Many thanks to Dave for the scan

USA Today

10 October 1999

Expectant princess plans natural delivery

By Jeannie Williams, USA TODAY

usatoday.jpg (70116 bytes)Lucy Lawless is excited about being the mother of two, with her second child due any minute.

Lawless plans to have the baby "as natural as possible," something her Xena: Warrior Princess character (also pregnant) no doubt would approve of.

"Women are having babies in paddy fields all over the world, out in the bloody rain," the 31-year-old actress said late last week, awaiting the birth. She added that she and producer husband Rob Tapert chose not to know the sex of the child in advance.

The actress was celebrating another thrill: Xena is on the Oct. 16 TV Guide's list of "TV's Fifty Greatest Characters Ever," one of three current characters to make it.

She's delighted to be at No. 46; Danny DeVito's Louie De Palma of Taxi tops the list. The other current characters are Dennis Franz's Andy Sipowicz and David Hyde Pierce's Niles Crane.

"I was a little chagrined to see Xena's butt kicked by Family Matters' Urkel (who placed 27th)," Lawless said. "But one season playing Urkel would kill me. I wish him (Jaleel White) much success (in his new series)."

Lawless, feeling "incredibly well physically," noted that Friday was the third anniversary of her breaking her pelvis in a fall from a horse in a skit for The Tonight Show. She hoped it wouldn't be a problem because "I haven't tried having a child on it yet."

Her husband and daughter Daisy, 11, from Lawless' marriage to Guy Lawless, are to be on hand for the birth, though it is up to Daisy how much she wants to see.

Xena is pregnant on the show, although the birth hasn't been taped. "I didn't want to shoot it before my own baby was born," Lawless said. "I didn't want my baby to hear me grunting and growling and carrying on. It's heard enough war cries."

Kevin Sorbo, who plays Hercules, will be back for the birth episode, she said. The father will be revealed on the show in January.

Lawless plans to be back at work in a few weeks and expects that, as after Daisy's birth, "I'll have incredible energy and focus." It's tough for the writers when the title character isn't around, "so as long as my baby is getting the first-class attention it deserves, I'm happy to be back at work."

She's not certain about a sixth Xena season, which would begin taping in March. In the future, "two movies a year and six months in New Zealand, that would be ideal!"


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