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TV Guide
(New Zealand)

December 9 - 15, 2000


Warrior spirit wins through for kids by Gavin Elster

Despite starring in one of the most successful television series of the 90s, Lucy Lawless hasn't let Hollywood stardom go to her head.

The star of Xena; Warrior Princess (returning to TV4 on Tuesday, December 12) has put her name behind a Kiwi campaign to wipe out child abuse and in doing so, has given the cause a global push.

Since Lawless joined the NZ kids Safe and Sound campaign, it has received a surge of support from Xena fans worldwide, who have already sent in more than $12,000 in donations.

As a rapt Lawless told a newspaper: "I want to thank them so much for jumping on board with us. But New Zealand can't leave it to a handful of television fans. These are not rich people, they're just like us and they're contributing for another country's abused children."

When viewers last saw Xena on screen, she was reeling from the apparent death of Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor). Xena's sidekick had sacrificed herself to save the world from the evil clutches of her daughter Hope (also played by O'Connor)>

As the series continues, Xena has entered the underworld in an attempt to track the now deceased Gabrielle down - but does her absence mean she is still alive?

This season of Xena:Warrior Princess will as usual feature a host of New Zealands premier acting talent in supporting roles. In addition to Kevin Smith, who regularly appears as Ares, Will O'Neill (Scarfies) reprises her role as Gabrielle's sister Lila; Karl Urban (The Price of Milk) returns as Julius Caesar and watch out for former Shortland Street star Craig Parker.

It was recently announced that the current season of Xena: Warrior Princess being filmed will be the last for the long-running series.

"Xena has been a labour of love for everyone associated with it," said creator and executive producer Robert Tapert upon announcing the series conclusion.

"And we've been unusually lucky in having had the freedom to explore anything we've ever wanted to try from high action dramas to slapstick comedies to musicals.

"We're excited about the shows we're currently producing and we hope to deliver some of the best episodes we've ever done."

Labour of love indeed - the extra free-time will no doubt provide Tapert and Lawless with ample opportunity to dote on one year old son Julius, their first child together since marrying in 1998.


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