Monday, September 08, 2003

LOS ANGELES ( - Xena's warrior cry is about to make beautiful music with Tarzan's monkey holler.
Lucy Lawless is joining the cast of The WB's "Tarzan" in the crucial (but only recently added) part of Tarzan's aunt.

The Kiwi actress will play Kathleen Clayton, a publishing magnate and younger sister of Mitch Pileggi's Richard Clayton, the acting head of Greystoke Industries. Kathleen and Richard have very different ideas of how to handle their recently rediscovered nephew Jack (Travis Fimmel). Richard believes that Tarzan must be rehabilitated and reintroduced to non-simian society, while Kathleen wants to give the monkey man time to find his own way.

Both may have ulterior motives, as they know that whoever controls Tarzan also controls Greystoke.

"Lucy has a tremendous sense of humor, warmth and grace," says The WB's Entertainment President Jordan Levin. "She has a fun, larger-than-life personality that will shape the character of Kathleen Clayton as she makes it her own and that is what attracted us to her for future development."

Lawless, who starred in "Xena: Warrior Princess" from 1995 until 2001, is only signed as a regular for the show's first season. Her deal with The WB also includes an exclusive series development deal for the 2004-2005 season.

"Tarzan" reunites Lawless with executive producer Laura Ziskin, who performed the same duties on "Spider-Man," which featured a small cameo from Gabrielle's former bosom buddy.