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Renee O'Connor (1971)

Evelyn Renée O'Connor

Type :  

  Summary  

Renée O'Connor (born Evelyn Renée O'Connor; February 15, 1971) is an American actress, producer and director best known for playing the role of Gabrielle on the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess from 1995 to 2001.

  Biography  

 Early career
O'Connor had her first acting role at age eight as a caterpillar during a Theater on Wheels production. At age twelve, she began studying acting at Houston's Alley Theatre, and later attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. She transferred back to James E. Taylor High School to graduate with her friends.

 Television and movie career
O'Connor began her television career at the age of sixteen with commercials for McDonald's and Exxon. A string of other commercials followed, as well as a series of odd jobs such as Porky Pig at Astroworld and an aerobics instructor in L.A. In 1989, O'Connor landed a recurring role in a serial called Teen Angel, featured on the "New Mickey Mouse Club." This led to roles in another Disney serial called Match Point, and an episode of Tales from the Crypt , though her Crypt role was later cut. O'Connor then portrayed an imperiled student on the NBC special "The Flood", Cheryl Ladd's daughter in Danielle Steel's "Changes", a woman captured by Shawnee Indians in ABC's Follow the River, an actress who hires Rockford as her bodyguard in The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise, Julia Wilkes in Disney's "The Adventures of Huck Finn", and the daughter of a murdered couple in an episode of NYPD Blue.

O'Connor first came to the attention of Xena: Warrior Princess executive producers Robert G. Tapert and Sam Raimi with an "over-the-top" audition that won her the role of the young Deianeira in their two-hour "Action Pack" adventure "Hercules and the Lost Kingdom". They were so impressed by her performance opposite Hercules: The Legendary Journeys star Kevin Sorbo that they signed her for a starring role in "Darkman II: The Return of Durant." She was later cast as Gabrielle, and co-starred opposite Lucy Lawless as Xena's companion on Xena: Warrior Princess.

O'Connor was voted #3 of the most intriguing people in 1996, #2 in 1997, and one of the most beautiful people of 1997, by People Online. O'Connor was featured in Maxim magazine in November 1999 with a photo shoot and intimate interview. She made the cover of TV Guide on the July 29, 2000 to August 4, 2000 issue as one of "The Sexiest Stars in the Universe". She was voted #45 on FHM-US and FHM-Australia's 100 Sexiest Women in 2000. In January 2007, O'Connor topped the 2006 annual list of LesbiaNation.com — establishing her as the longest reigning queen of their top-ten list of "Women We Love". O'Connor has a cult following in the lesbian community, stemming from her role as Gabrielle in Xena: Warrior Princess and her ambiguous relationship with her traveling companion Xena. O'Connor has appeared at gay pride events such as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the 2007 Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs. In June 2007, and again in June 2008, O'Connor was named to the AfterEllen.com Hot 100 List.

After the end of Xena, O'Connor began a film production company, ROC Pictures. Her first independent production was Diamonds and Guns, a romantic comedy about two friends who go to Las Vegas to find true love. It was shot digitally. O'Connor raised funds for the movie by selling autographed photos and a few of her personal paintings on eBay. O'Connor is currently in pre-production on her second ROC Pictures LLC film which she wrote, will produce and direct. ROC has also produced the short film Words Unspoken. O'Connor recently returned from Dallas, Texas where she starred in the feature film Beyond the Farthest Star which will be released Dec 25, 2010.

O'Connor has attended many Xena and science fiction/fantasy conventions. She was a "Featured Guest" at Fan Expo Canada on August 22–24, 2008 in Toronto. Most recently she was the guest star at the first convention of its kind in France: The Musical in Paris August 27, 28, 29th 2010. She was recently a guest star at the Armageddon Expos in Sydney and Adelaide, Australia. Next she will star at the RingCon in Bonn,Germany in October, 2011.

 Television, Movie, Internet Video Production
Film Productions; 1987 – Present. Film Making; 1995 – Present. Internet Video Productions; 2008–Present. O'Connor's Interests lay in new technology, Internet video streaming, film productions and the continuation of her acting career. Her production companies are listed below.

 Charity
O'Connor is an active supporter of the , working each year at the Southern California Firefighters Burn Relay which benefits the Foundation. She set up The Renée O'Connor Outreach Fund which is designed to raise money for families in need and to support families whose medical bills have become too overwhelming due to serious illness. Renée also works with the Richstone Family Center which was founded to treat child abuse, to strengthen families, and to prevent violence in families, schools and communities. Incorporated in 1974 in Hawthorne, CA by 1977 Richstone served thirty-five families in one program on one site. In 2004, Richstone served over 4,500 children and their families in 13 different programs based at five sites.

 Early life and personal life
O'Connor was born in Katy, Texas, to Walter and Sandra O'Connor. Her mother and stepfather, Sandra and Eddie Wilson, own the restaurant "Threadgill's" in Austin, famous for being the site of Janis Joplin's first performance. She has an older brother named Chris, who is a grocery store manager, and her biological father Walter is a finance manager.

From 1995 to 2001, during the filming of Xena, O'Connor lived in Auckland, New Zealand, where she still owns a home. O'Connor married New Zealand native and restaurant manager Steve Muir on October 14, 2000. They have a son, Miles William Muir . The couple divorced in 2005. O'Connor became involved with Jed Sura, an actor she met while filming Enter in 2003 and later Diamonds and Guns in 2004. She and Sura have a daughter, Iris Sura O'Connor .

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Renée O’Connor", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.