Lucy Liu

Stunningly beautiful and fiercely intelligent, actress Lucy Liu broke free of many of the stereotypes that typically pigeonholed Asian performers - particular female - in Hollywood. Following a string of early appearances on such popular series as "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), Liu skyrocketed to fame in 1998 when she joined the cast of the quirky legal comedy "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) as the deliciously malicious Ling Woo. The actress quickly parlayed her sudden popularity into roles on the big screen in feature film hits like "Shanghai Noon" (2000), "Charlie's Angels" (2000) and a bravura performance as Japanese crime lord O-Ren Ishii in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003). Later theatrical disappointments like "Lucky Number Slevin" (2006) and "Rise: Blood Hunter" (2007) gave way to more lucrative voice roles in such animated features as "Kung Fu Panda" (2008) and "Tinker Bell" (2008). And while starring roles on small screen efforts like "Cashmere Mafia" (ABC, 2008) failed to bear fruit, a recurring part on the critically-hailed police drama "Southland" (NBC, 2009; TNT, 2010-13) did much to reestablish her credentials as a serious actress. With her obvious beauty enhanced by with an undeniable strength of character, Liu embraced her heritage even as she refused to let it define her as an artist.