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Lucy Lawless (born Lucille Frances Ryan on March 29, 1968 in Auckland, New Zealand), is a Kiwi actress and singer best known for her role as Xena on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess from 1995 to 2001.
Lucy was born the fifth child of Frank and Julie Ryan. She discovered an enjoyment of acting in high school. At Auckland University, she studied foreign languages for a year. She then left for Europe with her boyfriend to travel around Germany and Switzerland. They went back and landed a job with a mining company in Australia. In 1988, Lucy and Garth Lawless were married. They returned to New Zealand and had a daughter, Daisy.
She had a guest role in 1990 on New Zealand TV series Shark in the Park, around the same time compatriot Karl Urban appeared.
Vanessa Angel was supposed to play a new character, the villainess Xena, in an en episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but became sick and was unable to travel to New Zealand. Lucy had previously played two different characters in Hercules, so the directors chose her as a replacement (though Lucy's hair had to be dyed to distinquish her from the previous, unrelated characters). Under the 5'10 1/2" Lucy, Xena's character became popular, so she started to redeem herself and got her own her series, Xena: Warrior Princess. The show was a hit, lasting six seasons.
A testament to the popularity of Xena: Warrior Princess is that Lawless is a universally recognized celebrity even though she has not had a single great success outside of it. She was even immortalized as a character on The Simpsons (playing a super-powered, flying version of herself).
She would later be named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine in 1997.
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!.
Lucy Lawless as fleet reporter D'anna Biers on Battlestar Galactica.Recently, Lawless has taken on a recurring role on the Battlestar Galactica television series. She plays a D'anna Biers, a reporter with a secret agenda who works on a critical documentary about the crew of the Galactica (and who in secret is actually a Cylon humanoid robot that has infiltrated the ship to help bring about its destruction).
Lucy and Garth were divorced in 1995. She married the executive producer of Xena, Robert G. Tapert, in 1998. The couple had a son in 1999 named Julius Robert Bay Tapert. Lucy gave birth to her son in New Zealand. Her third child, and second with Robert Tapert, was born 2002 in New Zealand, and named Judah Miro Tapert.
Due to her character Xena's ambiguous sexuality, Lucy Lawless gained a large cult following in the lesbian community. A new term, dykon, was coined to describe her status as a gay icon. Although she is heterosexual, Lucy Lawless has enhanced this reputation by appearing at gay pride events such as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
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