Lucy Liu Biography
Birth name - Lucy Alexis Liu
Date of birth - December 2, 1968
Queens, New York, USA
Height - 5' 3" (1.60 m)
Sometimes Credited As:
Lucy Alexis Liu / Lucy Lui
Lucy Liu photo gallery
Born to Chinese immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Once relegated to "ethnic" parts, the energetic actress is finally earning her stripes as an across-the-board leading lady.
Liu graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1986 and enrolled in New York University; discouraged by the "dark and sarcastic" atmosphere of NYU, however, she transferred to the University of Michigan after her freshman year. She graduated from UM with a degree in Chinese Language and Culture, managing to squeeze in some additional training in dance, voice, fine arts, and acting. During her senior year, Liu auditioned for a small part in a production of Alice in Wonderland and walked away with the lead; encouraged by the experience, she decided to take the plunge into professional acting. She moved to Los Angeles and split her time between auditions and food service day jobs, eventually scoring a guest appearance as a waitress on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990). That performance led to more walk-on parts in shows like "NYPD Blue" (1993), "ER" (1994), and "The X Files" (1993). In 1996, she was cast as an ambitious college student on Rhea Perlman's ephemeral sitcom "Pearl" (1996).
Liu first appeared on the big screen as an ex-girlfriend in Jerry Maguire (1996) (she had previously filmed a scene in the indie Bang (1995), but it was shelved for two years). She then waded through a series of supporting parts in small films before landing her big break on "Ally McBeal" (1997). Liu initially auditioned for the role of Nelle Porter, which went to Portia de Rossi, but writer-producer David E. Kelley was so impressed with her spunk that he promised to write a part for her in an upcoming episode. The part turned out to be that of growling, ill-tempered lawyer Ling Woo, which Liu filled with such aplomb that she was signed on as a regular cast member.
The "Ally" win gave Liu's film career a much-needed boost--in 1999, she was cast as a dominatrix in the Mel Gibson action flick Payback (1999), and as a hitchhiker in the ill-received boxing saga Play It to the Bone (1999). The next year brought even larger roles: first as the kidnapped Princess Pei Pei in Jackie Chan's western Shanghai Noon (2000), then as one-third of the comely crime-fighting trio in Charlie's Angels (2000).
When she's not hissing at clients or throwing well-coiffed punches, Liu keeps busy with an eclectic mix of off-screen hobbies. She practices the martial art of Kali-Eskrima-Silat (knife-and-stick fighting), skis, rock climbs, rides horses, and plays the accordion. In 1993 she exhibited a collection of multimedia art pieces at the Cast Iron Gallery in SoHo (New York), after which she won a grant to study and create art in China. Her hectic schedule doesn't leave much time for romantic intrigue, but Liu says she prefers to keep that side of her life uncluttered.
More Interesting Information for Lucy Liu
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a degree in Asian languages and cultures.
Graduated from Stuyvesant high school in 1986.
Attended New York University for a year.
Mother is a biochemist, father is a civil engineer and she has a brother and a sister.
Grew up in the Jackson Heights section of Queens County, New York.
Was the first Asian-American female to host "Saturday Night Live" (1975).
She once worked as an aerobics instructor.
She plays the accordion.
She practices rock climbing, skiing, & horseback riding.
Auditioned for a role in Shanghai Knights (2003), but lost out to Fann Wong.
Is an initiated sister of Chi Omega Fraternity
Announced that she plans on marrying Zach Helm, her boyfriend of one year. [April 2004]
Shares a birthday with Britney Spears
Mentioned in Outkast's hit "Hey Ya".
Good friends with Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore since Charlie's Angels (2000)
One of the guests at Ashton Kutcher's and Demi Moore's wedding in 2005.
Graduated Stuyvesant High School the same year as Yelba Osorio and Zorikh Lequidre.
Fluent in Italian.
Is close friends with her "Pearl" (1996) co-star Rhea Perlman and her husband Danny DeVito
Personal quotes from Lucy Liu
"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."
"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."
Lucy Liu Filmography
Actress - filmography
(In Production) (2000s) (1990s)
Charlie Chan (2007)
Devil to Pay (2006)
Kung Fu Panda (2008) .... Master Viper
Rise (2006) .... Sadie Blake
The Cleaner (2006) .... Gina
Lucky Number Slevin (2006) .... Lindsey
Domino (2005) .... Taryn Miles
3 Needles (2005) .... Jin Ping
"Jackie Chan Adventures"
- J2 Revised (2005) TV Episode (voice) .... Future Jade
- J2: Rise of the Dragons (2004) TV Episode (voice) .... Adult Jade
- Goo Goo Gai Pan (2005) TV Episode (voice) .... Madam Wu
- 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" (2004) TV Series (voice) .... Maggie
"Game Over" (2004/I) TV Series (voice) .... Raquel Smashenburn
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) .... O-Ren Ishii
... aka Kill Bill (USA: informal short title)
... aka Kill Bill 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"
- Bad Girls, Bad Girls Whatcha Gonna Do (2002) TV Episode (voice) .... Tid Pao
Cypher (2002) .... Rita Foster
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002) .... Agent Sever
SSX Tricky (2001) (VG) (voice) .... Elise Riggs
Hotel (2001) .... Kawika
"Saturday Night Live"
... aka NBC's Saturday Night (USA: original title)
... aka SNL
... aka SNL 25 (USA: new title)
... aka Saturday Night Live '80 (USA: new title)
- Episode #26.8 (2000) TV Episode .... Host
Charlie's Angels (2000) .... Alex Munday
... aka 3 Engel für Charlie (Germany)
Shanghai Noon (2000) .... Princess Pei Pei
"Ally McBeal" .... Ling Woo (1998-2002)
- Boy Next Door (2000) TV Episode .... Ling Woo
- I Know Him by Heart (1999) TV Episode .... Ling Woo
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) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Pearl
Love Kills (1998) .... Kashi
Guy (1997) (as Lucy Lui) .... Woman at newsstand
- Slaves (1997) TV Episode .... Alice Woo
City of Industry (1997) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Cathi Rose
Riot (1997/I) (TV) .... Boomer's Girlfriend (segment "Empty")
... aka Riot in the Streets (video title)
- A Wrenching Experience (1997) TV Episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Amy Chu
"The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest"
... 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
"Pearl" (1996) TV Series (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Amy Li (1996-1997)
Jerry Maguire (1996) (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Former Girlfriend
- Follow the Leader (1996) TV Episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu)
- Father Knows Best (1996) TV Episode
"The X Files"
... aka The X-Files (USA)
- Hell Money (1996) TV Episode (as Lucy Alexis Liu) .... Kim Hsin
... aka Bridges
- Genesis (1996) TV Episode .... Joy Powell
- 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"
- The March to Freedom (1995) TV Episode .... Oi-Lan
- Bachelor of the Year (1995) TV Episode .... Woman #3
- Out of Control (1994) TV Episode .... Nicole Wong
- It Should Happen to You (1994) TV Episode .... Nicole Wong
- Foreign Co-respondent (1993) TV Episode .... Mai Lin
Protozoa (1993) .... Ari
Ban wo zong heng (1992) .... Donna
... aka Rhythm of Destiny
"Beverly Hills, 90210"
- Pass, Not Pass (1991) TV Episode .... Courtney
Producer - filmography
(In Production) (2000s)
Charlie Chan (2007) (announced) (executive producer)
Devil to Pay (2006) (pre-production) (executive producer)
The Cleaner (2006) (post-production) (executive producer)
Freedom's Fury (2005) (executive producer)
Filmography as: Actress, Producer, Herself, Archive Footage
Herself - filmography
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
- Episode dated 27 March 2006 (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode dated 2 October 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
"The Oprah Winfrey Show"
... aka Oprah (USA: short title)
- Episode dated 1 March 2006 (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
2006 Asian Excellence Awards (2006) .... Self
2006 Asian Excellence Awards (2006) (TV) .... Winner, Visibility Award
Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope (2005) (TV) .... Herself
2004 MTV Movie Awards (2004) (TV) .... Herself
Jackie Chan: The Inside Story (2004) (TV) .... Herself
The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) (TV) .... Herself (presenter: Best Documentary, Best Cinematography)
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien"
- Episode dated 8 October 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode dated 26 June 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
... aka Tinseltown.TV (USA: promotional title)
- Episode dated 4 October 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
The Making of 'Kill Bill' (2003) (TV) .... Herself
"Late Show with David Letterman"
... aka Late Show Backstage (USA: title for episodes with guest hosts)
... aka The Late Show (USA: informal short title)
- Episode dated 26 August 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
"I Love the '70s" (2003) (mini) TV Series .... Herself
"Otro rollo con: Adal Ramones"
... aka Otro rollo (Mexico: short title)
- Episode dated 5 August 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
... aka Bo' Selecta! Vol 3 (UK: third season title)
... aka Ho ho ho Selecta! (UK: Christmas title)
- Episode #2.5 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
- Bernie Mac (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
"Matthew's Best Hit TV"
- Episode dated 18 June 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
The Making of 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' (2003) (TV) .... Herself
2003 MTV Movie Awards (2003) (TV) .... Herself
Young Hollywood Awards (2003) (TV) .... Herself
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards '03 (2003) (TV) .... Herself
"HBO First Look"
- Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
- Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever (2002) TV Episode .... Herself
- Charlie's Angels (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
VH1 Big in 2002 Awards (2002) (TV) .... Herself
2002 ABC World Stunt Awards (2002) (TV) (uncredited) .... Herself (Presenter)
- 25 Toughest Stars (2002) TV Episode .... Herself
- Love and Rocket (2002) TV Episode (voice) .... Herself
- I Dated a Robot (2001) TV Episode (voice) .... Herself
America: A Tribute to Heroes (2001) (TV) .... Herself
"Sex and the City"
- Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda (2001) TV Episode .... Herself
AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001) (TV) .... Herself
"Nulle part ailleurs"
... aka N.P.A. (France: short title)
... aka Nulle part ailleurs (matin) (France: new title)
... aka Nulle part ailleurs (midi) (France: new title)
... aka Nulle part ailleurs (soir) (France: new title)
- Episode dated 20 November 2000 (2000) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode #6.6 (2000) TV Episode .... Herself
"The Rosie O'Donnell Show"
- Episode dated 2 November 2000 (2000) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode dated 2 February 1999 (1999) TV Episode .... Herself
2000 MTV Movie Awards (2000) (TV) .... Herself - Presenter
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (2000) (TV) .... Herself
The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) (TV) .... Herself - Co-Presenter: Best Costume Design
Angelic Attire: Dressing Cameron, Drew & Lucy (2000) (V) .... Herself
The Master and the Angels (2000) (V) .... Herself
Getting G'd Up (2000) (V) .... Herself
Filmography as: Actress, Producer, Herself, Archive Footage
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) .... O-Ren Ishii (Cottonmouth)
The Making of 'Kill Bill: Volume 2' (2004) (TV) .... O-Ren Ishii
- Episode #1.15 (2003) TV Episode .... Herself
MTV Europe Music Awards 2003 (2003) (TV) .... Herself
Celebrity Naked Ambition (2003) (TV)