Liu at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con
December 2, 1968 |
Queens, New York City, U.S.
|Education||Stuyvesant High School|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance|
|Occupation||Actress, voice actress, director, producer, singer, artist|
|Height||5' 3" (1.6 m)|
Lucy Alexis Liu // (born Lucy Liu; December 2, 1968) is an American actress, voice actress, director, producer, singer and artist. She became known for playing the role of the vicious and ill-mannered Ling Woo in the television series Ally McBeal (1998–2002), for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. Liu's film work includes starring as one of the heroines in Charlie's Angels (2000), portraying O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill (2003), and starring roles in the main casts of Payback (1999), Chicago (2002), and the animated film series Kung Fu Panda (2008–present) portraying the character Master Viper.
In 2008, she starred in an ABC comedy-drama, Cashmere Mafia, which ended after one abbreviated season. The show was one of only a few American television shows to have an Asian American series lead. In 2012, Liu joined the cast of the TNT series Southland in the recurring role of Jessica Tang, for which she won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Guest Actress. She is currently co-starring in the Sherlock Holmes–inspired crime drama series Elementary as Joan Watson for which she won the Seoul International Drama Award for Best Actress, and voicing Silvermist in Disney's Tinker Bell film series.
Lucy Liu was born on December 2, 1968 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City, New York. In high school, she adopted a middle name, Alexis. She is the youngest of three children born to Cecilia (1925–1986), who worked as a biochemist, and Tom Liu (1913–1975), a trained civil engineer who sold digital clock pens. Liu's parents originally came from Beijing and Shanghai and emigrated to Taiwan as adults before meeting in New York. She has an older brother, Alex, and an older sister, Jenny. Her parents worked many jobs while Lucy and her siblings were growing up.
Liu has stated that she grew up in a diverse neighborhood. She learned to speak Mandarin at home and began studying English when she was 5. She studied the martial art kali-eskrima-silat as a hobby when she was young. Liu attended Joseph Pulitzer Middle School (I.S.145), and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1986. She later enrolled at New York University and transferred to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. Liu earned a bachelor's degree in Asian languages and cultures. Liu worked as a waitress at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase club circa 1988–89.
Liu was discovered by an agent at the age of 21 while traveling on the subway. She did one commercial. As a member of the Basement Arts student-run theater group, she auditioned in 1989 for the University of Michigan's production of Alice in Wonderland during her senior year of college. Although she had originally tried out for only a supporting part, Liu was cast in the lead role. While queuing up to audition for the musical Miss Saigon in 1990, she told The New York Times, "There aren't many Asian roles, and it's very difficult to get your foot in the door." In May 1992, Liu made her New York stage debut in Fairy Bones, directed by Tina Chen.
Liu had small roles in films and TV, marking her debut. In 1993, she appeared in LA Law, where she appeared as a Chinese widow giving her evidence in Mandarin She was cast in both 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 temporary, but high audience ratings secured Liu as a permanent cast member. Additionally, she earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. In Payback (1999), Liu portrayed Pearl, a high-class BDSM prostitute with links to the Chinese mafia.
Liu was cast as Alex Munday in the film Charlie's Angels, alongside Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. The film opened in November 2000 and earned more than $125 million in the United States. Charlie's Angels earned a worldwide total of more than $264 million. The sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, opened in June 2003 and also did well at the box office, earning $100 million in the U.S. and a worldwide total of more than $259 million. Liu also starred with Antonio Banderas in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, a critical and box office failure.
In 2000 she hosted Saturday Night Live with Jay-Z. In a 2001 episode of Sex and the City entitled "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" she guest starred as herself, playing Samantha Jones' new client. She starred in the Sex and the City–inspired TV show Cashmere Mafia on ABC. Liu also made a cameo appearance on Futurama (as herself and robot duplicates) in the episodes "I Dated a Robot" and "Love and Rocket", and on The Simpsons in the season 16 episode "Goo Goo Gai Pan."
In 2002 Liu played Rita Foster in Vincenzo Natali's Brainstorm (a k a Cypher). Soon thereafter, she appeared as O-Ren Ishii in Quentin Tarantino's 2003 film, Kill Bill. She won an MTV 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 films. She also had minor roles as Kitty Baxter in the film Chicago and as a psychologist opposite Keira Knightley in the thriller Domino. In Lucky Number Slevin, she played the leading love interest to Josh Hartnett. 3 Needles was released on December 1, 2006, Liu portrayed Jin Ping, an HIV-positive Chinese woman.
In 2007 Liu appeared in Code Name: The Cleaner; Rise, a supernatural thriller co-starring Michael Chiklis in which Liu plays an undead reporter (for which she was ranked number 41 on "Top 50 Sexiest Vampires"); and Watching the Detectives, an independent romantic comedy co-starring Cillian Murphy. She made her producer debut and also starred in a remake of Charlie Chan, which had been planned as early as 2000. Liu guest starred as lawyer Grace Chin on Ugly Betty in the 2007 episodes "Derailed" and "Icing on the Cake."
In 2007 Empire named Liu number 96 of their "100 Sexiest Movie Stars." The producers of Dirty Sexy Money created a role for Liu as a series regular. Liu played Nola Lyons, a powerful attorney who faced Nick George (Peter Krause). Liu voiced Silvermist in Disney Fairies and Viper in Kung Fu Panda.
In March 2010, Liu made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award–winning play God of Carnage as Annette on the second replacement cast alongside Jeff Daniels, Janet McTeer, and Dylan Baker. In March 2012, she was cast as Joan Watson for Elementary. Elementary is an American Sherlock Holmes adaptation, and the role Liu was offered is traditionally played by men. She also has played police officer Jessica Tang on Southland, a television show focusing on the lives of police officers and detectives in Los Angeles as a recurring guest actor during the fourth season. She received the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Guest Actress for this role.
Career as visual artist
Liu had previously presented her artwork under a pseudonym, Yu Ling (which is her Chinese name). Liu, who is an artist in several media, has had several gallery shows showcasing her collage, paintings, and photography. She began doing collage mixed media when she was 16 years old, and became a photographer and painter. Liu attended the New York Studio School for drawing, painting, and sculpture from 2004 to 2006.
In September 2006, Liu held an art show and donated her share of the profits to UNICEF. She also had another show in 2008 in Munich. Her painting, "Escape", was incorporated into Montblanc's Cutting Edge Art Collection and was shown during Art Basel Miami 2008, which showed works by contemporary American artists. Liu has stated that she donated her share of the profits from the NYC Milk Gallery gallery show to UNICEF. In London, a portion of the proceeds from her book Seventy Two went to UNICEF.
In 2001 Liu was the spokeswoman for the Lee National Denim Day fundraiser, which raises money for breast cancer research and education. In 2004 Liu was appointed an ambassador for U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She traveled to Pakistan and Lesotho, among several other countries.
Early in 2006, Liu received an "Asian Excellence Award" for Visibility. She also hosted an MTV documentary, Traffic, for the MTV EXIT campaign in 2007. In 2008, she produced and narrated the short film The Road to Traffik, about the Cambodian author and human rights advocate Somaly Mam. The film was directed by Kerry Girvin and co-produced by photographer Norman Jean Roy. This led to a partnership with producers on the documentary film Redlight.
Liu is a supporter of marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and became a spokeswoman for the Human Rights Campaign in 2011. She has teamed up with Heinz to combat the widespread global health threat of iron deficiency anemia and vitamin and mineral malnutrition among infants and children in the developing world.
In 1991 Liu underwent surgery after a breast cancer scare. "The doctor sort of felt and said it was cancer and it needs to come out. I went into shell-shock. It was pretty traumatizing." The lump was removed just two days after the doctor's examination and was found to be benign.
Liu has studied various religions, such as Buddhism, Taoism and Jewish mysticism. She has stated, "I'm into all things spiritual—anything to do with meditation or chants or any of that stuff. I studied Chinese philosophy in school. There's something in the metaphysical that I find very fascinating."
|1992||Rhythm of Destiny||Donna|
|1996||Jerry Maguire||Former girlfriend|
|1997||City of Industry||Cathi Rose|
|1997||Guy||Woman at newsstand|
|1999||True Crime||Toy shop girl|
|1999||Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human, TheThe Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human||The Female's Friend (Lydia)|
|1999||Play It to the Bone||Lia|
|2000||Shanghai Noon||Princess Pei Pei|
|2000||Charlie's Angels||Alex Munday|
|2002||Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever||Agent Sever|
|2003||Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||Alex Munday|
|2003||Kill Bill: Volume 1||O-Ren Ishii|
|2004||Kill Bill: Volume 2||O-Ren Ishii|
|2004||Mulan II||Mei (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2005||3 Needles||Jin Ping|
|2006||Lucky Number Slevin||Lindsey|
|2007||Code Name: The Cleaner||Gina||Also executive producer|
|2007||Rise: Blood Hunter||Sadie Blake|
|2007||Watching the Detectives||Violet|
|2008||Year of Getting to Know Us, TheThe Year of Getting to Know Us||Anne|
|2008||Kung Fu Panda||Master Viper (Voice)||English and Mandarin version|
|2008||Tinker Bell||Silvermist (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2009||Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure||Silvermist (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2010||Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue||Silvermist (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2011||Detachment||Dr. Doris Parker|
|2011||Trouble with Bliss, TheThe Trouble with Bliss||Andrea|
|2011||Kung Fu Panda 2||Master Viper (Voice)||English and Mandarin version|
|2011||Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You||Hilda Temple|
|2012||Secret of the Wings||Silvermist (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2012||Man with the Iron Fists, TheThe Man with the Iron Fists||Madame Blossom|
|2014||Pirate Fairy, TheThe Pirate Fairy||Silvermist (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2014||Magic Wonderland||Princess Ocean (Voice)||English and Mandarin version|
|2014||Tale of the Princess Kaguya, TheThe Tale of the Princess Kaguya||Lady Sagami (Voice)||English and Mandarin version|
|2014||Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast||Silvermist (Voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2016||Kung Fu Panda 3||Master Viper (Voice)||English and Mandarin version|
|1991||Beverly Hills, 90210||Courtney||Episode: "Pass, Not Pass"|
|1993||L.A. Law||Mai Lin||Episode: "Foreign Co-Respondent"|
|1994||Hotel Malibu||Co-worker||Episode: "Do Not Disturb"|
|1994||Coach||Nicole Wong||2 episodes|
|1995||Home Improvement||Woman #3||Episode: "Bachelor of the Year"|
|1995||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys||Oi-Lan||Episode: "The March to Freedom"|
|1995||ER||Mei-Sun Leow||3 episodes|
|1996||Nash Bridges||Joy Powell||Episode: "Genesis"|
|1996||X-Files, TheThe X-Files||Kim Hsin||Episode: "Hell Money"|
|1996||High Incident||Officer Whin||2 episodes|
|1996–97||Pearl||Amy Li||Main cast; 22 episodes|
|1997||Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, TheThe Real Adventures of Jonny Quest||Melana (Voice)||2 episodes|
|1997||NYPD Blue||Amy Chu||Episode: "A Wrenching Experience"|
|1997||Riot||Boomer's girlfriend||Television film (segment "Empty")|
|1997||Dellaventura||Yuling Chong||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1997||Michael Hayes||Alice Woo||Episode: "Slaves"|
|1998–2002||Ally McBeal||Ling Woo||Main cast (seasons 2–5); 72 episodes|
|2000||MADtv||Herself||Season 6, episode 6|
|2000||Saturday Night Live||Herself||Episode: "Lucy Liu/Jay-Z"|
|2001–02||Futurama||Herself (Voice)||2 episodes|
|2001||Sex and the City||Herself||Episode: "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda"|
|2002||King of the Hill||Tid Pao Souphanousinphone (Voice)||Episode: "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do"|
|2004||Jackie Chan Adventures||Adult Jade Chan (Voice)||Episode: "J2: Rise of the Dragons"|
|2004||Game Over||Raquel Smashenburn (Voice)||6 episodes|
|2004–07||Maya & Miguel||Maggie Lee (Voice)|
|2004–05||Joey||Lauren Beck||3 episodes|
|2005||Clifford's Puppy Days||Teacup, Mrs. Glen (Voices)||Episode: "Adopt-a-Pup/Jokes on You"|
|2005||Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons||Madam Wu (Voice)||Episode: "Goo Goo Gai Pan"|
|2007||Ugly Betty||Grace Chin||2 episodes|
|2008||Cashmere Mafia||Mia Mason||Main cast; 7 episodes|
|2008||Ben & Izzy||Yasmine (Voice)|
|2008–09||Dirty Sexy Money||Nola Lyons||Main cast (season 2); 13 episodes|
|2008||Little Spirit: Christmas in New York||Leo's mom (Voice)||Television film|
|2009||Afro Samurai: Resurrection||Sio (Voice)||Television film|
|2010||Kung Fu Panda Holiday||Master Viper (Voice)||Television special|
|2010||Marry Me||Rae Carter||Miniseries; 2 episodes|
|2011||Pixie Hollow Games||Silvermist (Voice)||Television special|
|2011–2016||Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness||Master Viper (Voice)|
|2012||Southland||Jessica Tang||10 episodes|
|2012–present||Elementary||Joan Watson||Main cast|
|2013||Pixie Hollow Bake Off||Silvermist (voice)||Television short film|
|2016||Girls||Detective Mosedale||Episode: "Japan"|
|2001||SSX Tricky||Elise Riggs||Voice|
|2003||Charlie's Angels||Alex Munday||Voice|
|2012||Sleeping Dogs||Vivienne Lu||Voice|
|1993||Unraveling||As Liu Yu-ling, Cast Iron Gallery, SoHo, New York, US||Collection of multimedia art pieces, photographs|
|1995||Catapult||As Yu Ling, Purple Gallery, Los Angeles, US ||Collage mixed media exhibition|
|2006||Antenna||Emotion Picture Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada||Incorporating paint and drawing into photographs. Seven pieces of which two new. March 5 to June 30|
|2006||Glass Onion||As Yu Ling, Milk Gallery, New York City, US||Paintings. Duration 2 days. Benefits for UNICEF|
|2007||—||Art Basel Miami, Casa Tua in South Beach Miami, US as part of Montblanc's Cutting Edge Art Collection||Painting Escape, a black and white abstraction|
|2008||je suis. envois-moi||As Yu Ling, Six Friedrich Lisa Ungar, Munich, Germany||Six oil paintings, four prints and ten sculptures. Revenue was donated to UNICEF. May 8 to 31|
|2010||—||As Yu Ling, Painting included in the Bloomsbury Auctions 20th Century Art and Editions sale in New York, US||Painting|
|2011||Seventy Two||Salon Vert, London, UK||Personal canvases – hand-stitched and stuck with funny little found objects, pieces of rubbish|
|2013||Totem||The Popular Institute gallery, Manchester, UK||Series of work on linen, explores the fragility of the human form|
Awards and nominations
- Ogunnaike, Lola (October 13, 2003). "The Perks and Pitfalls of a Ruthless-Killer Role; Lucy Liu Boosts the Body Count in New Film". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- Scharf, Lindzi (May 2012). "what's NOW! PARTIES". InStyle. Time Inc. p. 108. ISBN 7099210645. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- Rose, Steve (October 5, 2011). "Fragments of Lucy Liu". The Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Lucy Liu Biography (1968–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- "Lucy Liu – Biography". Yahoo! Movies.
- "Lucy Liu – Biography". NNDB.
- Rose, Tiffany (June 29, 2003). "Lucy Liu: The Q interview – Features, Films". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
- "The Asian Faces of Hollywood " MTVAsia.com Blog". Blog.mtvasia.com. October 27, 2009. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
- "Lucy Liu – an agent of change". The Independent. London. June 27, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Talmadge, Eric (July 15, 2008). "Liu says 'Kung Fu Panda' is an improve adventure". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
- "Lucy Liu- Biography". Yahoo! Movies.
- "BRUSH WITH FAME: LUCY LIU". Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Radish, Christina (December 6, 2006). "Lucy Liu and Shawn Ashmore Talk about "3 Needles"". MediaBlvd Magazine. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
- Estrin, Eric. Q+LA Lucy Liu, LA Times Magazine, March 2012. Accessed November 8, 2013.
- LeLievre, Roger (November 2, 2009). "Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase celebrating 25 years of laughs". The Ann Arbor News. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "Interview on Wendy Williams Show". Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- "Before You Graduate The Basement await". e-TrueBlue: Seniors, The e-newsletter for U-M seniors. Aulmni Association – University of Michigan. February 20, 2003. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- Roberts, Sheila (December 21, 2006). "Lucy Liu Interview, CodeName The Cleaner". Movies Online. Archived from the original on January 6, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
- "Scores of Actors Flock to Tryouts For Ethnic Roles in 'Miss Saigon'". Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Outwitting a Variety of Demons". Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Co-Respondent", Season 8, Episode 4
- "Lucy Liu Emmy Award Winner". Emmys.com. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- "Liu Shocked by Ridiculous Chinese AIDS 'Cures'". Contact Music. November 29, 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
- "Latest Men's Lifestyle Stories". UGO.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "EimpireOnline.com EmpireOnline.com, 100 Sexiest Movie Stars". Empire. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- "Lucy Liu Talks Dirty". AsianWeek. Retrieved on 2008-09-08.
- "Lucy Liu set for Broadway’s 'God of Carnage'". USA Today. January 27, 2010.
- Gonzalez, Sandra (February 27, 2012). "Lucy Liu cast as Watson in Sherlock Holmes–based pilot". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- "LAPD Angel: Lucy Liu sheds her glamour girl image for the gritty police series Southland". Daily Mail. January 2012.
- “'Southland' Star Lucy Liu Talks Upcoming Partner Tensions, Whether She'll Return Next Season And More” Huffington Post. February 27, 2012.
- "Lucy wins "Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series"". The Hollywood reporter. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "About The Bullitts".
- “Actress Lucy Liu performs (well, narrates) with UK group The Bullitts: Watch here.”. Music Mix. August 4, 2011.
- "Latest Academy News". Oscars.org – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- Rosenberg, Karen (March 6, 2009). "Toplessness and Taxidermy in a Bottoming Market". New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
- Tucker, Reed (May 1, 2006). "Painting By Numbers With Lucy Liu". Esquire. Retrieved December 6, 2006.
- Live with Regis and Kelly. First aired on January 21, 2008.
- "Acting out her art – CAN life be any more unfair?, January 24, 2008.". www.gg-art.com. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Auction of Lucy Liu's Artwork Raises More Than $330,000, October 17, 2006.". Mcmurry.com. Retrieved March 8, 2010.[dead link]
- "Acting out her art – CAN life be any more unfair?, January 24, 2008.". www.gg-art.com. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Custom Content Council".
- Frontline Newsletter. Fall 2001. "Actress Lucy Liu (Ling Woo—TV's Ally McBeal), served as spokeswoman for the 2001 Lee National Denim Day®, the world's largest single-day fundraiser for breast cancer. The one-day event was not just about raising funds, though—it was also about raising awareness."
- “Lucy Liu Charity Work, Events and Causes”. looktothestars.org.
- "Redlight The Movie Website". Redlightthemovie.com. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- Lucy Liu (November 26, 2007). Traffic: An MTV EXIT Special presented by Lucy Liu — Part 1. Hulu. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
MTV EXIT Documentary presented by Lucy Liu to raise awareness of human trafficking. Log on to www.mtvexit.org for more information. This program is produced rights-free and can be used by any broadcaster, website, organisation, or individual.
- Liu profile, HRC.com; accessed October 20, 2014.
- "Heinz Micronutrient Campaign". Heinz Company. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Lucy Liu's Breast Cancer Scare". August 23, 2001. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Profile, committee100.org; accessed October 20, 2014.
- "Lucy Liu on Twitter". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
- Takeda, Allison. "Lucy Liu Welcomes Son Rockwell Lloyd Liu Via Gestational Surrogate: First Picture". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Actress Lucy Liu Creates a Name for Herself in Art". /. March 6, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Yu Ling biography". Zoominfo.com. October 4, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "antenna's up". The Coast. March 2, 2006. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Basel Player – Richard Phillips, December 11, 2007.". New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Lucy Liu Exhibition Opening". Getty Images. May 8, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Von einer Leinwand zur anderen". Gala. May 8, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Lucy Liu in München – Die Erotik eines Hollywood-Stars". Sud Deutsche Zeitung. May 9, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Curio: Artist Yu Ling (a.k.a. Lucy Liu)". Film Experience blog. June 29, 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Fragments of Lucy Liu". The Guardian/. October 5, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Much More Than An Angel: Meet Lucy Liu The Artist". MyDaily.co.uk/. May 17, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
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