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Lucy Liu


Birth name:

Lucy Alexis Liu




Queens, New York, USA



Race or Ethnicity:


Sexual orientation:





United States

Executive summary:

Ling on Ally McBeal


5' 3" (1.60 m)


Lucy Liu - Pictures

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Additional Free Pictures of Lucy Liu 1    2


Lucy Liu - Biography


Lucy Alexis Liu (born December 2, 1968) is an American actress. She became known for her role in the television series Ally McBeal (1998Ė2002) as the vicious and ill-mannered Ling Woo, and has also appeared in several notable film roles, including Charlie's Angels, Kill Bill and Kung Fu Panda.

Lucy Liu was born and was raised with her brother John in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, by Taiwanese immigrant parents. Liu has said that she grew up in a "diverse" neighborhood. Her family spoke Mandarin at home and she did not learn English until she was five years old. Her father, Tom, was a civil engineer and her mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, but they sacrificed those careers in Taiwan to come to the United States. Liu, at her parents' insistence, devoted her spare time to studying. She attended the Joseph Pulitzer Middle School (I.S.145) and she graduated from New York City's prestigious Stuyvesant High School in 1986. She attended New York University for one year, before transferring to the University of Michigan, where she joined the Chi Omega sorority and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Asian Languages and Cultures. At one point, Liu worked as a waitress in Michigan.

Liu began acting in 1989, after auditioning for a role in the University of Michigan's production of Alice in Wonderland during her senior year. Liu was cast in the lead role, although she had originally only tried out for a supporting part. Liu had small roles in films and TV (including The X-Files in "Hell Money" and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys in "The March to Freedom") before landing a role on Ally McBeal. Liu originally auditioned for the role of 'Nelle Porter' (played by Portia de Rossi), and the character 'Ling Woo' was later created specifically for her. Liu's part on the series was originally not meant to be regular but the enthusiastic audience response to the actress' 'feisty' Ling Woo secured Liu as a permanent cast member. It also earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Liu cemented her reputation playing bad girls by portraying "Pearl" the sadistic dominatrix/hitwoman for the Chinese mafia in the film Payback (1999).
Liu played Alex Munday in the Charlie's Angels film, alongside established Hollywood stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. The film opened in November 2000 and was a hit, earning more than $125 million in the U.S., and a worldwide total of more than $264 million. The sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, opened in June 2003 and was a box-office hit again, earning more than $100 million in the U.S., and a worldwide total of more than $259 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 shows Futurama (as herself and/or robot duplicates thereof in the episodes "I Dated a Robot" and "Love and Rocket" and The Simpsons (on the season sixteen episode "Goo Goo Gai Pan"), a guest host on an episode of the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live in 2000 (musical guest: Jay-Z), and the voice of [[SSX TAe kayo 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). 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.

In a Jane interview, she is quoted as saying,
"I think people sometimes get the wrong impression when they're like, 'Oh, well, so-and-so was straight and then she was gay, and now she's straight again,' you know? But it's like, how many times do I have to kiss a woman before I'm gay? Everybody wants to label people. Sometimes you just fall in love with somebody, and you're really not thinking about what gender or whatever they happen to be. I think that if I happen to fall in love with a woman, everyone's going to make a big deal out of it. But if I happen to fall in love with a man, nobody cares."
With her parents' work ethic, Liu continued, "I'm always multi-tasking, doing 10 things at once". She speaks Mandarin Chinese and English natively, and "a little bit of Spanish, a tiny bit of Italian, a little bit of Japanese," for her role in Kill Bill. She also rock climbs, practices martial arts, skis, and plays the accordion.
Liu is also an artist in several media, and has had three gallery shows showcasing her collage, paintings, and photography. She started doing collage mixed media at 16 and then moved to photography and later painting. Lucy Liu had an art show in September and she donated her share of the profits to UNICEF. She also has another show in 2008 in Munich and has stated that she will also donate her share of the profits to UNICEF.
In 2001, Liu was the spokesperson for the Lee National Denim Day fundraiser which raises millions of dollars for breast cancer research and education. In 2005, Liu was appointed a U.S. Fund for UNICEF Ambassador; in that capacity, she has traveled to Pakistan and Lesotho, among other countries. She also hosted an MTV documentary for the MTV EXIT campaign in 2007, produced to raise awareness of human trafficking in Asia. Early in 2006, Liu received an "Asian Excellence Award" for Visibility, since she is considered the most well-known and visible Asian American in the media today. She is also the first Asian American woman to host Saturday Night Live.
Liu has said about her background, "when you grow up Asian-American itís difficult because you donít know if youíre Asian or youíre American. You get confused... You need to recognize where your background is from. I think itís important. Just for yourself. It makes you more whole. It does."
She lives with her brother and his wife in New York.


Lucy Liu - Personal Quotes


"I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, with no money. I was taught not to take anything for granted. If you are too busy being a diva or a freak, then you are not enjoying it."

"Everything I buy is vintage and smells funny. Maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend."

"[about "Ally McBeal" (1997)] It's so much fun playing her [Ling], but I have this fear that people are going to run away from me in terror on the streets. They think I'm going to bite their heads off or something."

"I'm so proud of my heritage, but yes, I think there's always a danger when people put you on a pedestal. Especially when you're just trying to live your life and pursue your dreams. The intention is not to represent Asian Americans, but to be an Asian American who is working as an actress. People often confuse the two. When you are "representing," you have the burden of some people projecting their hopes onto you. This can eventually lead to a certain amount of disappointment. I strive to not deny myself experiences that open up to me. I hope to live without looking back in regret. If people want to join me on the ride, then I'm happy to have them along."

"Martial arts are art forms and require a great deal of discipline and dedication. I so admire people who focus their lives on it, because it's not an easy thing to do."

"Producing is like pushing jello up a hill on a hot day."

"Iíve been asked in interviews to whip people or slap them. I get sick of hearing it! Iím like, ĎAll right, fine. You want me to slap you, Iíll slap you.í And they love it!"


Lucy Liu - Filmography


Tinker Bell: A Winter Story (2011) (V) .... Silvermist
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010) (V) .... Silvermist
Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (2011) (voice) .... Viper
Nomads (2010)
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009) (voice) .... Silvermist
"Dirty Sexy Money" .... Nola Lyons (13 episodes, 2008-2009)
- The Facts (2009) TV episode .... Nola Lyons
- The Bad Guy (2009) TV episode .... Nola Lyons
- The Unexpected Arrival (2009) TV episode .... Nola Lyons
- The Convertible (2009) TV episode .... Nola Lyons
- The Organ Donor (2008) TV episode .... Nola Lyons
(8 more)
Afro Samurai: Resurrection (2009) (TV) (voice: English version) .... Sio
... aka Afro Samurai: Resurrection (Japan: English title: theatrical title)
Little Spirit: Christmas in New York (2008) (TV) (voice)
Tinker Bell (2008) (V) (voice) .... Silvermist
Kung Fu Panda (2008) (voice) .... Viper
... aka Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)
"Cashmere Mafia" .... Mia Mason (7 episodes, 2008)
- The Deciders (2008) TV episode .... Mia Mason
- Dog Eat Dog (2008) TV episode .... Mia Mason
- Yours, Mine and Hers (2008) TV episode .... Mia Mason
- Stay with Me (2008) TV episode .... Mia Mason
- Dangerous Liaisons (2008) TV episode .... Mia Mason
(2 more)
The Year of Getting to Know Us (2008) .... Anne
Watching the Detectives (2007) .... Violet
Rise (2007) .... Sadie Blake
... aka Rise: Blood Hunter (USA: DVD title)
"Ugly Betty" .... Grace Chin (2 episodes, 2007)
- Icing on the Cake (2007) TV episode .... Grace Chin
- Derailed (2007) TV episode .... Grace Chin
Code Name: The Cleaner (2007) .... Gina
... aka The Cleaner (USA: informal short title)
Lucky Number Slevin (2006) .... Lindsey
... aka Lucky # Slevin (Germany) (USA: DVD box title)
... aka Lucky Number S7evin (USA: poster title)
... aka The Wrong Man (Australia)
Domino (2005) .... Taryn Mills
... aka Domino (France)
3 Needles (2005) .... Jin Ping, the Blood Smuggler
"The Simpsons" .... Madam Wu (1 episode, 2005)
- Goo Goo Gai Pan (2005) TV episode (voice) .... Madam Wu
"Joey" .... Lauren Beck (3 episodes, 2004-2005)
- Joey and the Premiere (2005) TV episode .... Lauren Beck
- Joey and the Taste Test (2005) TV episode .... Lauren Beck
- Joey and the Plot Twist (2004) TV episode .... Lauren Beck
Mulan II (2004) (V) (voice) .... Mei
"Maya & Miguel" .... Maggie Lee (9 episodes, 2004)
- Rhymes with Gato (2004) TV episode (voice) .... Maggie Lee
- Mala suerte (2004) TV episode (voice) .... Maggie Lee
- After School (????) TV episode .... Maggie Lee
- A Little Culture (????) TV episode .... Maggie Lee
- Chrissy's Big Move (????) TV episode (voice) .... Maggie Lee
(4 more)
"Game Over" (2004) TV series (voice) .... Raquel Smashenburn
"Jackie Chan Adventures" .... Adult Jade (1 episode, 2004)
- J2: Rise of the Dragons (2004) TV episode (voice) .... Adult Jade
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) .... O-Ren Ishii
... aka Kill Bill (USA: informal short title)
... aka Kill Bill Part 1 (USA: informal title)
... aka Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume One (USA: promotional title)
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) .... Alex Munday
Chicago (2002) .... Kitty Baxter
... aka Chicago (Germany)
"King of the Hill" .... Tid Pao (1 episode, 2002)
- Bad Girls, Bad Girls Whatcha Gonna Do (2002) TV episode (voice) .... Tid Pao
Cypher (2002) .... Rita Foster
... aka Brainstorm (International: English title)
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) .... Sever
... aka Ballistic (Germany)
"Ally McBeal" .... Ling Woo (72 episodes, 1998-2002)
- Woman (2002) TV episode .... Ling Woo
- Nine One One (2001) TV episode .... Ling Woo
- I Want Love (2001) TV episode .... Ling Woo
- Fear of Flirting (2001) TV episode (credit only) .... Ling Woo
- Neutral Corners (2001) TV episode .... Ling Woo
(67 more)
SSX Tricky (2001) (VG) (voice) .... Elise Riggs
Hotel (2001) .... Kawika
Charlie's Angels (2000) .... Alex
... aka 3 Engel fŁr Charlie (Germany)
Shanghai Noon (2000) .... Princess Pei Pei
Play It to the Bone (1999) .... Lia
... aka Play It (USA: promotional title)
The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (1999) .... The Female's Friend (Lydia)
Molly (1999) .... Brenda
True Crime (1999) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Toy Shop Girl
Payback (1999/I) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Pearl
Love Kills (1998) .... Kashi
Guy (1997) (as Lucy Lui) .... Woman at newsstand
... aka Tod vor der Kamera (Germany: TV title)
"Michael Hayes" .... Alice Woo (1 episode, 1997)
- Slaves (1997) TV episode .... Alice Woo
"Dellaventura" .... Yuling Chong (1 episode, 1997)
- Pilot (1997) TV episode .... Yuling Chong
"Pearl" .... Amy Li (7 episodes, 1996-1997)
- My So-Called Real Life (1997) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Amy Li
- Mission ImPearlsible (1997) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Amy Li
- Power Play (1997) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Amy Li
- Christmas Daze (1996) TV episode .... Amy Li
- Lessons in Love (1996) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Amy Li
(2 more)
City of Industry (1997) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Cathi Rose
Riot (1997) (TV) .... Boomer's Girlfriend (segment "Empty")
... aka Riot in the Streets (video title)
"NYPD Blue" .... Amy Chu (1 episode, 1997)
- A Wrenching Experience (1997) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Amy Chu
"The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest" .... Melana (2 episodes, 1997)
... aka Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures
- Night of the Zinja (1997) TV episode (voice) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Melana
- The Bangalore Falcon (1997) TV episode (voice) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Melana
Gridlock'd (1997) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Cee-Cee
Flypaper (1997) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Dot
Jerry Maguire (1996) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Former Girlfriend
"High Incident" .... Officer Whin (2 episodes, 1996)
- Follow the Leader (1996) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Officer Whin
- Father Knows Best (1996) TV episode .... Officer Whin
"The X Files" .... Kim Hsin (1 episode, 1996)
... aka The X-Files (USA)
- Hell Money (1996) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Kim Hsin
"Nash Bridges" .... Joy Powell (1 episode, 1996)
... aka Bridges
- Genesis (1996) TV episode .... Joy Powell
"ER" .... Mei-Sun Leow (3 episodes, 1995)
- And Baby Makes Two (1995) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Mei-Sun Leow
- What Life? (1995) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Mei-Sun Leow
- Do One, Teach One, Kill One (1995) TV episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Mei-Sun Leow
Bang (1995) (as Lucy Lui) .... Hooker
"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" .... Oi-Lan (1 episode, 1995)
- The March to Freedom (1995) TV episode .... Oi-Lan
"Home Improvement" .... Woman #3 (1 episode, 1995)
- Bachelor of the Year (1995) TV episode .... Woman #3
"Coach" .... Nicole Wong (2 episodes, 1994)
- Out of Control (1994) TV episode .... Nicole Wong
- It Should Happen to You (1994) TV episode .... Nicole Wong
"Hotel Malibu" .... Co-Worker (1 episode, 1994)
- Do Not Disturb (1994) TV episode .... Co-Worker
"L.A. Law" .... Mai Lin (1 episode, 1993)
- Foreign Co-respondent (1993) TV episode .... Mai Lin
Protozoa (1993) .... Ari
Ban wo zong heng (1992) .... Donna
... aka Rhythm of Destiny
"Beverly Hills, 90210" .... Courtney (1 episode, 1991)
... aka Class of Beverly Hills (USA: teaser title)
- Pass, Not Pass (1991) TV episode .... Courtney


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