"You respect all of these people that you know in the business as actors. And they sort of turn around and say, we really like your work. It's a nice acknowledgment."Lucy Alexis Liu (劉玉玲 Liú Yùlíng) is an American actress, born in Queens, New York City on December 2, 1968, to Taiwanese immigrant parents. Although she did well in her studies, she started acting when she auditioned for a minor role in a college production of Alice in Wonderland, and instead won the lead.After some small roles in films and television, her breakthrough came when she got a part in Ally McBeal, playing the foul-mouthed Ling Woo, a new character specifically written for her. Her tough attitude made her a sex symbol for a lot of viewers, and her performance earned her Emmy and Screen Actors Guild award nominations.Since then, she has appeared in a variety of film and television roles, often playing an Action Girl or Dark Action Girl, as well as doing voice-acting in animation (cf. her appearance on the Futurama episode where Fry downloads Lucy Liu's likeness into a robot and uses it as his girlfriend and her role on the King of the Hill episode "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do?" as Connie's delinquent cousin Tid Pao who tricks Bobby into making a meth lab for her). Liu also holds the honor of being the first Asian-American woman to host Saturday Night Live (her episode was a season 26 Christmas episode with Jay-Z as a musical guest). In the 2010s, she completely changed her image and finally broke away from Dragon Lady and Ms. Fanservice typecasting by playing Dr. Joan Watson opposite Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes in Elementary.Liu is bilingual in English and Mandarin, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Michigan.
Her filmography includes:
- 3 Needles as Jin Ping, the Blood Smuggler
- Ally McBeal as Ling.
- Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever as Agent Sever
- Charlie's Angels and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle as Alex Munday
- Chicago as Kitty Baxter (cameo)
- City of Industry as Cathi Rose
- Cypher as Rita Foster
- Disney Fairies films as Silvermist
- Elementary as Dr. Joan Watson
- Kill Bill as O-Ren Ishii
- Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness as Viper
- The Man with the Iron Fists as Madame Blossom
- Lucky Number Slevin as Lindsey
- Marry Me as Rae
- Mulan II as Mei
- Payback as Pearl
- Rise: Blood Hunter as Sadie Blake
- Shanghai Noon as Princess Pei-Pei
- Watching the Detectives as Violet
Her tropes include:
- The Cameo: She has one in Chicago as Kitty Baxter, an heiress who murders her husband and his lover (nearly stealing Roxie's thunder in the process).
- Dragon Lady: A modern day example; especially with her notable roles in Ally McBeal, Charlie's Angels and Kill Bill.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Vivian in Charlie's Angels was written to be Chinese. When Lucy was cast as Alex, they changed Vivian to a white girl.