Born Lucy Ryan on March 29, 1968, in Mt. Albert, Auckland, New Zealand, Lucy is the fifth of seven children. Lucy first got involved in acting and singing in school musicals and plays. She studied opera for several years, and attended Auckland University for a short time before leaving for Europe. Upon her return, Lucy worked briefly in a gold-mining camp in Australia, where she married Garth Lawless, her high-school sweetheart. They returned to Auckland, where their daughter Daisy was born. (They were divorced in 1995.) Lucy was Mrs. New Zealand in 1989, and appeared in many local commercials and television shows (see credits below) before her first Hercules appearance in 1994.
MCA says "Though she had practiced yoga for some time, Lawless had no special training in martial arts, sword play, or stunt work when she landed the role of Xena." She learned kung fu, swordplay, and staff work from martial arts master Douglas Wong in a brief visit to Los Angeles in 1995. Lucy herself is quoted in the Starlog Yearbook (1996) as being amused at landing such a physical role, because her school nickname was "Unco" (short for uncoordinated).
Lucy made her Broadway debut on September 1, 1997 in Grease as (who else?) Rizzo. Shortly before her run ended in October, she became engaged to Rob Tapert. They were married in California in March 1998. On October 16, 1999, they welcomed their first child, Julius Robert Bay Tapert. Their second son, Judah Miro Tapert, was born on May 7, 2002.
- Air New Zealand (a morning TV show)
- Various television commercials in New Zealand
- Funny Business (a comedy troupe television show in New Zealand)
- Ray Bradbury Theatre: "Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum"
- Peach, a short film contained in the work "Women From Down Under"
- Rainbow Warrior (1992)
- High Tide: "Shanghaied" (1994)
- High Tide: "Dead in the Water" (1994)
- Hercules and the Amazon Women (1994)
- Hercules: "As Darkness Falls" (1995)
- Hercules: "Outcast" (1996)
- Hercules: "The Warrior Princess" (1995)
- Hercules: "The Gauntlet" (1995)
- Hercules: "Unchained Heart" (1995)
- Something So Right (1997) (cameo appearance as herself)
- Hercules: "Judgment Day"
- Hercules: "Stranger in a Strange World" (1997)
- X-Files (2001)