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Woman's Day

10 January 2000

Women of the Millenium - The Actress
Lucy Lawless

Contributed by Liz

The incredible success of the mythical, sword-wielding Xena has helped turn New Zealand actress Lucy Laless into an international star of Herculian proportions. A role model for women all over the world , her alter ego is the first action heroine since Wonder woman. And the woman behind the crusader has become an icon for working mums with the birth late last year of her little warrior prince Julius.

"Nothing ismore frightening and awesome than giving birth," says the dark-haired beauty, who has battled every kind of evil force in her lead role in Xena: Warrior Princess.

Lucy, 31, who is married to the television show's producer, Rob Tapert, and has an11 year old daughter, Daisy, is still very much a Kiwi at heart despite her huge American following. It is this fervent love of her country that endears Lucy to the hearts of New Zealanders and wins her our vote as best actress.

Xena is filmed in New Zealand, providing hundreds of jobs for Kiwis, and Lucy and her husband have made their home in Auckland.

"When Xena ends, as it surely will, I have no intention of moving to California," LUcy has proudly stated.

Xena has grown from being a spin-off of Hercules to become a blockbuster with merchandising, comics and 190 websites devoted to the show and it's star, making the series one of television's biggest money-spinners.

There is even an $18 million Xena theme part at Universal Studios, Hollywood plus an animated series in the pipeline. But the action series is the one that has everyone saying. "I love Lucy".