Creator: Lucy Lawless

"I like the one who plays me. She's kinda sexy."
Xena, on Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless (born March 29, 1968, as Lucille Francis Ryan) is an actress, musician, and singer from New Zealand. She began as a singer, then as a jazz musician, and transitioned to acting in the 1990s. Her first major role was in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys pilot Hercules and the Amazon Women as Lysia the Amazon. She later played Lyla in the regular show, and then appeared in one episode, "The Warrior Princess," as...

...Xena. The character proved so popular she got her own show, Xena: Warrior Princess, which made Lucy Lawless a star. Xena ran for six seasons, and Lucy Lawless continued to act in other roles. She appeared on the Broadway revival of Grease as Betty Rizzo. She made a cameo appearance on Spider-Man as a punk rock girl. But her next really big role would not be until the new Battlestar Galactica, where she played Intrepid Reporter D'Anna Biers, AKA Cylon Number Three.

Her next big roles were in Spartacus: Blood and Sand as Lucretia, No Ordinary Family as Helen Burton, and Parks and Recreation as Diane Lewis, a love interest of Ron Swanson.

She lives with her husband (Xena creator Rob Tapert) and their two children, and also has two children from her previous marriage. She is a member of Greenpeace, and was arrested in 2012 with five other activists for occupying an oil-drilling ship for 77 hours, though the $545,000 in compensation requested by Shell Oil was reduced to an $547 fine and 120 hours of community service. Lucy Lawless has since vowed to remain with Greenpeace.

The dwarf planet Eris (discovered in 2005) was originally nicknamed Xena (after Lawless's iconic role), and its moon Gabrielle for Xena's closest companion. Later on the moon was officially named Dysnomia, which is Greek for "lawlessness."


Roles


Tropes

  • Action Girl: Tends to play these.
  • Awesome McCoolname: But not by design; she just happened to marry a guy named Lawless (her maiden name was Ryan). However, at the time of the marriage she was trying to break into acting, and she recounted in one interview that upon realizing her name was now 'Lucy Lawless', she worried no one would take her seriously.
  • But I Play One on TV: Mostly as Xena.
    • Due to Xena's perceived relationship with Gabrielle by fans in Xena: Warrior Princess, Lawless is considered to be a "lesbian icon", despite being straight, and takes it seriously. She has appeared at many gay pride events such as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. (While the show was on she remained somewhat undecided about the nature of the relationship, but by the time the finale rolled around, Lawless acknowledged that it wasn't just a thing, saying: "Nope, they're married, man")
    • An in-story example Played for Laughs. When she guest starred on The Simpsons Halloween episode, she keeps having to remind people she is Lucy Lawless, not Xena. At the end of the episode, when she flies Bart and Lisa home (remember, animated), Lisa comments that "Xena can't fly!" Lucy again mentions she's not Xena.
  • Dye Hard: Her hair is naturally ash blonde, but she is best known as the dark-haired Xena, to the point that seeing her with her natural hair color is almost jarring.
  • Fake American: Most viewers have no idea she is from New Zealand, largely because Xena was played with an American accent.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: On Galactica as Number Three. Not to mention her signature role of Xena.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Forced a few of these during her time starring on "Xena", most notably, Xena's body switching exploits with Callisto when Lawless broke her pelvis, and Xena's pregnancy when Lawless became pregnant.
  • Statuesque Stunner
  • A Wizard Did It: She is the Trope Namer. It comes from her appearance on an episode of The Simpsons.