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Lucy Liu picture, image, poster
Lucy Liu

Date of birth : 1968-12-02
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Jackson Heights, New York
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-12-02

Best known to television audiences as Ling Woo, the raging force of political incorrectness on Ally McBeal, Lucy Alexis Liu has managed to cross over to the big screen in such features as Payback and Play It to the Bone.

Born to Chinese parents in Jackson Heights, NY, on December 2, 1968, Lucy Liu grew up speaking both English and Mandarin. After graduating from Manhattan's Stuyvesant High School, she earned a degree in Asian languages and cultures from the University of Michigan, where she also studied acting, dance, and voice. Liu's first professional job was playing a waitress on Beverly Hills 90210, something that led to more substantial work on various TV shows, including a regular part on the TV series Pearl.

Liu's biggest breakthrough came in 1998, when she was cast as Ling Woo on Ally McBeal. She had originally auditioned for the role of Nelle Porter, which ultimately went to Australian actress Portia DeRossi. David E. Kelley, the show's producer, was so impressed with Liu's audition, however, that he created the role of Ling Woo specifically for her. The character was initially supposed to be included on only a few episodes but proved so popular with the show's audience that Liu was made into a regular cast member.

Unsurprisingly, the actress' increased exposure led to greater opportunities on the screen and after playing supporting roles in such films as Payback and Molly (both 1999), she moved on to more substantial work in Play It to the Bone and the Jackie Chan martial-arts period comedy Shanghai Noon, which cast her as a princess who has been kidnapped from her emperor father. In 2000, she also was cast in perhaps her most high-profile role to date, when she was chosen alongside Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz as one of the titular crime fighters in Charlie's Angels: The Movie.

With the exception of a small role as an inmate in the Oscar-winning film Chicago, 2002 brought little recognition for Liu -- Cypher, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, and Party Monster with former Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin went virtually unseen by the general public. 2003's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle placed Liu firmly back inside the spotlight, though she was somewhat overshadowed by the toothy blonde glint that is Cameron Diaz. Luckily for Liu, she was given the chance to shine quite independently when Quentin Tarantino cast her as the deadly O-Ren Ishii, AKA Cottonmouth, in Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003).

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, which met with less success, but later gain cult followings among her fans, include Code Name: The Cleaner, an action comedy released January 5, 2007; Rise, a supernatural thriller co-starring Michael Chiklis in which Liu plays an undead reporter (for which she was ranked number forty-one on "Top 50 Sexiest Vampires"); and Watching the Detectives, an independent romantic comedy co-starring Cillian Murphy. Liu has also signed on to star in 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 in the episodes "Derailed" and "Icing on the Cake". In a 2001 episode of Sex and the City entitled "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" she guest starred as herself, playing a new client of character Samantha Jones, who does public relations. She starred in the Sex and the City inspired TV show, Cashmere Mafia on ABC. In 2007, Empire magazine named her among the "100 Sexiest Movie Stars".

In 2008, after pitching an interest in being part of the hit new show Dirty Sexy Money, the producers immediately created a role for her as a series regular. She played the role of Nola Lyons, a powerful attorney that faced Nick George (played by Peter Krause).[13] She is the voice for Silvermist in Disney Fairies franchise. She also appeared in Kung Fu Panda, an animated film in which she voiced Viper.

March 2, 2010, Liu made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage playing Annette as part of the second replacement cast along side Jeff Daniels, Janet McTeer and Dylan Baker.

Television:

1996–1997 Pearl
1998–2002 Ally McBeal
2004 Game Over
2004–2010 Maya and Miguel
2008 Cashmere Mafia
2008–2009 Dirty Sexy Money
2009 Afro Samurai Resurrection
2010 Marry Me


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