These days we hear a lot of back and forth discussion about the “princess culture” for girls, but in the late 90s, young female TV fans didn’t need tiaras or tutus for their fix. They had Xena: Warrior Princess, an incredible show featuring the kick-butt moves and acting of Lucy Lawless. Today is Lucy’s birthday, and although she’s moved on from the chakram-throwing champion, that particular role showed that female characters could be funny, fierce and strong. Who didn’t try to cut a hole in a Frisbee and fling it fast enough to take down a bad guy? Okay, maybe it was just us.
Since then, Lawless has portrayed a Cylon, and she gave voice to Wonder Woman in a Justice League animated movie, so she’s definitely preserved her spot in geekdom and in eternal nerd debates about who would win in a fight, D’Anna or Xena. But in a decade that gave us Agent Scully, Captain Janeway and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena still managed to capture our hearts at knifepoint. Battle on, Lucy!