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Evelyn Reneé O'Connor
February 15, 1971
|Spouse(s)||Steve Muir (2000-2005) (divorced) 1 child / Jed Sura (2017) 1 child|
|Partner(s)||Jed Sura (2004–present, married in 2017) 1 child|
|Children||Miles William Muir / Iris Sura O'Connor|
Reneé O'Connor (born Evelyn Reneé O'Connor on February 15, 1971 in Katy, Texas) is an American actress, producer and director best known for playing the role of Gabrielle on the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess from 1995 to 2001.
Biography[change | change source]
Early career[change | change source]
O'Connor had her first acting role at age eight as a caterpillar during a Theater on Wheels production. At age twelve, she began studying acting at Houston's Alley Theatre, and later attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. She transferred back to Taylor High School to graduate with her friends.
Television career[change | change source]
O'Connor began her television career at the age of sixteen with commercials for McDonald's and Exxon. A string of other commercials followed, as well as a series of odd jobs such as Porky Pig at Astroworld and an aerobics instructor in L.A. In 1989, O'Connor landed a recurring role in a serial called Teen Angel, featured on the "New Mickey Mouse Club." This led to roles in another Disney serial called Match Point, and an episode of Tales from the Crypt (directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger), though her Crypt role was later cut. O'Connor then portrayed an imperiled student on the NBC special "The Flood", Cheryl Ladd's daughter in Danielle Steel's "Changes", a woman captured by Shawnee Indians in ABC's Follow the River, an actress who hires Rockford as her bodyguard in The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise, Julia Wilkes in Disney's "The Adventures of Huck Finn", and the daughter of a murdered couple in an episode of NYPD Blue.
O'Connor first came to the attention of Xena: Warrior Princess executive producers Robert Tapert and Sam Raimi with an "over-the-top" audition that won her the role of the young Deianeira in their two-hour "Action Pack" adventure Hercules and the Lost Kingdom. They were so impressed by her performance opposite Hercules: The Legendary Journeys star Kevin Sorbo that they signed her for a starring role in Darkman II: The Return of Durant. She was later cast as Gabrielle, and co-starred opposite Lucy Lawless as Xena's companion on Xena: Warrior Princess.
O'Connor was voted #3 of the most intriguing people in 1996, #2 in 1997, and one of the most beautiful people of 1997, by People Magazine. O'Connor was featured in Maxim magazine in November 1999 with a photo shot and intimate interview. She made the cover of TV Guide on the July 29, 2000 to August 4, 2000 issue as "one of "The Sexiest Stars in the Universe". She was voted #45 on FHM-US and FHM-Australia's 100 Sexiest Women in . In January 2007, O'Connor topped the 2006 annual list of LesbiaNation.com – establishing her as the longest reigning queen of their top-ten list of "Women We Love". O'Connor has a cult following in the lesbian community, stemming from her role as Gabrielle in Xena: Warrior Princess and her ambiguous relationship with her traveling companion Xena. Although O'Connor is heterosexual, she loves her gay and lesbian fans and has appeared at gay-pride events such as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the 2007 Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs. In June 2007, and again in June 2008, O'Connor was named to the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 List.
After the end of Xena, O'Connor began a movie production company, ROC Pictures. Her first independent production was Diamonds and Guns, a romantic comedy about two friends who go to Las Vegas to find true love. It was shot digitally. O'Connor raised funds for the movie by selling autographed photos and a few of her personal paintings on eBay. O'Connor is currently in pre-production (2008) on her second ROC Pictures LLC movie which she wrote, will produce and direct.
O'Connor has attended many Xena and science fiction/fantasy conventions. She will be a "Featured Guest" at Fan Expo Canada (formerly the Canadian National Expo) on August 22–24, 2008 in Toronto.
Renee, now an established actor, has turned movie maker, movie producer and director. In 2019 she's opening her own Theatre Company, named "House of Bards Theatre Company". The first play will be up on October of the same year.
Charity[change | change source]
O'Connor is an active supporter of the Alissa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, working each year at the Southern California Firefighters Burn Relay which benefits the Foundation. She also set up The Renée O'Connor Outreach Fund which is designed to raise money for families in need and to support families whose medical bills have become too overwhelming due to serious illness.
Early life and personal life[change | change source]
O'Connor was born to Walter and Sandra O'Connor. Her mother and stepfather, Sandra and Eddie Wilson, own the restaurant "Threadgill's" in Austin, famous for being the site of Janis Joplin's first performance. She has an older brother named Chris, who is a grocery store manager, and her biological father Walter is a finance manager.
From 1995 to 2001, during the filming of Xena, O'Connor lived in Auckland, New Zealand, where she still owns a home. O'Connor married New Zealand native and restaurant manager Steve Muir on October 14, 2000. They have a son, Miles William Muir (born September 22, 2001). The couple divorced in 2005. O'Connor became involved with Jed Sura, an actor she met while filming Enter in 2003 and later Diamonds and Guns in 2004. She and Sura have a daughter, Iris Sura O'Connor (born March 19, 2006).
O'Connor is an accomplished artist, with a showing at the Submerged Art Gallery in Los Angeles, June 2005. She is also proficient in several forms of martial arts, including Taekwondo and Shinkendo, as well as the use of the Karate Bō Staff, the Nunchaku, the Sais, and the Japanese Kumori Katana.
Awards[change | change source]
|2000||Best Actress TV Series||Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess||Won|
|2001||UPBEAT Entertainment News Award for Best Actress in a TV Drama or Comedy Series||Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess||Won|
|2001||The Tube File Awards - Best Actress in a TV Drama or Comedy Series||Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess||Won|
|2005||One Weekend a Month - Sundance Film Festival - Short Filmaking Award||Meg McDermott||Winner of Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking.|
Filmography[change | change source]
Starring roles[change | change source]
|2009||Words Unspoken||A ROC Pictures Production. Writer / Producer / Director / Leading Actor: Renee' O'Connor|
|2009||Ark||Connie||web series feature and CGI.|
|2008||Monster Ark||Eva Solomon||TV (SCI-FI) Release Date August 9, 2008 Sci-Fi Channel|
|2008||Boogeyman 2||Dr. Ryan||Release Ghost House Pictures January 2008 DVD, Sony Entertainment Dist.|
|2007||Ghost Town - The Movie||Little Jack||Released 2008 DVD, Barnholtz Entertainment Dist.|
|2007||Diamonds and Guns (Production: 2003/2007)||Ashley||The DVD was first released 09/12/07 by ROC Pictures, LLC - Followed by the International Release 02/04/08 by amazon.com|
|2005||Xena: The 10th Anniversary Collection||Gabrielle||DVD|
|2005||Alien Apocalypse||Kelly||TV (SCI-FI)|
|2004||One Weekend a Month - (A short movie)||Meg McDermott||TV - DVD - movie Festival Winner|
|2003||Enter||Short movie||Anita Jessie 2003 movie Festival|
|1998||Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus||Gabrielle (voice)||Video|
|1995||"Xena: Warrior Princess" 1995-2001||Gabrielle||Co-Star of this TV Series for 6 yrs.|
|1995||The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise||Laura Sue Dean||TV Series|
|1995||Follow the River||Bettie Draper||TV|
|1994||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – Hercules and the Lost Kingdom||Deianeira||TV & DVD|
|1994||Darkman II: The Return of Durant||Laurie Brinkman||Video|
|1994||A Place For Sara||Sara||movie About a Mentally Ill Woman|
|1993||The Flood: Who Will Save Our Children?||Leslie||TV|
|1993||The Adventures of Huck Finn||Julia Wilks||Walt Disney Pictures film|
|1993||NYPD Blue - Oscar, Meyer, Weiner||Rebecca Sloane||TV|
|1993||Sworn to Vengeance||Julia Wilks||TV|
|1992||FBI: The Untold Stories - Blue Fiber||Ofc. Renée Lanot||TV|
|1992||FBI: The Untold Stories - Millionaire Murderer||Ofc. Renée Lanot||TV|
|1991||ABC Afrer School - The Less Than Perfect Daughter||Linda||TV|
|1990||False Identity||Angela Errickson||TV|
|1989||Night Game||Lorraine Beasley||TV|
|1989||Black Snow||Jennifer Winslow||TV & DVD|
|1989||"Teen Angel"||Nancy Nichols||TV Series|
Guest-starring roles[change | change source]
|2008||Bitch Slap (a movie)||Sister Batrille||Cameo Appearance in this Eric Gruendemann Rick Jacobson Production|
|2008||Criminal Minds||Pam Bateman||Episode 60 "A Higher Power" April 9, 2008|
|2002||Mataku||American Buyer||1.2 "The Heirloom"|
|2001||Entertainment Tonight||Herself||Episode dated February 17, 2001|
|1999||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Sunny Day||5.9 "For Those of You Just Joining Us..."|
|1999||Entertainment Tonight||Herself||Episode dated October 16, 1999|
|1998||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Gabrielle||4.14 "Armageddon Now: Part 2"|
|1998||Entertainment Tonight||Herself||Episode dated October 16, 1999|
|1997||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||the executioner||4.5 "Stranger in a Strange World"|
|1997||E! News Daily||Herself||Episode dated October 18, 1997|
|1997||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Gabrielle||3.15 "Judgment Day"|
|1995||Entertainment Tonight||Herself||Episode dated August 21, 1998|
|1993||NYPD Blue||Rebecca Sloane||1.10 "Oscar, Meyer, Weiner"|
|1992||Arresting Behavior||Jade Pearl|
|1992||FBI: The Untold Stories||Ofc. Renee Lanot||"Blue Fiber"|
|FBI: The Untold Stories||Tina Marie Risico||"Millionaire Murderer"|
|1990||Tales from the Crypt||Waitress (scenes deleted)||2.2 "The Switch"|
Director[change | change source]
|2009||"Words Unspoken"||Director for ROC Pictures, LLC|
|2008||"Diamonds and Guns"||2nd Unit Director for ROC Pictures, LLC|
|2001||"Xena: Warrior Princess"||TV Series episode "Dangerous Prey"|
|1999||"Xena: Warrior Princess"||TV Series episode "Déjà Vu All Over Again"|
|1995||"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Xena Warrior Princess"||For DVD International|
Producer[change | change source]
|2009||"Words Unspoken"||A ROC Pictures, LLC Short Film|
|2007||"Diamonds and Guns"||Production: 2004/2006) A ROC Pictures, LLC Production|
Writer[change | change source]
|2009||"Words Unspoken"||A ROC Pictures, LLC Short Film|
Video Game roles[change | change source]
Live theater roles[change | change source]
|2002||Macbeth||Lady Macbeth||Los Angeles, CA|
References[change | change source]
- threadgills.com. Retrieved October 4, 2006.