Lucy Roucis is a living, breathing, and tremoring example of "turning something adverse around and making it work." Her young-onset Parkinson's disease actually helped get her a part in the film, "Love and Other Drugs." Director and writer, Ed Zwick, after reading over 40 actors for the role, was so impressed with Lucy's audition that he asked her to write for the scene and add her own dialogue. Lucy portrays a woman doing a stand-up routine, poking fun at having Parkinson's, and helps Anne Hathaway's character, Maggie, begin accepting her own diagnosis.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Lucy is the daughter of a dentist and a homemaker. She and her five siblings all received a private education. She attended Loretto Heights College in Denver, receiving a B.A. in theatre, Magna cum Laude. She immediately moved to Los Angeles to start her career. There she became a long-time student of Roy London, the late acting teacher who revolutionized acting technique.
She began getting work in the film, television, and modeling world as well, being tall and slender. She had parts on "General Hospital," "Santa Barbara," the CBS pilot "Domestic Life" with Martin Mull, and on-screen in "Better Off Dead" with John Cusack and "The Party Animal." On the theatrical stage, she was a member of the Los Angeles-based Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and the Colony Theater's "The Robber Bridegroom." She co-starred and produced the Celtic Arts Center's "A Tragedy You Can Dance To" by Ric Matheson. Several television commercials and print ads later, she was breaking ground as an actor when the Parkinson's reared its head.
She had a double diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson's disease and thyroid cancer, undergoing thyroid removal and the cancer being eradicated. But Parkinson's is incurable so, defeated, she returned home to Denver, giving up on Hollywood. She reinvented herself as an actress with a disability and found work. Denver Audiences know Lucy well and her Parkinson's is just part of her package. She's a long-time member of the world-renowned PHAMALY (Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League, Inc.) where her Parkinson's is an asset, alongside her fellow cast members who each have a disability of his/her own. The award-winning company produces quality plays at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Roucis has starred in 20 productions, winning Best Supporting Actress in a Musical from WestWord Magazine for her Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls." She was cast in the pilot, "One Step Ahead," a Washington, DC-based weekly disability news program, as its Cultural Correspondent. In 2008, Lucy received the Mayor's Award for being an Unsung Hero.
In 2008 Lucy underwent deep brain stimulation at the Cleveland Clinic. This procedure, although temporary, lessens the symptoms of her now advanced Parkinson's disease.
Like Michael J. Fox, Lucy found her voice as an advocate for Parkinson's and disability awareness. She also found an outlet for her wit as a stand-up (or sit-down) comic, working fundraisers with comedian Josh Blue
Remembering Lucy Roucis
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