Lucy Lawless

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Lucy Lawless

Lawless at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con
Lucille Frances Ryan

(1968-03-29) 29 March 1968 (age 56)
Mount Albert, Auckland,
New Zealand
Years active1989–present

Lucille Frances Ryan (born 29 March 1968)[1] is a New Zealand actress. When she was twenty years old, she got her first acting job in the TV program Funny Business. In 1995, she starred in her first television series, Xena: Warrior Princess, becoming in an international star in this role.[2]

Lawless is also known for her role as D'anna Biers in the TV series Battlestar Galactica between 2005 and 2008.[3] During a break in 1997 between filming seasons on Xena, Lawless made her onstage debut singing songs on Broadway as Rizzo in the remake of the musical play Grease.

Since her role as Xena, Lawless has pursued a new career in singing after being a contestant on Celebrity Duets. She sang at the Roxy in Hollywood in 2007, and has since performed regularly in concerts and released several CDs.[4] She has a contralto singing range.

Early life[change | change source]

She was born in Auckland on 29 March 1968. Lawless' mother, Julie, was teacher, and her father, Frank, was mayor.[5] She has 6 brothers. She had bulimia and Depression.

Lawless began acting in secondary school, attending Marist College, New Zealand, in Mount Albert. She studied foreign languages at Auckland University for a year[6] before dropping out and leaving for Europe with her boyfriend, Garth Lawless, to travel to Germany and Switzerland.[7] The couple then moved to Australia, where she worked briefly as a gold miner.[5]

Career[change | change source]

Lawless wanted to act since she was five. She took her first acting class at the school. Lawless starred various national television commercials when she was a child. One of these was for McDonald's.[8] She played an Amazon in the TV movie Hercules and the Amazon Women, in 1994, and Lisya in his Spin-off, the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys em 1995.[9] In the same year, she plays Xena in three episodes, returning later.[10]

In September, Xena won her own series, Xena: Warrior Princess, Lawless was the star in the program during 6 years.[10] Lawless first appeared on Broadway in September 1997 in the Grease play remake, as the "bad girl" Rizzo character. She applied to play the squeaky-clean naive blond girl Sandra Dee, but she claimed the producers after Xena had typed her to playing only "bad girls."[11] She said the Sandy character was very similar to her sheltered childhood, growing up in New Zealand with many protective older brothers.

Lawless has since appeared onstage in the Vagina Monologues and as a television guest star in episodes of The Simpsons, The X-Files, Just Shoot Me!, Veronica Mars, Burn Notice, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.[12] She was also featured in the short-lived television series Tarzan. Lawless has made cameo appearances in the movies EuroTrip, Spider-Man and Boogeyman. She returned to television in the TV movie Locusts! and its sequel Vampire Bats.[13]

From 2005 to 2008, 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.[3]

Public image[change | change source]

In 1997, Lawless was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" by People magazine.[14] Days earlier on 6 May 1997, Lawless inadvertently exposed a breast 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.[14] Lawless was quoted in Newsweek as saying:

Obviously, I was mortified....It was quite a bit more exposure than I want...[14]

Lawless has enjoyed a particular cult status in the lesbian community. Some of the lesbian fan base sees Lawless as a lesbian icon.[15] A group called The Marching Xenas has participated in many gay and lesbian pride parades.[16]

Some fans felt that the sexual nature of Xena and the character Gabrielle's relationship was cemented by an interview given by Lucy Lawless to Lesbian News magazine in 2003. Lawless stated that after the series finale, where Gabrielle revives Xena with a mouth-to-mouth water transfer filmed to look like a full kiss, she had come to believe that Xena and Gabrielle's relationship was "definitely gay... there was always a 'well, she might be or she might not be' but when there was that drip of water passing between their lips in the very final scene, that cemented it for me".

Costume donation[change | change source]

In 2006, Lucy Lawless donated her personal Xena costume to the Museum of American History.[17] In an interview the same year with Smithsonian magazine, she was asked the question "Was the Warrior Princess outfit comfortable?" and she responded:

Not at first, because they would put boning in the corset. It would cover up those little floating ribs that are so important for breathing, so I'd feel like I was having panic attacks. But it just became a second skin after a while. It was very functional, once I got over the modesty factor. I admit to being a little bit embarrassed the first couple weeks because I'd never worn anything so short.

— Lucy Lawless, Smithsonian, November 2006, page 44

Personal life[change | change source]

At the age of nineteen, Lawless became pregnant with Garth's child. In 1988, they married in Kalgoorlie, Australia.[18] They returned to New Zealand and had a daughter, Daisy Lawless (born 15 July 1988), who also attended Marist College, New Zealand.[19] The couple divorced in 1995. Lawless married Xena executive producer Robert Tapert on 28 March 1998. Lawless and Tapert have two sons: Julius Robert Bay Tapert[19] (born 16 October 1999) and Judah Miro Tapert[19] (born 7 May 2002), both born in Auckland.

Filmography[change | change source]

Movies[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Within the Law Verity
1990 A Bitter Song Nurse 1 Short movie
1991 The End of the Golden Weather Joe's Girl
1996 Peach Peach Short movie
1997 Hercules & Xena: Wizards of the Screen Xena Short movie
1998 Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie Xena Voice role
2000 Ginger Snaps Announcer on School's PA System Uncredited[source?]
2002 Spider-Man Punk Rock Girl Cameo
2004 EuroTrip Madame Vandersexxx
2005 Boogeyman Mary Jensen
2006 The Darkroom Cheryl
2008 Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight Goldmoon
2008 Justice League: The New Frontier Wonder Woman Voice role
2008 Bedtime Stories Aspen
2009 Bitch Slap Mother Superior
2010 Lez Chat Construction Worker Short movie
2018 The Breaker Upperers Client
2019 Mosley Bera[20] Voice role
2021 The Spine of Night Tzod Voice role
2022 Minions: The Rise of Gru Nun-chuck Voice role

Television[change | change source]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Funny Business Various Unknown episodes
1990 Shark in the Park Kim Hughes Episode: "Double or Quits"
1991 For the Love of Mike Helen Episode: "1.6"
1992 The Ray Bradbury Theater Liddy Barton Episode: "Fee Fie Foe Fum"
1992-1994 Marlin Bay TV series
1993 The New Adventures of the Black Stallion Sarah McFee Episode: "Riding the Volcano"
1993 The Rainbow Warrior Jane Redmond Television movie
1993 Typhon's People Mink Tertius Television movie
1994 High Tide Undercover policewoman Episode: "Shanghied"
1994 Hercules and the Amazon Women Lysia Television movie
1995 High Tide Sharon List Episode: "Dead in the Water"
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Lyla 2 episodes
1995–1998 Xena Recurring role, 6 episodes
1995–2001 Xena: Warrior Princess Lead role
1997 Something So Right Herself Cameo, Season 1 EP 23
1998 Saturday Night Live Herself/host/Various Episode: "Lucy Lawless/Elliott Smith"
1999 The Simpsons Herself/Xena (voice) Episode: "Treehouse of Horror X"
2000 Celebrity Deathmatch Herself (voice) Episode: "The Return of Lucy Lawless"
2001 Just Shoot Me! Stacy Episode: "The Auction"
2001 The X-Files Shannon McMahon 2 episodes
2003 Tarzan Kathleen Clayton Recurring role, 7 episodes
2003 Warrior Women with Lucy Lawless Herself 5 episodes
2004 Less than Perfect Tracy Fletcher Episode: "Ignoring Lydia"
2005 Two and a Half Men Pamela Episode: "It Was 'Mame', Mom"
2005 Locusts Maddy Rierdon Television movie
2005 Vampire Bats Maddy Rierdon Television movie
2005–2009 Battlestar Galactica D'Anna Biers Recurring role, 16 episodes
2006 Veronica Mars Agent Morris Episode: "Donut Run"
2007 Burn Notice Evelyn Episode: "False Flag"
2007 Curb Your Enthusiasm Herself Episode: "The TiVo Guy"
2007 Football Wives Tanya Austin Unsold TV pilot
2008 CSI: Miami Audrey Yates Episode: "Cheating Death"
2009 The L Word Sgt. Marybeth Duffy 2 episodes
2009 Flight of the Conchords Paula Episode: "New Zealand Town"
2009 Angel of Death Vera Episode: "Help"
2009; 2022 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself Guest Judge
RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under
2010 Spartacus: Blood and Sand Lucretia Main role, 13 episodes
2011 Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Main role, 6 episodes
2011 American Dad! Stacy (voice) Episode: "A Piñata Named Desire"
2011 No Ordinary Family Helen Burton 4 episodes
2012 Spartacus: Vengeance Lucretia Main role, 10 episodes
2012–2014 Parks and Recreation Diane Lewis Recurring role, 10 episodes
2013 Top of the Lake Caroline Platt 2 episodes
2014–2015 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Isabelle Hartley 2 episodes
2014 The Code Alex Wisham Recurring role (season 1), 6 episodes
2014 Adventure Time General Tarsal (voice) Episode: "Dentist"
2015–2017 Salem Countess Marburg Recurring role, 15 episodes
2015–2018 Ash vs. Evil Dead Ruby Knowby Main role, 27 episodes
2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hiidrala (voice) Episode: "The Cosmic Ocean"
2017 The Changeover Miryam Carlisle Television movie (Sci Fi New Zealand)
2019–present My Life Is Murder Alexa Crowe Main role
2020 Star Wars Resistance Aeosian Queen (voice) 2 episodes
2020 Big City Greens Mimi O'Malley (voice) Episode: "Cricket's Tickets"
2021 Mr. Corman Cheryl Episode: "Funeral"

Video games[change | change source]

Stage[change | change source]

  • 1997: Grease! – On Broadway, NY USA
  • 2002: The Vagina Monologues – Auckland, NZ
  • 2005: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Seattle, USA
  • 2011: BARE For Christchurch – Auckland, NZ
  • 2013: Chicago The Musical – Hollywood Bowl, LA, USA
  • 2013: Chicago The Musical – Auckland, NZ
  • 2014–2015: Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight – Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 2017: Pleasuredome The Musical – Auckland, NZ[21]

Discography[change | change source]

  • Come 2 Me
  • Come to Mama: Lucy Lawless in Concert: The Roxy Theater in Hollywood
Concert DVDs
  • Come to Mama: Lucy Lawless in Concert: The Roxy Theater in Hollywood
  • Gimme Some, Sugar: Lawless, NYC
  • Lucy Lawless Live in Chicago: Still Got The Blues
  • Lucy Lawless Live at The Roxy Theater: Ho Down
  • Lucy Lawless Live in Concert: Welcome to the Pleasuredome
Other songs

Honours[change | change source]

In the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours, Lawless was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to entertainment and the community.[22]

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

Template:BLP unreferenced section

Year Award Category Production Result
1997 Saturn Award Best Genre TV Actress Xena: Warrior Princess Nominated
2010 Golden Nymph Outstanding Actress – Drama Series Spartacus: Blood and Sand Nominated
2010 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress on Television Spartacus: Blood and Sand Won
2016 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television Salem Nominated

References[change | change source]

  1. "Lucy Lawless". Archived from the original on 13 August 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  2. "Biografia de Lucy Lawless". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Lucy Lawless returns to Battlestar Galactica". 30 July 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  4. "Lucy Lawless, Come to Mama live in The Roxy Theater". Amazon. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Xena's table". Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  6. "The actors from William Davis Center for Actors Study". Archived from the original on 25 May 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  7. "Lucy Lawless at the Entertainment Tonight". Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  8. "Lucy Lawless biography". Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  9. "Hercules and the Amazon Women (1994)". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Xena gets the axe". Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  11. "Other works of Lucy Lawless". Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  12. "Lucy Lawless start at The X-Files". People. Archived from the original on 1 November 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  13. "Starring Lucy Lawless, Dra. Maddy Rierdon – Locust!". Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 People names the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World
  15. "Xena and Gabrielle: Lesbian Icons". Archived from the original on 4 May 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
  16. "Top Ten TV – Sex Bombs". Retrieved 31 October 2006.
  17. Smithsonian magazine. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.Page 44: "Lucy Lawless, star of Xena: Warrior Princess, which aired from 1995–2001, has given her signature costume to the Museum of American History."
  18. "Biography for Robert Tapert". Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "Lucy Lawless". Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  20. "Mosley". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  21. "Cast and Crew". Pleasuredome. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  22. "Queen's Birthday honours list 2004". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 30 May 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]