Lucy Liu, born on December 2, 1968, is an actress, producer, director, and artist from the United States. She has received a Critics’ Choice Television Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Seoul International Drama Award, in addition to Primetime Emmy nominations. Liu has portrayed Ling Woo in “Ally McBeal” (1998 — 2002), Alex Munday in two “Charlie’s Angels” films (2000 and 2003), and Joan Watson in “Elementary” (2012 — 2019). Let’s celebrate her birthday.
Lucy Alexis Liu
December 2, 1968
Lucy Liu was born on December 2, 1968, in Jackson Heights, Queens. She is the third of three children born to Tom Liu, a civil engineer who sold digital clock pens, and Cecilia Liu, a biochemist. Liu’s parents were born in Beijing and Shanghai and met in New York as adults. Her siblings are John, her older brother, and Jenny, her older sister. After attending Joseph Pulitzer Middle School, she graduated from Stuyvesant High School. She continued her education at New York University before moving to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she was a Chi Omega sorority member. She has a bachelor’s degree in Asian languages and cultures.
At 19, Liu was discovered by an agency while riding the metro. She was only in one commercial. Her career began with a few appearances in film and television. In 1992, she made her big-screen debut in the Hong Kong blockbuster “Rhythm of Destiny.” In 2001, Liu was the face of the Lee National Denim Day campaign, which raised cash for breast cancer research and education. In 2004, Liu was named an ambassador for the United States Fund for UNICEF.
In March 2010, Liu made her Broadway debut as Annette in the second replacement cast of Jeff Daniels, Janet McTeer, and Dylan Baker in the Tony Award-winning play “God of Carnage.” When she was cast in “Elementary” in March 2012, she played Joan Watson. She was nominated for the People’s Choice Award for ‘Favorite T.V. Crime Drama Actress’ three times in a row for her depiction of Watson. Liu directed six episodes of “Elementary,” one episode of “Graceland,” the “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode “Dearly Beloved,” and the second-season premiere of “Luke Cage.” In April 2021, she was featured as the villain in the superhero film “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” Liu is a single parent. Rockwell, her son, was born in 2015 through gestational surrogacy.
She gets her big break with the Hong Kong film "Rhythm of Destiny."
Liu wins ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series’ for her role in “Ally McBeal.”
Liu serves as a spokesperson for the Lee National Denim Day campaign, raising funds for education and breast cancer research.
UNICEF names Liu as an ambassador for the United States Fund.
Liu makes her Broadway debut as Annette in the Tony Award-winning play “God of Carnage” in March 2010.
Liu is cast as Kalypso, the villain in the superhero film “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”
Why We Love Lucy Liu
She is charitable
Her humanitarian works are widely loved, and she is excellent at them. She was appointed ambassador for UNICEF and has donated to the cause.
She is multi-talented
Liu is a talented photographer, along with an actress, director, and producer. She can do it all. What a skillful queen!
She is a good role model
Liu is a terrific role model for young women. She has shown us that you can dream big and have it all with her career.
5 Surprising Facts
She couldn't speak English until five
Despite being born and raised in New York, Liu did not begin speaking English until she was five years old, as her parents were Chinese immigrants who spoke Mandarin at home.
She studied martial arts
Liu is a talented photographer who publishes her work under the pseudonym Yu Ling, her Chinese name.
She is spiritual
Liu is spiritually inclined and has studied various religions, including Kabbalah, Buddhism, Taoism, and Chinese philosophy.
She was a waitress
She used to work part-time as a waitress at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase club while in college.
She performed in a strip club
The actress spent nearly a month in a Los Angeles strip club for her role as an exotic dancer in the 1997 film “City of Industry.”
Lucy Liu FAQs
How many languages does Lucy Liu speak?
She speaks six languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Chinese, and Japanese.
Why did Lucy Liu dye her hair?
In a “Women’s Health” video, she said, “I just became so sick of my hair.”
What did Bill Murray say to Lucy Liu?
Murray reportedly told Liu, “You can’t act,” during a sequence for the 2000 picture “Charlie’s Angels.”
Lucy Liu’s birthday dates