By Page D3
WHOOSH is mentioned as being at the Burbank I Convention (01/97). Two fans and Lucy Lawless are quoted.
The last time Lucy Lawless was in Los Angeles, she was recovering from a nasty fall. The star of the syndicated Xena: Warrior Princess fell off a horse while taping a skit for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in October and suffered four fractures. Lawless spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, then went on The Tonight Show to laugh with Leno about it. Xena, set in a mythical barbaric world, is filmed in Lawless' native New Zealand, but Sunday she was at the Burbank (Calif.) Airport Hilton for the first Hercules/Xena convention, a sold-out gathering that attracted 400 fans who dressed for the occasion in medieval costumes. "I can't believe all the fuss," said Lawless, 28, who signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans, both young and old. Although Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is TV's top syndicated drama, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena aren't far behind, easily outrating Baywatch, Highlander and Babylon 5. "There are very few women like Xena on TV," said fan Laura Drane of Los Angeles. "She's funny and powerful." Adds fan Minerva Adams of Redondo Beach, Calif., "She's a strong role model." Besides affording fans the opportunity to dress up, the convention also sold the usual assortment of goodies, from T-shirts ("Xenaites Forever!") to newsletters (Whoosh! The International Association of Xena Studies). Lawless flew in from New Zealand to appear at the convention, do a guest spot for NBC's Something So Right (as herself) and meet and greet station managers this week in New Orleans at the National Association of Television Program Executives convention. Lawless has been back at work a month, with doubles handling her stunts. She hasn't gotten back on a horse, and "I'm not going to be pushed into it. I want to recover fully." She looks back at her accident as a "bad dream -- I don't care to remember it." But it was big news back in New Zealand, where one headline read, "Go Where No Kiwi Has Gone Before." It even brought Lawless and her 8-year-old daughter, Daisy, closer together. "She's more proud of her mom now that the show is such a success," Lawless said. "Originally, she hated it. She blamed Xena for the breakup of my marriage. But not anymore." Lawless' take on Xena's popularity: "There are a lot of people out there who have suffered from some kind of abuse -- women, gays, kids -- and they all relate to Xena. "She's always fighting the good fight."
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