Liza Lapira is an American television, film and theater actress known for her appearances in the TV series “Dollhouse” and “NCIS, and the movie “21.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Liza Lapira hails from Queens, New York City, and was born under the Sagittarius zodiac sign on 3 December 1981, which makes her 42 years old as of 2023. Her father is Jim Shannon, and she’s shared a photo of herself with an older woman, whom she referred to as ‘Mom’ on her official Twitter account, but didn’t disclose her name. Lapira is of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish roots. She spent her childhood in Queens, and relocated to Los Angeles, California, in 2004.
Liza attended Forest Hills High School, New York City, where she appeared in various theatrical productions. After relocating to Los Angeles, Liza studied acting under the acting coach and booking agent, Amy Lyndon.
Hobbies and Interests
Lapira is actively involved in charity work – she supports various children’s organizations such as LA’s Best, which offers after-school services to needy kids. She currently works with the Harlem-based Repertory Impact Theater, which provides a safe space for community discussion on Asian and Black Unity. Moreover, the actress participates in the annual Charity Triathlons for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).
She often speaks against anti-Asian hate crimes – recently, Liza was invited to collaborate with the creators of the TV series “Equalizer” in an episode addressing the topic.
Liza is an avid dog lover and likes posting her pet on her Instagram account.
Career Beginnings and Stage Appearances
While living in New York in the early 2000s, Lapira appeared in several theatrical productions, with some of her stage credits including “The School for Wives,” “As You Like It,” and “The Odyssey,” among others. She recently appeared in Steve Martin’s full-length play, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” which was performed at Old Globe Theater in San Diego.
Lapira made her film debut with a small role in the 2000 romantic drama “Autumn in New York.” In 2005, she was selected to appear in the Tony Scott-directed action crime film “Domino”, and her next notable role was in the 2006 independent film, “The Big Bad Swim.” Liza portrayed Kianna in the 2008 heist drama, “21,” which was directed by Robert Luketic, and for her performance, the Queens native scooped a ShoWest Convection Special Award for Best Ensemble. In 2009, she shared the screen with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in the fourth installment of the “Fast & Furious” film series, which was directed by Justin Lin.
Liza appeared alongside Forest Whitaker and Jude Law in the 2010 sci-fi film, “Repo Men.” She was cast in two more films before she landed the role of Liz in the Ryan Gosling-starred romantic comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love” in 2011. Liza’s following appearances were in the 2017 romantic comedy “All I Wish,” the 2018 family comedy-drama “The Samuel Project,” and most recently the 2021 Philippine-American comedy-drama “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers.”
Lapira made her TV debut in the episode “Wanderlust” of the NBC crime drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 1999. Subsequently, she made single-episode appearances in various series, including “Law & Order” (2001), “Sex and the City” (2003), and “The Sopranos” (2004). Liza landed her first main role as Maggie Del Rosario in the three-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning Showtime drama “Huff”, appearing in 21 episodes from 2004-2006. Between 2006-2008, Liza portrayed Michelle Lee in the long-running police procedural series “NCIS.”
— Liza Lapira (@lizalapira) August 4, 2017
In 2008, Liza played Christine in two episodes of the medical drama “ER”, and Yuki Amado in five episodes of the Showtime crime drama “Dexter.” In 2009 and 2010, she played Ivy in Joss Whedon’s short-lived sci-fi “Dollhouse,” which starred Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix and Frank Kranz. Liza’s next notable TV appearances were in the Fox sitcom “Traffic Light” (2011), ABC sitcom “Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23” (2012 and 2013), and the sitcom “Super Fun Night” (2013-2014).
2016 saw Lapira star as Leslie Barrett in the sitcom “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” and her next starring role was in the sitcom “9JKL” in 2017 and 2018. Subsequently, she landed the recurring role of Mia in the true crime miniseries “Unbelievable,” which starred Toni Collette, Kaitlyn Dever and Merritt Wever. Most recently, Lapira began playing the main role of Melody ‘Mel’ Bayani in the CBS crime drama “The Equalizer” in 2021, sharing the screen with Adam Goldberg, Queen Latifah and Tony Kittles.
Social Media Presence
Liza is active on Instagram (@lizalapira) with almost 25,000 followers, on which she’s fond of posting her photos together with her castmates. She opened her Twitter account (@lizalapira) in April 2009, and has garnered over 10,000 followers as of 2023.
Lapira has not publicly introduced anyone as her boyfriend and is seemingly single without any children as of 2023. In the past, she used to describe herself as celibate in interviews, but previously gave a glimpse of her romantic life during an interview: ‘People usually comment on my personal life and ask me, “Are you seeing anyone?” But my answer is a big NOO…I have always tried to lead an independent life. My main goal is my career.’ It is rumored that the “Dollhouse” starlet once dated the Academy Award-winning American actor Sam Rockwell, who is perhaps best known for his appearances in the films “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and “Jojo Rabbit,” among others. She hasn’t addressed the dating rumors; Rockwell is now married to the actress Leslie Bibb.
Previously, there was a rumor that Lapira was married to the four-time Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and actor Marc Anthony, but the allegation turned out to be fake. Anthony is the ex-husband of Dayanara Torres (2000-2004), Jennifer Lopez (2004-2014), and Shannon De Lima (2014-2017). In 2023, Anthony walked the aisle with the Paraguayan beauty pageant titleholder and fashion model Nadia Ferreira.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Liza has long black hair and dark brown eyes. She is 5ft 2ins (1.57m) tall and weighs approximately 115lbs (52kgs), with vital statistics of 34-24-34. The actress wears shoe size 6(US).
Liza has over 50 film and TV credits to her name, which has contributed to her fame and modest fortune – she’s worth approximately $4 million as of 2023.