Lucy Lawless


LUCY LAWLESS  Warrior Women Documentary
Role: Narrator / Presenter
Airdate: 2003 on Discovery Channel

Warrior Women: Grace O'Malley, Pirate Queen

The daughter of Irish pirate chieftain 'Black Oak' O'Malley, the girl Grace was dead set on a life of glory at sea with her father. In a fit of defiance against her mother's ideal of the 'quiet life of a lady', she shaved her head and was forever teased by her siblings with the nickname 'Bald O'Malley'. She got a new hairdo, mastered the sail and sword, and with a merry band of 200 mates, terrorized the shipping lanes of the coastal waters into her submission.

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Screengrabs Contributed by Mike Quick


Review by Grace Halden

I had not heard of Grace O’Malley before watching ‘Warrior Women’ and was not sure what to expect, but in Grace I found a true hero. Grace O’Malley was an incredibly brave Irish clan leader, warrioress, seductress and a woman ruler in a mans world.

She fought for her clan, country and family; she took on the locals, the English and eventually Queen Elizabeth 1st – and won. For those who are fans of Elizabeth you will love Grace; they lived a strange parallel life; they died in the same year and at the same age after forming an unexpected friendship when Grace came to England to try and escape her punishment. Grace unlike most women of that time wasn’t restrained by men and religion; she was free spirit who had romances and conquests when and if it suited her and fought with the bravery of 100 men.

Lucy seemed to have a lot of affection for the Irish pirate and spoke with a lot of emotion, respect and admiration. What I LOVE about this series is how involved Lucy is; she visits the places she speaks about: the castles, the battlegrounds, the museums… she brings the past into the present. She brings the stories to life. Lucy injects so much energy and spark into these amazing tales that even people who don’t like history would sit and happily watch – (my friend watched for the whole hour, instead of playing playstation- and thats saying something!).

Lucy did a fabulous demonstration with swords like Grace O’Malley would have used. Using two swords Lucy did brief demonstrations like a pro, I was very impressed, as was the man telling her about the swords. Later Lucy and the man fought together in a very brief, light-hearted fight. Lucy won! Lucy really looked in her element when using the weapons; I especially liked the advert before the show came on, where Lucy is walking through a museum, picks up a sword and uses it. Very Xena and yet all Lucy at the same time.

Later Lucy appeared with a bow, unfortunately she didn’t use it, but her green top made her look very much ‘the female robin hood’ which was very cute. At one point Lucy was actually sitting on the window ledge of a huge fort, very high up, with no apparent safety equipment and not even holding on - well that’s more than what I would do for a documentary - very brave!!

Lucy looked so free and spirited walking around the Irish countryside, with wind blown hair and inspirational tales of pirates. I am not at all surprised that these documentaries are doing so well, great job Lucy!