Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu

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Full Name: Lucy Alexis Liu

Date of Birth: December 2, 1968

Place of Birth: Queens, New York, USA

Occupation: Actress

Height: 5' 3"

Best Known For: Playing Ling Woo on Ally McBeal, Alex Munday in the Charlie's Angels films and O-Ren Ishii in the Kill Bill films

Lucy Liu Biography

Having previously appeared in supporting roles in several films and as a regular on the CBS sitcom Pearl (1996-97), actress Lucy Liu skyrocketed to popularity in 1998 as the malicious Ling Woo on Ally McBeal (1997-2002). David E Kelley, who originally auditioned her for the role of Nelle Porter (later played by Portia de Rossi), wrote the popular character for Liu, whose fiery performance in her first episode soon eventually led to a regular role. During her run on the series, Liu’s scene-stealing portrayal earned many fans and a share of the 1998 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Before making her name on Ally McBeal, Liu could be seen frequently in guest appearances on television, including a 1991 stint as a waitress on Beverly Hills, 90210. One of her more memorable turns came with a recurring part in 1995 as a woman whose young son was suffering from complications of AIDS on NBC's medical drama ER. Additionally, Liu portrayed the self-hating girlfriend of Luke Perry's Los Angeles police officer in Riot, a 1997 Showtime movie dramatizing different stories in 1992's racially charged Los Angeles riots.

Liu's up and coming film career began with a bit part in the 1996 hit Jerry Maguire. The following year, she played an exotic dancer in the Harvey Keitel flick City of Industry. (The dedicated actress prepared for this role by performing for over a month in a Los Angeles strip club.) Had Liu not already come to the public's attention on Ally McBeal, 1999's Payback may have proven to be her breakthrough role. She starred as Pearl, a leather-clad dominatrix who proved so likable that the initial script was rewritten to afford her more screen time. That same year, Liu could be seen in a featured role in Molly, starring Elisabeth Shue as an autistic woman who becomes a genius and in Play It to the Bone. The following year, Liu portrayed a kidnapped Chinese princess in Shanghai Noon and became better known with her turn as Alex Munday in the Charlie's Angels movie, alongside established Hollywood stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. 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 failure.

Liu next played O-Ren Ishii, 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 film 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 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 films.

Liu has guest starred as lawyer Grace Chin on Ugly Betty episodes "Derailed" and "Icing on the Cake." She is also due to star in the upcoming Sex and the City inspired TV show, Cashmere Mafia on ABC.
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