Lucy Alexis Liu (born December 2, 1968) is an Emmy Award
nominated American actress of Chinese ancestry, best known for starring
in the television series Ally McBeal and the 2000 film Charlie's
Angels. Her Chinese name is Liú Yùlíng.
Liu was born in New York City, and was raised with her older brother,
John Ya Liu (Liú Yá Lì), and older sister,
Jenny Liu, in Queens, New York by Chinese immigrant parents. Her
father worked as a civil engineer and her mother as a biochemist
in China, but they sacrificed to come to the United States. At one
time her father peddled watches in Atlantic City while Liu worked
in a pajama factory at age eleven. In an interview with the London
Daily Telegraph she said: "It was totally illegal. I actually
blocked it out until a few years ago when I said, Oh my God, I was
a child sweatshop worker. I didn't want to do it, but what choice
did I have." Her family subsisted on boiled rice and cucumber
in their cockroach-infested Queens apartment. Liu, at her parents'
insistence, devoted her spare time to studying, and she attended
New York City's famous Stuyvesant High School. Then she attended
New York University for one year, transferred to University of Michigan
at Ann Arbor, and graduated with a degree in Asian languages and
Liu began acting in 1989 after auditioning for a role in University
of Michigan's production of "Alice in Wonderland" during
her senior year. Liu won the lead role although she tried out for
a supporting role.
Liu had small roles in films and TV roles (for example in X-Files)
before landing a break on Ally McBeal. Liu's role on the series
was originally not meant to be regular but the enthusiastic audience
response to the actress' 'feisty' Ling Woo secured Lucy as a permanent
She became famous with her turn as Alex in the Charlie's Angels
movie, starring with established Hollywood stars Drew Barrymore
and Cameron Diaz. The sequel to the film opened to poor reviews
and box office. Lucy was also paid sixteen million dollars less
for her work in Charlie's Angels than co-star Cameron Diaz.
Liu starred with Antonio Banderas in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever,
a critical and box-office failure. Lucy is perhaps most famous for
her role as O-Ren Ishii (assassin Cottonmouth) in director Quentin
Tarantino's Kill Bill films. The first installment of the Kill Bill
films, Volume 1, showed Lucy a better actress than had been evident
from her previous roles. She won an MTV Movie Award, further solidifying
her fame with young, hip audiences, for "Best Movie Villain".
Lucy recently appeared on several episodes of Joey with Matt LeBlanc,
who played her love interest in the Charlie's Angels movies. She
also had a small role as a psychologist opposite Keira Knightley
in the thriller Domino. Other appearances include a cameo on the
animated show Futurama and recently, The Simpsons. Liu is currently
in talks to recreate the Charlie Chan series for modern audiences.
In April 2006, the documentary Freedom's Fury premiered, with Lucy
Liu as executive producer. The film dramatizes the Fall of 1956
when Hungary exploded in a people power revolt and climaxes with
the infamous water polo showdown between Hungary and the Soviet
Union at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, known as the 'Blood in the
Although Liu is not married, rumour has linked her with George Clooney.
Recently, there was news that she is engaged to a New York playwright,
Zach Helm. The engagement has been cancelled and she is single.
Regarding this relationship status, she told the Telegraph, "It's
kind of sad because it gets lonely, but I have too much else going
With her parents' work ethic, Liu continued, "I'm always multitasking,
doing 10 things at once." She is fluent in Mandarin and Italian,
studies French and Japanese, rock climbs, practices martial arts,
skis, plays the accordian, and makes collages, having done several
In 2005, Liu was appointed a U.S. Fund for UNICEF Ambassador.
Early in 2006, Liu received an Asian Excellence Award for Visibilty,
since she is the most well-known and visible Asian American in the
In 2001, Liu was the spokesperson for the Lee National Denim Day
fundraiser which raises millions of dollars for breast cancer research
Liu originally auditioned for the role of 'Nelle Porter' (played
by Portia de Rossi) on the TV series, 'Ally McBeal'. The Character
'Ling Woo' was later created for her in the TV series.
Liu has a tattoo of a tiger on her lower back
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
The Cleaner (2006)
Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
The Simpsons (1989) (2006 guest appearance)
Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
Futurama (1999) (2001 guest appearance)
Charlie's Angels (2000)
Shanghai Noon (2000)
Play It to the Bone (1999)
The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (1999)
True Crime (1999)
Love Kills (1998)
City of Industry (1997)
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995) "The March to Freedom"
This article (or parts thereof) is
copied from an article on Wikipedia.org
- the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community.
Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles
provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the
accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed
under the terms of GNU
Free Documentation License.