Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.
Lucy Liu, born on December 2nd, 1968 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York is an American actress, artist, narrator, film producer and activist. She became known for playing the role of the nasty ill-mannered Ling Woo in the television series Ally McBeal from 1998 to 2002, for which she was nominated for both a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. She has also appeared in several Hollywood films including Payback, Charlie's Angels, Chicago, Kill Bill, and Kung Fu Panda. In 2012, Liu joined the cast of the TNT original series Southland in the recurring role of Jessica Tang, for which she won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Guest Actress. She is currently one of the two series lead actors of the CBS television crime drama, Elementary, based on the story of Sherlock Holmes, playing the role of Joan Watson. In 2008, she was the series lead of her own Television show, the ABC comedy-drama, Cashmere Mafia, which was short-lived and ended after one abbreviated season. The show was one of only a few American television shows with an Asian American series lead.
In Jackson Heights, Queens, New York while in high school, she adopted her middle name "Alexis". She is the youngest of three children born to mother Cecilia, who worked as a biochemist, and her father Tom Liu, who was trained as a civil engineer but sold digital clock pens. Both of her parents were immigrants of Chinese descent. She has an older brother, John and an older sister, Jenny. Liu has commented that she grew up in a diverse neighborhood where she learned to speak Mandarin at home and began studying English when she was five years old. Liu attended Joseph Pulitzer Middle School and later graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1986. She then enrolled at New York University and transferred to the University of Michigan, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. Liu earned a bachelor's degree in Asian languages and cultures. While in Michigan, Liu worked as a waitress while she attended school. In 1989 she auditioned for the University of Michigan production of Alice in Wonderland during her senior year of college. Although she had originally just tried out for only a supporting part, Liu was cast in the lead role. While queuing up to audition for the musical Miss Saigon in 1990, she told The New York Times - "There aren't many Asian roles, and it's very difficult to get your foot in the door." It was in May of 1992 that Liu made her New York stage debut in Fairy Bones, directed by Tina Chen.
Liu had small roles in films and TV and was cast in both The X-Files and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, before landing a role on Ally McBeal. Liu originally auditioned for the role of 'Nelle Porter' which was eventually played by Portia de Rossi, and the character Ling Woo was later created specifically for her. Liu's part on the series was originally temporary, but high audience ratings secured Liu as a permanent cast member. Additionally, she earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in the series. In Payback in 1999, Liu portrayed Pearl, a high-class prostitute with links to the Chinese mafia. Liu was cast in the role of Alex Munday in the Charlie's Angels films, alongside Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. The film opened in November 2000 and earned more than $125 million in the United States. Charlie's Angels earned a worldwide total of more than $264 million. The sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, opened in June 2003 and also did well at the box office, earning more than $100 million in the U.S. and a worldwide total of more than $259 million. In contrast, Liu starred with Antonio Banderas in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, a critical and box office failure.
In 2000, she hosted Saturday Night Live with Jay-Z. Liu starred as lawyer Grace Chin on Ugly Betty in the episodes "Derailed" and "Icing on the Cake". In a 2001 episode of Sex and the City entitled "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" found her guest starring as herself, playing a new client of character Samantha Jones who worked in public relations. She also starred in the Sex and the City–inspired TV show, Cashmere Mafia on ABC. Liu also made a cameo appearance on the animated shows Futurama - as herself and/or robot duplicates thereof in the episodes "I Dated a Robot" and "Love and Rocket" as well as on The Simpsons in the season 16 episode "Goo Goo Gai Pan". In 2002, Liu played Rita Foster in Vincenzo Natali's Brainstorm (aka Cypher). Soon thereafter, she appeared as O-Ren Ishii in Quentin Tarantino's 2003 film, Kill Bill. She won an MTV Award for "Best Movie Villain" for the part. Subsequently, Liu appeared on several episodes of Joey with Matt LeBlanc, who played her love interest in the Charlie's Angels films. She also had minor roles as Kitty Baxter in the film Chicago and as a psychologist opposite Keira Knightley in the thriller Domino. In Lucky Number Slevin, she played the leading love interest to Josh Hartnett. 3 Needles was released on December 1, 2006. Liu portrayed Jin Ping, an HIV-positive Chinese woman.
In 2007, Liu appeared in Code Name: The Cleaner, Rise, a supernatural thriller co-starring Michael Chiklis in which Liu plays an undead reporter, for which she was ranked number 41 on "Top 50 Sexiest Vampires", and in Watching the Detectives, an independent romantic comedy co-starring Cillian Murphy. She made her producing debut and also starred in a remake of Charlie Chan, which had been planned since as early as 2000. In 2007 Empire named Liu number 96 of their "100 Sexiest Movie Stars." The producers of Dirty Sexy Money created a role for Liu as a series regular. Liu played Nola Lyons, a powerful attorney who faced Nick George played by Peter Krause. Liu voiced Silvermist in Disney Fairies and did Viper in Kung Fu Panda. In March of 2010, Liu made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage as Annette on the second replacement cast alongside Jeff Daniels, Janet McTeer and Dylan Baker. In March 2012, she was cast as Joan Watson for Elementary. Elementary is an American Sherlock Holmes adaption, and the role Liu was offered has always traditionally been played by men. She also has played police officer Jessica Tang on Southland, a television show focusing on the lives of police officers and detectives in Los Angeles as a recurring guest actor during the fourth season. She received the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Guest Actress for this role. Liu's double duty as an NYPD consultant on Elementary and an LAPD officer on Southland won her praise from TV Guide in their "Cheers & Jeers 2012" issue, which cheered her "arresting performances". In August 2011, Liu became a narrator for the musical group The Bullitts.
Liu is an artist in several media and she has had three gallery shows showcasing her collage, paintings, and photography. She began making collage mixed media when she was 16-years-old, and later became a photographer and painter. In September 2006, Liu held an art show and donated her share of the profits to UNICEF. She also had another show in 2008 in Munich, where she again donated her share of the profits to UNICEF. In 2001 Liu was the spokesman for the Lee National Denim Day® fundraiser, which raises millions of dollars for breast cancer research and education. Denim Day® is committed to improving the everyday lives of those with breast cancer – past, present and future. Their program exhibits how a simple gesture turns into extraordinary support for lifesaving screenings in communities nationwide; hope and care to those traveling for cancer treatment; and investments in groundbreaking cancer research. You can join the Denim Day team by donating $5 at DenimDay.com. Lee National Denim Day® has raised more than $86 million in the fight against breast cancer. In 2008, an estimated 800,000 individuals wore denim on Lee National Denim Day®.
In 2005 Liu was appointed an ambassador for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She traveled to Pakistan and Lesotho, among several other countries. She also hosted an MTV documentary, Traffic, for the MTV EXIT campaign in 2007. Liu produced Traffic to raise awareness of the human trafficking problem in Asia. Early in 2006, Liu received an Asian Excellence Award for Visibility. Liu is a supporter of marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and she became a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign in 2011. She has teamed up with Heinz to combat the widespread global health threat of iron deficiency anemia and vitamin and mineral malnutrition among infants and children in the developing world.
The largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, the Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide — all committed to making HRC's vision a reality.
A hidden hunger is limiting the potential of millions of children around the world. Caused by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals, iron-deficiency anemia can impair physical and mental development, weaken the immune system and increase child mortality before the age of five. The Heinz Micronutrient Campaign is dedicated to preventing this hidden hunger. Through partnerships with governments and NGOs it is providing innovative, cost-effective solutions to give children the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives.
Lee National Denim Day is a fundraiser created by Lee Jeans to support the American Cancer Society breast cancer programs. Since its inception in 1996, Lee National Denim Day participants have raised more than $88 million for the fight against breast cancer. With your help, they hope to add to that total. Your donation of $5 today helps the American Cancer Society discover new ways to prevent, find, and cure breast cancer while ensuring access to mammograms and providing free support to people with the disease. Lee National Denim Day occurs during the month of October,but you can help them raise money year-round.
Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats...
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