Lucy Liu Biography

Lucy Liu photo

Born: December 02, 1968


Date of Birth: December 2, 1968

New York native Lucy Liu attended NYU and later majored in Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. During her senior year, she auditioned on a whim for a supporting role in Andre Gregory's adaptation of Alice In Wonderland. Instead, she was cast as the lead and a career was born. After graduation, she supported herself by working three jobs -- secretary, aerobics instructor and hostess at a restaurant -- while paying for acting lessons and going on auditions.

The hard work paid off, and she went on to land stage roles and bit parts on Beverly Hills 90210, ER, The X-Files and NYPD Blue. In 1996, Liu co-starred with Rhea Perlman in the short-lived comedy series Pearl, playing a sarcastic yet brilliant college student. She also got bit parts in films such as Jerry Maguire, Gridlock'd and City of Industry. Then came Ally McBeal.

Liu originally auditioned for the role of Nelle Porter, the new lawyer on the block. David E. Kelley, creator and writer of the show, felt that Liu was too frigid. But he was so taken with Liu's talent that he wrote her a one-episode guest stint as Nelle's nasty client, the litigious Ling Woo. The character proved such a hit with fans that Liu was signed through the end of last season, and was eventually added as a regular cast member. The role earned her an Emmy nomination in her second season. Her exposure on the show led to appearances in Payback, True Crime, Molly, Play It To The Bone and Charlie's Angels. Her most recent film is Detachment (2012) alongside Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks and Bryan Cranston.

In addition to acting, Liu is a gifted artist. Her work first appeared at the Cast Iron Gallery in SoHo in 1993. She then received an art grant to study in China. Her exhibit of mixed-media photography -- pictures laid in the center of an original frame and intermixed with ceramics, paints, wood collages and papers -- chronicled her experiences in China and debuted at a Venice, CA gallery in 1997.

In 2003, she shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture with the rest of the cast of Chicago.

Liu resides in Los Angeles. In her spare time she enjoys skiing, rock climbing and horseback riding.


Detachment (2012)
Someday This Pain will be Useful to You (2011)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) (voice)
The Trouble with Bliss (2011)
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)
Kung Fu Panda (2008) (voice)
Devil to Pay (2007)
Charlie Chan (2007)
Watching the Detectives (2007)
Rise: Blood Hunter (2006)
Code Name: The Cleaner (2007)
3 Needles (2006)
Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Domino (2005)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
Chicago (2002)
Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever (2002)
Cypher (2002)
Kill Bill (2002)
Hotel (2001)
Charlie's Angels (2000)
Shanghai Noon (2000)
Play it to the Bone (2000)
The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (1999)
True Crime (1999)
Payback (1999)
Molly (1999)
City of Industry (1997)
Gridlock'd (1997)
Flypaper (1997)
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Guy (1996)
Bang (1995)

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