Lucille Frances Ryan "Lucy" Lawless, MNZM, was born on March 29th, 1968, in Auckland, New Zealand. She is best known for her portrayal of Xena in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, D'Anna Biers/Number Three in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, and Lucretia in the Spartacus television franchise.
Originally, the part of Xena was meant to be a guest role, played by English actress Vanessa Angel, but due to illness, she could not make it to the set and the part went to Lucy, who had previously appeared on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as Lyla and Lysia. When the character was proved popular, executive producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi created a spin-off: Xena: Warrior Princess, starring Lucy as Xena and Renée O'Connor as Gabrielle. Lawless has the distinction of being the only cast member to appear in Hercules and the Amazon Women and A Friend in Need Part II, the first and last productions, respectively, of the so-called Xenaverse.
After the success of Xena, Lucy appeared in Two and a Half Men, The L Word and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She also landed a recurring role on the newly revamped version of Battlestar Galactica as D'Anna Biers and was a runner-up on the American reality show Celebrity Duets.
Recently, Lucy appeared in Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi's Starz television series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, as Lucretia.
She was recently cast as a recurring character in season two of the first Marvel Cinematic Universe's TV series, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a long time S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Isabelle Hartly, who like Xena is handy with a knife.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Musical career
- 4 Personal Life
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Credits
- 7 References
- 8 External Links
Lucy Lawless was born Lucille Frances Ryan to Kiwi natives, Julie and Frank Ryan, who was the Mayor of Mount Albert. She was the sixth of seven children, having one sister and five brothers. During her secondary school days she suffered from bullimia but this was overcome when she began to study Opera, Jazz Music and Foreign Languages at college.
Lucy appeared as a guest character in several television shows throughout the 80's and early 90's, before going for an audtion that would spark a chain of events, leading to her big break. The first audition was for the role of Lysia in Hercules and the Amazon Women. Lucy later returned when a series was created from the made-for-TV films, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. She played the part of Lyla, but her big break didn't come until she audtioned for the small part of Xena.
Another actress, Vanessa Angel, got the part, but due to an illness, she was unable to film and Lucy got the part. The character of Xena was proved to be successful and after three episodes on Hercules, the character eventually got it's own show - "Xena: Warrior Princess". Xena eventually outlived it's successful parent show and ran for six seasons.
In 2010, she starred alongside Andy Whitfield and John Hannah in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, a television series created by Steven S. DeKinght, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, based on the life of the infamous gladiator Spartacus. It features previous cast members of Xena: Warrior Princess such as Manu Bennett and Matthew Chamberlain. She then starred in the prequel series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, which aired in early 2011, created to give star Andy Whitfield (Spartacus) time to recover from cancer. However, Andy Whitfield became ill once again and so Spartacus was re-cast altogether and filming commenced on the second season of the show, entitled Spartacus: Vengeance. Andy Whitfield passed away on 11th September, 2011. Lawless' character, thought to have been killed in the previous series, returns for this series.
Lucy made a guest appearance in 1999 on The Simpsons in the 10th Halloween Special, "Treehouse of Horrors X". She appeared in the short "Desperatly Xeeking Xena". Although she played herself, she had the persona of Xena.
After the success of Xena, Lucy had various cameos and guest roles, most notably on Spiderman and Two and Half Men, respectively.
In 2004 Lucy became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to television and film, the Kiwi equivilant of the Order of the British Empire.
In 2005 she landed the role of D'Anna Biers on the revamped Battlestar Galactica, which lasted until 2009.
In 2008 she appeared in the christmas film Bedtime Stories, alongside Adam Sandler and Courtney Cox-Arquette (the latter's sister-in-law, Alexis Arquette, had previously appeared on Xena as Caligula).
In 2009 Lucy also had a role in the film Bitch Slap, produced by members of the Xena team and starred alongside fellow Xena actors, Renne O'Connor, Michael Hurst, and Kevin Sorbo, amongst many others.
Lawless had a recurring role on the fifth and sixth season of the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation as Diane Lewis, a single mother who falls for Ron Swanson.
In January 2011, Lawless played a character on U.S. series No Ordinary Family known as "Mrs X.," a possible nod to her character of Xena.
In 2015, she had a recurring role as Countess Palatine Ingrid von Marburg on the WGN America series Salem, and appears in the series Ash vs. Evil Dead. Lawless had a recurring role on the fifth and sixth season of the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation as Diane Lewis, a single mother who falls for Ron Swanson.
Before Xena, Lucy had considered a career in opera, and she flirted with a singing career over the years, including a run, described below, on the television show Celebrity Duets, which she dominated to such a degree that the "Flawless Diva" movement arose to support her. From January of 2007 to May of 2008, she performed in sell-out concerts. She also recorded and released an album, titled Come 2 Me, and live footage existed of her performances at the Roxy in Hollywood.
Lucy's singing in XWP (some of whose installments, like "The Bitter Suite," were musical installments) was all her own, and she was even able to contribute to the show's music score; "Burial," a dirge heard in some installments, is entirely of her authorship and composition. (Though it was unknown, as of early November of 2017, whether Lucy is able to read notation, she wrote and composed "Burial" by improvisation.)
In 2006, Lucy was a contestant on the American reality show, Celebrity Duets, transmitted on the Fox Network. The show followed a similar format to American Idol and the British show, The X Factor, both of which the same man, Simon Cowell, had co-created. Lucy was the runner-up to eventual winner Alfonso Ribeiro, having dueted with legendary singers such as Dionne Warwick and Bonnie Tyler.
Lucy met her first husband, Garth Lawless, in 1987 and married in 1988. She had their only child, Daisy Lawless, on 15th July, 1988. They divorced in 1995.
During her time on Hercules and Xena, Lucy met her second and current husband, executive producer Robert Tapert. The couple have been married since 1998 and have two children together: Julius Robert Bay Tapert, who was born 16th October, 1999 and Judah Miro Tapert, who was born 7th May, 2002. The couple currently reside in their home in Mission Bay, Auckland, New Zealand, speculated at a $6 million worth.
She is a member of the StarShip Foundation, a charity which is a branch of the StarShip Children's Hospital. It focuses on helping out the patients, staff and families of the patients, and funding for equipment. She devotes much of her time to this cause and has performed concerts, organised events and even donated her Xena costume to a museum and gave all the proceedings to the charity.
She also became "Climate Ambassador" of the Greenpeace campaign in May 2009, which focuses on raising awareness of the state of the enviroment. Her involvement with this charity later led to an arrest (see below).
Incident on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
In October 1996 Lucy was filming for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, when the horse that she was riding fell, causing her to fracture her pelvis. As she was filming for Season Two of Xena at the time, the writers had to come up with an idea to prevent the incident from causing too much of an effect to the show. In "Intimate Stranger", a storyline where Callisto and Xena switch bodies became handy, allowing the writers to extend the storyline for an extra episode and allow for Lucy to rest. The writers then came-up with a few Xena-Lites to allow for Lucy to have more time off work and fully recover.
In February 2012, Lawless and five other Greenpeace activists boarded an oil drilling ship at Port Taranaki, New Zealand, and remained on it for 77 hours to stop it leaving for the Arctic where it was going to take part in oil exploration. She was subsequently arrested and charged with burglary, which carries an imprisonment term of up to 10 years if convicted. She pleaded guilty on 14 June 2012 to trespass charges regarding the February incident. Lawless said she intends for now to remain involved with Greenpeace. In February 2013, she and the other six activists were each sentenced to pay a fine of NZ$651 (about US$547) and 120 hours of community service. The judge denied the $545,000 in reparations that Shell Todd Oil Services had sought from the activists. Following the sentencing, Lawless said: "I consider it a great victory that the court has struck down the reparation demand from Shell, which I think was absolutely ludicrous."
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- Hercules and the Amazon Women - Lysia
- "As Darkness Falls" - Lyla
- "The Warrior Princess" - Xena
- "The Gauntlet" - Xena
- "Unchained Heart" - Xena
- "Outcast" - Lyla
- "Judgement Day" - Xena
- "Stranger in a Strange World" - Xena 2
- "Armageddon Now Part 2" - Xena
Xena: Warrior Princess
- "Sins of the Past" - Xena
- "Chariots of War" - Xena
- "Dreamworker" - Xena
- "Cradle of Hope" - Xena
- "The Path Not Taken" - Xena
- "The Reckoning" - Xena
- "The Titans" - Xena
- "Prometheus" - Xena
- "Death in Chains" - Xena
- "Hooves and Harlots" - Xena
- "The Black Wolf" - Xena
- "Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts" - Xena
- "Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards" - Xena
- "A Fistful of Dinars" - Xena
- "Warrior... Princess" - Xena/Diana
- "Mortal Beloved" - Xena
- "The Royal Couple of Thieves" - Xena
- "The Prodigal" - Xena
- "Altared States" - Xena
- "Ties That Bind" - Xena
- "The Greater Good" - Xena
- "Callisto" - Xena
- "Death Mask" - Xena
- "Is There a Doctor in the House?" - Xena
- "Orphan of War" - Xena
- "Remember Nothing" - Xena
- "The Giant Killer" - Xena
- "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" - Xena
- "Return of Callisto" - Xena
- "Warrior... Princess... Tramp" - Xena/Diana/Meg
- "Intimate Stranger" - Xena/Callisto
- "A Solstice Carol" - Xena
- "The Xena Scrolls" - Melinda Pappas/Xena
- "Here She Comes... Miss Amphipolis" - Xena
- "Destiny" - Xena
- "The Quest" - Xena
- "A Necessary Evil" - Xena
- "A Day in the Life" - Xena
- "For Him The Bell Tolls" - Xena
- "The Execution" - Xena
- "Blind Faith" - Xena
- "Ulysses" - Xena
- "The Price - Xena
- "Lost Mariner" - Xena
- "A Comedy of Eros" - Xena
- "The Furies" - Xena
- "Been There, Done That" - Xena
- "The Dirty Half Dozen" - Xena
- "The Deliverer" - Xena
- "Gabrielle's Hope" - Xena
- "The Debt: Part 1" - Xena
- "The Debt: Part 2" - Xena
- "The King of Assassins" - Xena
- "Warrior... Priestess... Tramp" - Xena/Meg/Leah
- "The Quill is Mightier..." - Xena
- "Maternal Instincts" - Xena
- "The Bitter Suite" - Xena
- "One Against an Army" - Xena
- "Forgiven" - Xena
- "King Con" - Xena
- "When in Rome..." - Xena
- "Forget Me Not" - Xena
- "Fins, Femmes and Gems" - Xena
- "Tsunami" - Xena
- "Vanishing Act" - Xena
- "Sacrifice: Part 1" - Xena
- "Sacrifice: Part 2" - Xena
- "Adventures in the Sin Trade" - Xena
- "Adventures in the Sin Trade II" - Xena
- "A Family Affair" - Xena
- "In Sickness and in Hell" - Xena
- "A Good Day" - Xena
- "A Tale of Two Muses" - Xena
- "Locked Up and Tied Down" - Xena
- "Crusader" - Xena
- "Past Imperfect" - Xena
- "The Key to the Kingdom" - Xena/Meg
- "Daughter of Pomira" - Xena
- "If the Shoe Fits..." - Xena
- "Paradise Found" - Xena
- "Devi" - Xena
- "Between the Lines" - Xena/Arminestra
- "The Way" - Xena
- "The Play's the Thing" - Xena
- "The Convert" - Xena
- "Takes One to Know One" - Xena
- "Endgame" - Xena
- "The Ides of March" - Xena
- "Deja Vu All Over Again" - Annie Day/Joxer
- "Fallen Angel" - Xena
- "Chakram" - Xena
- "Succession" - Xena
- "Animal Attraction" - Xena
- "Them Bones, Them Bones" - Xena
- "Purity" - Xena
- "Back in the Bottle" - Xena
- "Little Problems" - Xena
- "Seeds of Faith" - Xena
- "Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire" - Xena
- "Punch Lines" - Xena
- "God Fearing Child" - Xena
- "Eternal Bonds" - Xena
- "Amphipolis Under Siege" - Xena
- "Married with Fishsticks" - Xena
- "Lifeblood" - Xena
- "Kindred Spirits" - Xena
- "Antony & Cleopatra" - Xena
- "Looking Death in the Eye" - Xena/Meg (voice only)
- "Livia" - Xena/Meg
- "Eve" - Xena
- "Motherhood" - Xena
- "Coming Home" - Xena
- "The Haunting of Amphipolis" - Xena
- "Heart of Darkness" - Xena
- "Who's Gurkhan?" - Xena
- "Legacy" - Xena
- "The Abyss" - Xena
- "The Rheingold" - Xena
- "The Ring" - Xena
- "Return of the Valkyrie" - Xena
- "Old Ares Had a Farm" - Xena
- "Dangerous Prey" - Xena
- "The God You Know" - Xena
- "You Are There" - Xena
- "Path of Vengeance" - Xena
- "To Helicon and Back" - Xena
- "Send in the Clones" - Xena's Clone
- "Last of the Centaurs" - Xena
- "When Fates Collide" - Xena
- "Many Happy Returns" - Xena
- "Soul Possession" - Xena/Joxer/Annie Day
- "A Friend in Need Part I" - Xena
- "A Friend in Need Part II" - Xena
- Lucy Lawless boards oil drilling ship. 3news.co.nz (February 2012).
- Lawless charged with burglary after ship protest. Television New Zealand (27 February 2011). Retrieved on 27 February 2011.
- Nick Perry (14 June 2012). Actress Lucy Lawless Pleads Guilty to Trespass. ABC News. Archived from the original on 2012-06-15.
- Lucy Lawless sentenced, and the warrior princess is thrilled. Los Angeles Times (7 February 2013). Retrieved on 24 February 2013.