Lucy Alexis Liu (born Lucy Liu; December 2, 1968) is an American actress, producer, and artist. Her accolades include winning a Critics’ Choice Television Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Seoul International Drama Award, in addition to nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Liu has starred as Ling Woo in the television series Ally McBeal (1998–2002), Alex Munday in two Charlie’s Angels films (2000 and 2003) and Joan Watson in the crime-drama series Elementary (2012–2019). Her film work includes starring in Payback (1999), Shanghai Noon (2000), Chicago (2002), Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), and Set It Up (2018).
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the National Collegiate Performing Arts (NCPA)TM and UpStaged Entertainment Group, has announced Lucy Liu as one of its 31 for 31 days of March most empowering dynamic women – throughout business, politics and entertainment – who got their start in college performing arts.
Liu provided voice acting for Master Viper in the Kung Fu Panda franchise (2008–2016) and Silvermist in the Tinker Bell series (2008–2014). Her other voice credits include Maya & Miguel (2004–2007), Mulan II (2004), as well as the English and Mandarin-dubbed versions of Magic Wonderland (2014) and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013).
Liu was born on December 2, 1968, in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. In high school,
she adopted a middle name, Alexis. She is the youngest of three children born to Cecilia, who worked as a biochemist, and Tom Liu, a trained civil engineer who sold digital clock pens. Liu’s parents originally came from Beijing and Shanghai and immigrated to Taiwan as adults before meeting in New York. She has an older brother, John, and an older sister, Jenny. Her parents worked many jobs while Lucy and her siblings were growing up.
Liu has stated that she grew up in a diverse neighborhood. She learned to speak Mandarin at home and began studying English when she was 5. She studied the martial art kali-eskrima-silat as a hobby when she was young. Liu attended Joseph Pulitzer Middle School (I.S.145), and graduated from Stuyvesant High School. She later enrolled at New York University and transferred to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. Liu earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian languages and cultures.