Lucy Alexis Liu (born Lucy Liu; December 2, 1968) is an American actress, producer, director, 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), Watching the Detectives (2007), The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), and Set It Up (2018).
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).
In 1991, Liu underwent surgery after a breast cancer scare. "The doctor sort of felt and said it was cancer and it needs to come out. I went into shell-shock. It was pretty traumatizing." The lump was removed just two days after the doctor's examination and was found to be benign.Liu has studied various religions, such as Buddhism, Taoism and Jewish mysticism. She has stated, "I'm into all things spiritual—anything to do with meditation or chants or any of that stuff. I studied Chinese philosophy in school. There's something in the metaphysical that I find very fascinating." She has been a member of the Chinese-American organization Committee of 100 since 2004.Liu is a single parent. She has a son, Rockwell, who was born in 2015 via gestational surrogate. Commenting on choosing the method, she states that it was the right option for her as she was busy working at the time. Since the beginning of motherhood, Liu has been heavily involved in celebrating multidimensional familial structures. One major campaign she was involved in was Tylenol's #HowWeFamily Mother's Day Campaign.
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 fraternity. Liu earned a bachelor's degree in Asian languages and cultures.