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(as per MCA TV Biography)

Lucy Lawless stars as Xena, the beautiful, brave and fiercely independent hero of the new one-hour television series "Xena: Warrior Princess." A native of Mt. Albert, Auckland, New Zealand, Lawless first captivated audiences with her portrayal of Xena in a three-episode set of the hit series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys". She produced such strong viewer response that it was decided to base a spin-off series based on her. "Hercules" fans may also remember Lawless as Lyla, the lovely and courageous young bride of Deric the Centaur. In addition, she appeared as the menacing Amazon enforcer Lysia, who made love to Zeus (played by Anthony Quinn), in "Hercules and the Amazon Women," the first of the five two-hour "Action Pack" movies-for-television which launched the series.

Almost six feet tall, with black hair and intense blue eyes, Lawless is the fifth of seven children and the oldest girl in her family. Her father, who became mayor of Mt. Albert the year Lucy was born, is currently Chairman of Finance for Auckland City.

After graduation at 17, she went to Europe for summer work & when money ran out she went back to Australia and got a job working in a mine. She did the same grueling work as the men - digging, mapping the ground, driving trucks, and pushing huge core samples of earth through a diamond saw.

Lucy is married in Auckland shortly thereafter, where her seven years old daughter Daisy was born. She began doing television commercials before landing her first real acting job at age 20 with a comedy troupe on television called "Funny Business." In early 1992, she accepted a job as the co-host for "Air New Zealand Holiday," a travel magazine show broadcast in New Zealand and throughout Asia, which took her around the world. She went on to co-host a second season of the show before being cast in "Hercules and the Amazon Women."

She describes the character as "a woman as strong as any man or woman has ever been, who lives by her wits, but is also a fighter. She's a very human hero, who knows all about the darker side of human nature since she must battle it within herself every day."

Until the part of Xena she had no martial arts training but had ridden with horses in her youth. She is a very agile person and is quick to learn new skills and trained with martial arts master Douglas Wong ("Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story") to learn basic kung fu moves, as well as fighting techniques with swords and staffs.

Lawless also has an aptitude for languages and accents. She speaks English, German, French and some Italian. Despite having studied opera for several years, Lucy's passion is for jazz.

Lucy Lawless recently did an interview with TV Guide - to see the contents and associated articles please follow the link to TV Guide

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