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Lucy Lawless


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Lucy Lawless (born Lucille Frances Ryan on March 29, 1968 in Mount Albert, New Zealand) is a New Zealand actress and singer best known for her role as Xena on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess from 1995 to 2001.

The fifth of seven children (5 brothers, 1 sister) to Frank and Julie Ryan, Lawless found the joy of acting in secondary school. At Auckland University, she studied foreign languages for a year. She dropped out and left for Europe with her boyfriend, Garth Lawless, to travel around Germany and Switzerland. For money they did odd jobs, including working for a mining company in Australia.

While in Australia, 19-year-old Lucy found out she was pregnant. In 1988, Lucy and Garth were married in Kalgoorlie, Australia. They returned to New Zealand and had a daughter, Daisy Lawless (born July 15, 1988). They divorced in 1995. Lawless married Xena executive producer, Robert G. Tapert, on March 28, 1998. The couple have two sons: Julius Robert Bay Tapert (born October 16, 1999) and Judah Miro Tapert (born May 7, 2002), both born in Auckland, New Zealand.

Lawless had a guest role in 1990 on New Zealand TV series Shark in the Park, around the same time compatriot Karl Urban appeared.

In March 1995, Vanessa Angel was supposed to play a new character, the villainess Xena, in an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but became sick and was unable to travel to New Zealand. Lawless had previously played two different characters in Hercules, so the directors chose her as a replacement (though her hair had to be dyed to distinguish her from the previous, unrelated characters). Played by the 1.79 m (5'10 1/2") Lawless, Xena's character became popular and got her own series, Xena: Warrior Princess which debuted on 4 September 1995. The show was a hit, lasting six seasons.

Lucy Lawless as Xena on Xena: Warrior Princess, holding her character's trademark chakram. Her role as Xena has made her a universally recognized celebrity.An example of the popularity of Xena: Warrior Princess is that Lawless is a universally recognized celebrity despite the fact that she has not had a major role outside of the television series. She was even portrayed as a character on The Simpsons (playing a super-powered, flying version of herself).

In 1997, Lawless was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine. Days earlier on 6 May 1997, Lawless famously and inadvertently exposed one of her breasts (resulting from a wardrobe malfunction) while singing the US national anthem at an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, California between the Mighty Ducks and Detroit Red Wings . She later said (quoted in Newsweek): "I was mortified. . . . It was quite a bit more exposure than I want".

She has since appeared in the Vagina Monologues, on the first two episodes of the ninth season of The X-Files, and in the short-lived (eight episodes) television series Tarzan. She has had brief appearances in the movies Eurotrip, Spider-Man, and the horror film Boogeyman. Her next role was on TV battling bugs in her new TV-movie Locusts! Lawless also made a guest appearance in an episode of the second season of TV drama series Veronica Mars.


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