Lucy Lawless is most known for her role as the namesake on Xena: Warrior Princess, but she has so much more to her resume! From singing and activism to continuing to act on a number of TV shows, Lawless is just as involved these days as she was in Xena's heyday, and she still manages to make convention apperances to meet her diehard fans.
In honor of our favorite action hero's 50th birthday, here are six things you ought to know about Lucy Lawless.
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Lawless’ first passion was music
She wanted to be a singer and got a stage role in a musical at the age of 10 and was even going to study opera at Auckland University. Though she didn’t become a bona fide singer, she’s dabbled, singing in Xena, playing Rizzo in a Broadway production of Grease and being on the 2006 music reality show Duets.
Xena wasn’t her first role Herculean role
In 1994, Lawless played a man-hating Amazon named Lysia in a made-for-TV movie called Hercules and the Amazon Women, which went on to become the pilot for Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. She also had a bit part in the first season.
‘Xena’ wasn’t going to happen
Most Xena: Warrior Princess fans know this, but in case you didn’t, the role of Xena in Hercules was only supposed to last three episodes, and she was going to get killed off. Hercules co-star Kevin Sorbo wouldn’t have been mad about it, as he allegedly wasn’t a fan of the series’ success or the fact that Xena was more powerful than Hercules. The beef is still going today, thanks to supermodel and gift to Twitter Chrissy Teigen.
She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty
According to MSN, Lawless was arrested in 2012 for climbing into a drilling tower on the Noble Discoverer to protest oil exploration in the Arctic. She, along with six Greenpeace members, were there for four days and she live-tweeted the whole thing. She was also a climate ambassador for Greenpeace’s "Sign On" campaign.
She’s leaned into this whole "badass" thing
If a role calls for a strong woman you don’t want to fight, Lawless is up for it. First it was Xena, then it was Spartacus, then Salem, and now she’s on Ash vs. Evil Dead as Ruby, the immortal writer of the Necronomicon. Of course, there was Parks and Recreation, as well, where she played Diane, the love interest of Ron Swanson — which is also badass, just in a different way.
And the LGBT icon thing
Though Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship was always ambiguous on the series — it was the '90s, after all — Lawless has come out and said, "It wasn't just that Xena was bisexual and kinda liked her gal pal and they kind of fooled around sometimes, it was, 'Nope, they're married, man.'" She’s a strong supporter of LGBT rights, making regular appearances at pride events and even having been awarded the Star 100-Ally of the Year award at the Australian LGBTI Awards ceremony.