HOLLYWOOD — Lucy Liu received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame May 1 honoring her television career, including her starring role over six seasons on the CBS crime drama “Elementary” and her work on the Fox comedy “Ally McBeal,” for which she received an Emmy nomination.
Demi Moore and Rhea Perlman were among those joining Liu at the late-morning ceremony on Vine Street, just north of Sunset Boulevard, next to the 33 Taps Bar & Grill.
“I am completely overwhelmed by the love and support of my friends, family, my fans,” Liu said. “Even though this star has my name on it it is actually the result of the hared work of many brilliant writers, actors directors and a crew who elevated me and helped me shine.”
Liu’s star is next to that of pioneering Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong, and Liu said she was honored to be in such company.
“When I moved to Los Angeles, I actually lived on Vine Street, so it’s thrilling to have Anna May Wong, who is the first Asian-American actress, as my neighbor,” she said. “So a hundred years ago, she was a pioneer while enduring racism, marginalization and exclusion. … So sometimes people talk about my mainstream successes as groundbreaking for an Asian. But Asians have been making movies for a long time. They just weren’t making them here because we weren’t yet invited to the table.
“I was lucky that trailblazers like Anna May Wong and Bruce Lee came before me,” Liu said. “If my body of work somehow helped bridge the gap between stereotypical roles first given to Anna May and mainstream success today, I’m thrilled to have been part of that process.”
Ana Martinez, the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s producer, said the placement of Liu’s star was carefully chosen.
“When we place Walk of Fame stars, we love to juxtapose Hollywood’s golden age icons with the role models who represent the exciting shifts taking place in the film industry whenever we can,” Martinez said.
The ceremony came 22 days before the start of the seventh and final season of “Elementary,” in which she stars as Dr. Joan Watson, a former surgeon-turned-sober companion of detective Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), then becomes his protege and eventually his partner.
Liu has already signed for her next series, “Why Women Kill,” described as a “darkly comedic drama” that will be streamed on CBS All Access, the network’s digital subscription video-on-demand and live-streaming service. She will play a socialite in the 1980s whose world is upended when she learns her husband has been cheating on her.
Born Dec. 2, 1968, in the New York City borough of Queens, Liu graduated from the University of Michigan. She made her television debut in a 1991 episode of the Fox teen drama, “Beverly Hills, 90210.” The first series on which she was a cast member was the CBS comedy “Pearl,” which ran for the 1996-97 season and starred Perlman as a middle-aged widow who returns to college.
Liu joined the cast of “Ally McBeal” in 1998 for its second season and received an outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series Emmy nomination in 1999 for her portrayal of cold and ferocious Mandarin-speaking Chinese-American lawyer Ling Woo.
Liu’s other television credits include starring in the short-lived ABC drama “Cashmere Mafia” in 2008, being a second-season cast member of the ABC drama, “Dirty Sexy Money,” having a recurring role on the TNT police drama “Southland,” and becoming the first Asian-American woman to host the NBC sketch comedy series, “Saturday Night Live.”
Liu’s best-known film role was private investigator Alex Munday in “Charlie’s Angels” and its sequel “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” whose cast included Moore. Her other film credits include “Kill Bill: Volume 1,” “Kill Bill: Volume 2” and “Chicago.”
Liu has directed six episodes of “Elementary” and one each of the NBC crime drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” the Netflix Marvel superhero series “Luke Cage” and the USA Network crime drama “Graceland.”
Liu appeared on Broadway in 2010 in the black comedy “God of Carnage.”