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Liza Lapira aka Michelle Lee

Posted by on Sep. 8, 2009 at 11:08 PM
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Birthday: December 3rd 1981
Birthname: Liza Lapira
Birthplace: Queens, New York
Height: 5'5


Brief Bio on acting Career:

Liza, of Fillipino descent, trod the boards in many theatrical productions and workshops in the "Big Apple", as well as appearing in a very small role in her first movie, "Autumn In New York" with Winona Ryder and Richard Gere in 2000.

In 2004 she relocated to LA and immediately found steady work in a string of Popular Shows, such as "The Sopranos", "Grey's Anatomy" and "Sex in the City" among others.
Her most regular work on TV at that time was in Showtime's "Huff" with Hank Azaria, playing Oliver Platt's put upon PA, Maggie Del Rosario. Playing Maggie earned her an AZN television nomination for best newcomer.
"Huff" ran for two seasons after which Liza continued to appear in more TV shows such as "ER" (2 episodes) Law & Order: SVU (6 Episodes) and "Dexter (5 episodes).

Further film roles included Tony Scott's "Domino" starring Keira Knightly, where Liza played "Chinegro" woman in a standout scene with Jerry Springer. JJ Abram's "Cloverfield" as one of the partygoers, whose fate is left uncertain when the giant monster destroys the Brooklyn Bridge. "21" with Kevin Spacey and Kate Hudson, in the role of Kianna, and indie movie "Big Bad Swim". The story of a group of people, afraid of the water, wanting to learn to swim, which Liza actually did in order to prepare for her role. "Big Bad Swim" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006.

Around this time, she won one of her most fondly remembered roles. That of rookie Special Agent Michelle Lee on "NCIS", appearing in a dozen episodes between seasons 4 and 6 of this long running show, before being tragically "killed off" at the conclusion of a highly charged three episode story arc at the end of 2008.
Liza went on to play another Federal agent, FBI special agent Sophie Trinh in "Fast and The Furious 4".

A dilligent search of the internet may lead you to the "Dr Miracles" series of shorts. Made exclusively for the internet Channel 102 NY, these were set in a hospital and featured a predominantly Asian cast. Shot on a shoestring, Liza both starred in and also co-produced these bite sized comedies .

Liza is a self confessed "Nerd", with a passion for snorkelling and Lip balme. To her closest friends she is "Minnie" and describes herself as a "Girly girl" with a love of romantic comedies, and has recently appeared in two herself. The yet to be released, "See You in September" and "Table for Three", with Brandon Routh and Sophia Bush, with Liza playing "The Big Bang Theory's" Johnny Galecki's love interest.

Having already appeared in "Cloverfield", Liza is set to become reacquainted with the Sci-Fi genre in the very near future.
Having already appeared in 4 episodes of "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" series, she is likely to return in the show's hard won second season as Dollhouse tech, Ivy, as well as the new movie, "Repo Men", with Jude Law. A thriller with Sci-Fi overtones.

Footnote: Liza's DOB is somewhat confusing. On some sites it is listed as July 29, 1969. Elsewhere, an unspecified date in 1972. Her IMDB entry has gotten around this by leaving it out all together. I have chosen to go with the 1981 birthdate given here as the most likely to be correct.

(Please put in chronological order starting with the newest first.)

(Indicate which one)

Dates / Number of Episodes
Episode # and Titles
(If applicable)

Dollhouse Ivy 2009 (4 episodes) Gray Hour, Man on the Street,A Spy in the house of Love, Briar Rose

Fast and Furious
Agent Sophie Trinh
2009 (post production)

Repossession Mambo
2009 (post production)

Table for Three
2008 (post production)

See You In September
2008 (post production)

Yuki Amado
2008 (5 episodes)
All in the Family, Finding Freebo, Our Father, eps. 3.6 &3.7

2008 (1 episode)
The Chicago Way

Huff Maggie Del Rosario 2004-2006 (21 episodes)

Law and Order SVU Rebecca Cheng/Forensics tech 1999-2007 (6 episodes)
Snitch, Avatar, Dependent, Burned, Scourge and Wanderlust

Before Liza was famous:


Memorable Quotes:

Lapira was born in Queens New York, area said to produce tough chicks, but Liza was said to be as sweet as they come..
Charity Work:

Awards or Nominations:
AZN Television nomination Best Newcomer for "Huff"
ShoWest convention Best Ensemble Cast award win for "21"

by on Sep. 8, 2009 at 11:08 PM
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