Superheroes come and go, and with every character iteration, inspiration is transferred to the next generation of superheroes. Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman may be all the rage now. A formidable Amazon princess. However, she is not the first. The idea of an Amazon warrior character goes back in ages and was used in the popular superhero movie of the 1990s – Xena: Warrior Princess. Renee O’Connor plays Gabrielle, an Amazon warrior and companion of Xena, played by Lucy Lawless.
O’Connor is versatile in the way she interpreted her characters. This talent has seen her appear in everything from Hercules movies to Shakespeare stage productions. The actress began her career in 1989 and has since started her own production company and added “producer” and “director” to her portfolio.
Renee O’Connor – Biography
Renee’s story begins in Houston, Texas, on February 15, 1971. This is where she was also raised by her parents, Walter O’Connor and Sandra O’Connor in a suburb of Houston known as Katy. She also has a sibling, an older brother, Chris.
For her high school education, she went to Taylor High School. However, she subsequently transferred to the Houston High School of Visual and Performing Arts to hone her acting skills.
The actress continued to live in Texas until her role as Gabrielle on the Xena series. Since the movie was shot entirely in New Zealand, Renee O’Connor had to relocate to the country. She lived there for the entirety of the shows lifetime, from 1996 to 2001.
While there, O’Connor found love. She got married to Steve Muir, a native restaurant owner, in October 2001. They also had a son, Miles William Muir, a month before their wedding. However, the union did not outlast the television series. Renee divorced him at the end of the series and moved back to Texas. Back at home, she entered into another relationship with fellow actor, Jed Sura. The couple welcomed their daughter, Iris Sura O’Connor, on March 19, 2006.
Her Movies and TV Shows
Renee O’Connor began her career in a relatively traditional sense – by appearing in commercials. She even appeared in one for McDonald’s before her first television gig came in 1989. O’Connor made a guest appearance as Nancy Nichols in the series, Teen Angel. She was also in three other movies that year, including Night Game.
Moving on, she was briefly involved with the Walt Disney Company for The Mickey Mouse Club in 1989. She also continued to appear in TV series and movies like Tales from the Crypt (1990), NYPD Blue (1993) and Sworn to Vengeance (1993).
In 1994, she got a part in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Renee was given the role of Deianira. Her performance on the project was deemed excellent by the executive producers who decided to give her a role in their next film Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995). After that, and in the same year, came her portrayal of Gabrielle, in Xena: The Warrior Princess. Her character was the comrade-in-arms and trusty sidekick to Xena. She was involved in 134 episodes of the series, culminating in the season finale in 2001.
Renee O’Connor has since gone on to establish ROC Pictures, her very own production company. Under her own brand, she debuted with the straight-to-DVD romcom, Diamonds and Guns, in 2008. She followed this up with the short movie, Words Unspoken, two years later. Meanwhile, Renee O’Connor was the writer, director, and producer for the project. It received overwhelmingly positive reviews and clinched an award to top it all up.
While the actress continues to grow her company, it hasn’t stopped her from acting. She has appeared in movies like Beyond the Farthest Star (2015), Deadrise (2011), and Watch the Sky (2017).
Latest Facts about Renee O’Connor
1. Renee isn’t just a writer, director, producer, and actor. The Texan actress is also an accomplished stuntwoman. She is extensively trained in the martial arts of Tae Kwon Do.
2. She is also a brilliant artist. O’Connor creates masterful pieces of art and auctions them as a way to raise money for charities and also to help finance projects for ROC Pictures.
3. Renee’s costume change from the second season of Xena: The Warrior Princess was promoted when the producers of the series observed that she was really athletic and fit.
4. O’Connor transferred from Taylor High to attend the more arts-oriented Houston High School. However, she transferred back to Taylor so that she could graduate with her friends.
5. One of Renee’s teachers while at Taylor High School noticed her talent for acting and asked Renee to give her an autograph as she believed Renee would be a star soon after school.