Lucy Liu is a TV and film actress known for her work on projects like 'Ally McBeal,' 'Charlie's Angels' and 'Elementary.'
Lucy Alexis Liu was born in Queens, New York. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Lucy Liu attended New York City's prestigious Stuyvesant High School. She enrolled at New York University, but transferred after one year to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she studied Asian languages and culture and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1990. During her senior year, Liu auditioned for a supporting part in a school production of Alice in Wonderland; to her surprise, she won the lead role, that of the typically blond, blue-eyed Alice. With that, her acting career had officially begun.
On the big screen, Liu grabbed audiences' attention with her turn as a leather-clad dominatrix in the poorly reviewed thriller Payback (1999), starring Mel Gibson. Her other film efforts released that year, including the independent feature The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human, Play it to the Bone, with Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas, and Molly, starring Elisabeth Shue, quickly disappeared from view. Liu had a good deal more luck in 2000, starring in the hit comedy Shanghai Noon as a rebellious Chinese princess who is kidnapped and taken to America's Wild West, only to be rescued by bumbling heroes played by Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.
In early 2000, it was announced that Liu had snagged one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood, that of the third glamorous female crime fighter in the big-screen update of Aaron Spelling's 1970s detective series Charlie's Angels. The film, which co-starred Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Bill Murray (with whom Liu reportedly fought during filming), was released in November 2000 and was a box office smash, taking in more than $260 million globally. A sequel was released in the summer 2003—Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Later that year, Liu starred as an assassin and Tokyo gang leader in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1, making an appearance in the vol. 2 of the film the following year.
In addition to her acting career, Liu is also an accomplished visual artist who has frequently displayed her mixed media compositions at galleries in New York and Los Angeles. In 1994, she won a grant to study art in China based on an exhibition of her work at a gallery in New York City's SoHo neighborhood.
Liu continued to be featured in a variety of projects over the first decade of the 2000s, including films like Domino (2005), Watching the Detectives (2007) and The Year of Getting to Know Us (2008), while also lending her voice to animated fare like Kung Fu Panda and Tinker Bell (both 2008). At the end of the decade, Liu made her Broadway debut as a replacement cast member for the Yesmina Reza play Gods of Carnage. Then, playing Madame Blossom, Liu returned to martial-arts themed movie work in 2012's The Man With the Iron Fists, directed by and starring hip-hop artist RZA along with Rusell Crowe.
In August 2015 Liu announced the birth of a son, Rockwell Lloyd, through a gestational surrogate.