Reneé O'Connor stars as Gabrielle, a spirited
young woman who idolizes Xena and recklessly follows the warrior
princess in search of a more exciting life, (which, apparently
includes games of "hide the soap" in the tub) in the
MCA/Universal's one-hour HIT syndicated series "Xena: Warrior
O'Connor first came to the attention of X:WP
executive producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi when an "over-the-top"
audition 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" star Kevin Sorbo, they signed her for a starring
role in "Darkman II: The Return of Durant," a feature
released on home video in July 1995.
Prior to "Darkman II," she co-starred
with Ellen Burstyn and Sheryl
Lee in the ABC-TV movie "Follow the River,"
portraying a young woman captured by
Shawnee Indians. Set in the year 1755, the
drama was based on a true story. In her
next role, she starred opposite James Garner
as a self-obsessed actress who hires Rockford as her bodyguard
in "The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise," which
was first broadcast in May 1995. "A Blessing in Disguise,"
was one of Garner's two
recent "Rockford" reunion movies
(Note: Ms. O'Connor's resumé appears below.)
Born February 15, 1971 in Houston, and raised
in Katy, Texas, O'Connor knew she wanted to be a performer at
a very early age. After much begging -- her mother relented,
and Reneé joined Katy's THEATER ON WHEELS. Reneé's very first
role on stage (age 8) was that of "a caterpillar" --
a role that was given RAVE reviews by her mother, Sandra Wilson.
At 12, Reneé began studying acting at Houston's Alley Theatre,
and later attended Houston's High School of the Performing and
Visual Arts her sophormore and junior years. She made her professional
acting debut in 1989 starring in the "Teen Angel" serial,
which was featured on the Disney Channel's "Mickey Mouse
Club," and then in "Match Point," another serial
for the popular children's show. That same year, O'Connor moved
to Los Angeles and soon landed a role in the episode of "Tales
from the Crypt" that marked Arnold Schwarzenegger 's directing
O'Connor then portrayed Cheryl Ladd's daughter
in Danielle Steel's "Changes," and starred as one of
a group of students whose lives are
suddenly endangered in the NBC movie "The
Flood. " Her most recent theatrical film role was that of
Julia Wilkes in Disney's "The Adventures of Huck Finn,"
starring Elijah Wood. She also guest-starred as the daughter of
a murdered couple in an episode of the acclaimed television series
Reneé is single, and enjoys, horseback riding, kickboxing, rock climbing and other sports. To keep in tip-top physical shape for her role as Gabrielle, Reneé gets up before dawn to work out. (note: Seems to be working just fine!)
According to one director, Reneé is very professional,
and takes her job very seriously... However, the cast and crew
agree -- her sweet, kind and honest, good-humored nature makes
Reneé a much-loved favorite on the set.
When not in Auckland, New Zealand, where the
series is filmed, she makes her home in Los Angeles. Sometimes
Reneé finds time during hiatus to travel to Texas to visit her
momma and step-dad, who oversee THREADGILL'S WORLD HEADQUARTERS
-- the Austin, Texas, Landmark of Southern Comfort Food.
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