Lucy Liu Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Lucy Liu          

Actress, Model, Artist, Film Producer and Director; Best Known for "Charlie's Angels" and "Elementary"

She became known for her role in the television series Ally McBeal (1998-2002) and has also appeared in several notable film roles, including Kill Bill and the Charlie's Angels films.

She was born and raised with her brother, Alex Liu, 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 was a civil engineer and her mother a biochemist in Taiwan, but they sacrificed those careers 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 Hell Money episode of The X-Files and The March to Freedom episode on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) 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/hit woman for the Chinese mafia in the film Payback (1999).

Liu became better known with her turn as Alex Munday in the Charlie's Angels movie, alongside established Hollywood stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. The film became a hit, earning more than $125 million in the U.S., and a worldwide total of more than $258 million. The sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, opened to poor reviews but was a box-office hit again, earning more than $252 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 show Futurama and recently, The Simpsons.

In April 2006, the documentary Freedom's Fury premiered, with Liu as executive producer. The film dramatizes the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, climaxing with the infamous water polo showdown between Hungary and the Soviet Union at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, known as the 'Blood in the Water match'.

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 has gained great praise for her role as Watson winning many awards including 3 consecutive nominations for the People's Choice Awards for Favorite TV Crime Drama Actress.


Lucy Liu opens up on her "nontraditional family," gestational carrier ...

When Lucy Liu welcomed her son Rockwell in August of last year, the single mom proudly announced that he was "brought into the world via gestational carrier.".

Lucy Liu Gushes About Son's Latest Milestones, Reveals the Most ...

The actress posted the very first photo of her son, Rockwell Lloyd Liu, on Twitter last August and wrote, "Introducing the new little man in my life, my son.".

Lucy Liu Has a Few Anti-Aging Secrets You Need to Know Now | E ...

So how does 47-year old Lucy Liu manage to always look fresh, and quite honestly, the same age she did a decade ago? It probably has something to do with ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Lucy