Lucy Alexis Liu is an American actress and model probably best known for her roles on “Ally McBeal,” “Elementary” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
Her parents were Taiwanese immigrants who left behind their careers to make a new life in the United States. Lucy is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Growing up, she knew she wanted to be an actress, but kept her dreams to herself, studying Charlie Chan films for inspiration.
Lucy Liu attended Stuyvesant High School and graduated in 1986. She spent one year at New York University before she transferred into the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in Asian languages and cultures. After winning a supporting role in a college production of “Alice in Wonderland,” she got bit by the acting bug and announced to her parents in 1990 that she was going to move to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams.
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Her first role was a guest spot as a waitress on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” She made her big-screen debut as Jerry Maguire’s ex-girlfriend in “Jerry Maguire.” Many supporting roles followed until she landed on “Ally McBeal.” She has also appeared in “Payback,” “Play It to the Bone” and “Kill Bill,” among other projects.
Lucy said, “I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, with no money. I was taught not to take anything for granted. If you are too busy being a diva or a freak, then you aren’t enjoying it.”
Lucy Liu produced “Freedom’s Fury,” a documentary that centered on a 1956 Olympic water polo tournament. She added, “Producing is like pushing jello up a hill on a hot day.”
She plays the accordion and practices skiing, horseback riding and rock climbing. She also practices Kali-Eskrima-Silat.
In 1993, Lucy Liu exhibited a collection of multimedia art pieces at the Cast Iron Gallery.
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Regarding her 14-hour days on “Elementary,” she gets through the day by meditating twice a day. Of her private life, she said, “I’m not really into that stuff. I think you just stay out of the limelight unless you need to for work. If people really get to know who you are, then they won’t have a vested interest in seeing you play a character, they’ll be thinking about who you’re dating or what you’re doing.”
Lucy Liu was rumored to have dated George Clooney. She said about love, “I don’t want to settle for anything…Love should be like lightening. For me it happens almost immediately.”
Lucy Liu resides in Los Angeles.