Best known for her role as the fearsome Xena: Warrior Princess in the long-running series of the same name, athletic worldly beauty Lucy Lawless didn't achieve the fame in her native New Zealand that flooded her in the U.S. until much later in her career, due to the fact that the wildly popular adventure series didn't air there until long after it was a staple of American television.
Born into water at her home in Mount Albert, Aukland, New Zealand, in 1968 to the mayor of that city, Lawless began acting early and frequently appeared in school plays in her youth. A active child of diverse interests and with many siblings, Lawless went on to study German, French, and Italian at Aukland University for a year before traveling through Europe with boyfriend and eventual first husband Garth. They worked odd jobs to finance their trip and eventually ending up in Australia. Working in a gold-mining camp in Kalgoorlie to finance the final leg of their journey, the couple was married in Australia in 1988 and soon returned home to bear a daughter.