To differentiate between Xena and the similar Lysia, Lawless' hair was dyed dark brown. Xena subsequently returned in two more episodes of Hercules' first season.
In 1997, Lawless was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" by People magazine. Days earlier on 6 May 1997, Lawless inadvertently exposed one of her breasts as she concluded a performance of the US national anthem at an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, California between the Mighty Ducks and Detroit Red Wings . Lawless was quoted in Newsweek as saying "I was mortified. . . . It was quite a bit more exposure than I want".
From 2005 to 2007, Lawless has had a recurring role in the television series Battlestar Galactica. She portrays D'Anna Biers, a reporter with the Fleet News Service who works on a critical documentary about the crew of the Galactica and is later revealed to be a Cylon (Number Three). In 2007, she was slated to star in the new ABC TV series Football Wives - a remake of the ITV drama Footballers' Wives which ran for five years. Instead of soccer players, this series would have been about the wives of professional American football players. However, Lucy announced on her official website that the show had not been picked up by ABC. Although her character appeared to be 'killed' off Battlestar Galactica it has been confirmed that she will return to the show for the series' last season for a 2-3 episode arc.
Lawless has a cult following in the lesbian community, largely because of her role as Xena and Xena's ambiguous relationship with travelling companion Gabrielle. Although Lawless is heterosexual, she appreciates her gay and lesbian fans and has appeared at gay pride events such as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. In a 2003 interview with Lesbian News magazine, she said that she had come to see Xena and Gabrielle's relationship as gay after viewing the series finale, though she has also stated on several occasions that she was undecided on the nature of the relationship whilst playing the role.
Since her role as Xena, Lawless has pursued a new career in singing after being a contestant on Celebrity Duets. She made her onstage debut at the Roxy in Hollywood on January 13, 2007. Lawless was welcomed by a sold out crowd for back-to-back concerts.
List Of Concert DVDs:
- Come To Mama: Lucy Lawless In Concert: The Roxy Theater In Hollywood
- Gimme Some, Sugar: Lawless, NYC