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SYFY WIRE Xena: Warrior Princess

Lucy Lawless' iconic genre roles go far beyond 'Xena: Warrior Princess'

Xena could certainly kick ass, but Lawless' other genre roles could certainly hold their own as well. 

By Vanessa Armstrong
Lucy Lawless Xena

Lucy Lawless is arguably best known for playing Xena on the classic ‘90s fantasy-adventure show Xena: Warrior Princess. That role alone should earn her a spot in the genre pantheon of fame, but it's hardly her only memorable performance. It's worth watching her in some of her other iconic genre roles to see just how great Lawless truly is.  

Here’s a list of other characters Lawless has taken on in the genre space. Check these shows and Lawless’ performances out (or rewatch them one more time) to get an extra fix of fun sci-fi, fantasy, and horror goodness.

Warning! There are some possible spoilers about the fate of Lawless' various characters in the following shows ahead. 

Ash vs. Evil Dead - Ruby Knowby

Lucy Lawless as Ruby Knowby in Ash vs. Evil Dead

Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015-2018) takes place 30 years after the Evil Dead movies, but even three decades later, Ash (Bruce Campbell) still has to deal with Deadites. In the series, Ash suffers from survivor’s guilt and also continues to try and destroy the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (aka the book that allows one to control the dead and demons). Lawless’ character, Ruby Knowby, was Ash’s main antagonist in the show, and someone who has a close connection to the Necronomicon. 

Battlestar Galactica - D’anna Biers/Number Three

Lucy Lawless as Number Three in Battlestar Galactica

In the 2004-2009 Battlestar Galactica series, we first see Lawless as the reporter D’anna Biers. Biers is filming a documentary on Galactica, but we find out at the end of the episode that she is actually Number Three, one of the humanoid Cylon models trying to destroy humanity. D’anna/Number Three makes several appearances after we first meet her as D'anna in Season 2's eighth episode, “Final Cut.” You can also hear Lawless talk about her time on the show and “Final Cut” in particular on the Battlestar Galacticast podcast. 

Salem - Countess Von Marburg

Lucy Lawless in Salem Season 2

In Salem Lawless played Countess Von Marburg, the main antagonist of Season 2. The show, which aired from 2014-2017,  is based loosely on the Salem witch trials, and Lawless’ character was, in fact, a witch. The Countess wanted nothing more than to bring the Devil back to Earth (a theme, it seems, for Lawless’ characters) and had been trying to do so for eons. She failed to do so, even though she was one of the first and most powerful witches. 

Spartacus - Lucretia

Lucy Lawless as Lucretia in Spartacus: Vengeance

Like XenaSpartacus was another New Zealand-based show. It ran from 2010 to 2013 and centered around a gladiator named Spartacus (just like the title!) who led a slave revolt against the Roman Republic. Lawless played Lucretia, the wife of Spartacus’ master, and she featured in the show’s first two seasons as well as a prequel mini-series. Lucretia was a complex character, and one that would do whatever she must in order to achieve her personal and political aims. The role earned Lawless a 2011 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television, and it's Lawless acting at her finest.