Last Updated: July 3, 2020
Her name might be read as Lucille Frances Lawless (nee Ryan), but, she is a flawless beauty with great acting skills who has been regaling television audiences for over 25 years now. Born on 29 March 1968 in an Auckland suburb of Mount Albert, she is a New Zealand actress and singer.
Ryan’s first musical appearance was when she was 10 years of age and she started acting in secondary school. She went to Marist College, Auckland and at the age of 18, just like many other young New Zealanders, she went for an “overseas experience” and traveled extensively across Europe and Australia with her then boyfriend and future husband Garth Lawless. He impregnated her while she worked with him in Australian outback. She was 21 when she won the 1989 Mrs New Zealand competition. They had a daughter and divorced in 1995. She made her television debut on 2 ½ seasons as a cast member of the New Zealand sketch-comedy series Funny Business. Subsequently, she studied drama at the William Davis Centre for Actors Study in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In the year 1994, Lawless was cast in Hercules and the Amazon Women, a television film made by Pacific Renaissance Pictures and it became the pilot for Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
While her most prominent acting role was as the titular character in TV series Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001), she has also done a lot of other prominent characters including cylon model Number Three D’Anna Biers on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series (2005-2009), and Lucretia in the TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010). She also appeared in its prequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011) and the sequel Spartacus: Vengeance (2012). Her numerous on-screen performances as lesbian characters including explicit lesbian love-making scenes in Spartacus:Gods of the Arena gave her the public image of a lesbian icon, something that she has always been proud of.
Lawless also played recurring roles as Diane Lewis-Swanson on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation (2012-2015) and as Countess Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg on the WGN America supernatural series Salem (2015). She also appeared as Ruby on a Starz horror-comedy series Ash vs Evil Dead (2015-2018). On the 28th March 1998, Lawless married Xena’s executive producer, Pacific Renaissance Pictures CEO Robert G Rob Tapert.