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AUSXIP Renee O'Connor News
 


 

 

RENEE O'CONNOR
BIOGRAPHY
Updated: 22 July 2008

Biography | Trivia | FAQ

 

 
Full Name:  Evelyn Renee O'Connor
   
Date of Birth: 15 February 1971
   
Birthplace: Katy, a suburb in Houston, Texas, USA
   
Marital Status: Divorced and in a relationship with Jed Sura
   
Children
 
Miles William Muir - born 22 September 2001
Iris Sura O'Connor - born 19 March 2006
   
Resides: Los Angeles, USA
   
Hair Colour: Blonde (sometimes reddish)
   
Eye Colour: Forest green
   
Height: 5'4
   
Family Background: Has one older brother, Chris
   
Languages: English
   

BIOGRAPHY

Renee O'Connor (born Evelyn Renee O'Connor on February 15, 1971 in Katy, Texas) is an American actress, best known for playing the role of Gabrielle on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess from 1995 to 2001.


Early life

Renee O'Connor was born to Walter and Sandra O'Connor. Her mother and stepfather, Sandra and Eddie Wilson, own a famous restaurant called "Threadgill's" in Austin, Texas. She has an older brother named Chris, who is a grocery store manager, and her biological father Walter is a finance manager.

Since her first role at age 8 as a caterpillar during a Theater on Wheels production, Renee has had a passion for acting. At age 12, she began studying acting at Houston's Alley Theatre, and later attended The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. So that she could graduate with her friends, she transferred back to Taylor High School.


Career

She began her real career at the age of 16 in a commercial for McDonalds, later for Exxon. A string of other commercials followed (as well as a string of odd jobs such as Porky Pig at Astroworld and an aerobics instructor in L.A.) and in 1989, she landed a recurring role in a serial called Teen Angel featured on the "New Mickey Mouse Club."

This led to another Disney serial called Match Point and an episode of Tales from the Crypt (directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger), though it was later cut.

In 1989, One of Renee's first acting jobs was in the film "A Place for Sarah." Renee then went on to portray an imperiled student on an NBC special called "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.

Renee then 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, Xena's sidekick on Xena: Warrior Princess. During the filming of Xena, Renee lived in Auckland, New Zealand where she still owns a home.

She 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. She made the cover of TV Guide on the July 29, 2000 to August 4, 2000 issue. It was one of eight collector's covers.

On 27 June 2002, O'Connor played Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare by the Sea's version of Macbeth. The play ran for five weeks and was initially located in San Pedro Point Fermin Park and toured the beach cities in Los Angeles.

On 31 May 2003 Renee participated in the Firefighters Burn Relay to benefit the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. The event took place in Burbank, California. She took place in the parade of fire engines. They made stops in several areas, including Beverly Hills, Burbank, Long Beach, and Santa Monica, allowing the public to make donations at each stop. Working with firefighters, educators, and burn care professionals, the foundation helps to develop new programs and services. Renee volunteered again with the foundation in 2005 raising funds washing cars with others. They raised $2000.

She took the lead in Eric Escobar's Sundance Short One Weekend A Month (2004) and co-starred with Bruce Campbell in the Sci-Fi channel movie Alien Apocalypse (2005).

Renee produced and stared in the film Diamonds and Guns (2007), an independent film and the first feature film made by her film production company, ROC Pictures. Joseph LoDuca, who composed the music on Xena and Hercules, composed music for this film as well. The film is a romantic comedy about two friends who go to Las Vegas to find true love. It was shot digitally. Renee has been raising funds for the movie selling numerous photos of herself with autographs and a few of her personal paintings on eBay. The film is now finished and she hopes to have a contract signed for distribution in 2007.

Renee recently completed the film Ghost Town (2007) for director Dean Teaster, which will premiere in May of 2007. In Ghost Town (2007) she plays the the tomboy like character Little Jack.

At the end of 2006 Renee was chosen by LesbiaNATION.com as their most loved woman of 2006, a poll that she dominated all year.

On January 22, 2007 she began shooting on the movie
Boogeyman 2 (2008) for Ghost House Pictures, executive producer Robert G. Tapert. In this feature production she plays the part of Dr. Ryan, a a psychiatrist whose mother had schizophrenia. The patients she works with have phobias that deal with the fear of the boogeyman.

Renee  appears in Xena conventions every year. They are usually located in Burbank and Pasadena, but have also taken place in Florida, London and New York. At these events Renee takes the opportunity to make the Creation Entertainment Photo Opportunties (photo-ops) more interesting that just being photographed with the fans. She wears outfits that she wore on Xena Warrior Princess and makes the whole thing fun for herself and the fans.

During the 2007 Burbank Xena convention, Renee joined her close friend Lucy Lawless for a two night "SOLD OUT" performance at the Roxy in Los Angeles. Lucy sang and Renee danced for one song. Renee repeated this performance during Lucy's New York concerts 31 May 2007 - 2 June.

In 2008 Renee saw the release of Diamonds and Guns on DVD via her official Diamonds and Guns movie site and the copies were snapped up by Renee's fans rather quickly.

Renee made her singing debut in Hollywood at the famous Roxy Theater in January 2008 when she sang along side Lucy Lawless to a sell out crowd!

Also in January she appeared at Creation Entertainment's Xena Convention where she revealed she was going to be Katherine Fugate's Army Wives in Season 2. She was planning on producing a play and also other film ventures.

April saw the announcement of Renee appearing in movie called BitchSlap in which she plays Sister Batrille alongside Lucy Lawless (as Mother Superior).

Renee is schedule to appear in the hit tv show Criminal Minds.





TRIVIA


* Her costume continuing to shrink on Xena was a running joke.

* Is still close friends with Xena star Lucy Lawless and dances at Lucy's concerts

* Has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
Read an article about the adventure (edited by Renee)

* Is an
accomplished artist with a showing at the Submerged Art Gallery in Los Angeles, June 2005

* Enjoys jazz dancing, kickboxing, rock climbing, horseback riding, water skiing, and painting.

* Nicknames are "Ren", "ROC", "Stumpy" (reference to Ren and Stimpy), and "vertically challenged".

* Favorite movie is The Piano.

* Has a cat named Kia Ora, which is Māori for "hello".

* Was in three TV appearances with Bruce Campbell;
Xena: Warrior Princess, Alien Apocalypse, and Campbell's directed episode of Hercules.

* Owns her own film production companies, ROC Pictures and ROC Productions.

* Is proficient in several forms of martial arts and the use of martial arts weapons to including the Nunchaku and the Sai.