If you’ve watched Good Behavior, you may know her as Estelle, in Claws, she played the role of Brenda. Even on Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School of Survival Guide, you would recognize Luisa Strus as Dr. Xavier.
She is a Chicago-born writer and stage and film actress whose stint in the entertainment world dates way back to her childhood days. Professionally though, Lusia started taking up roles in the 90s and has been an integral part of many stage and screen productions over the years.
Aside from being featured in other productions, Strus has written and directed her own plays mostly as solo ensembles.
She is also a fond and active member of Greg Allen’s experimental theatre troupe known as Neo-Futurists.
Lusia Strus was Born to Ukrainian Parents
Lusia Strus was born on December 13, 1969, the same year famous American actor, Bob Eubanks got married to his first wife, Irma.
Strus was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America to Mr. Nicholas Strus and Mrs. Eugenia, both Ukrainians.
From information gathered (lack of any contradictory revelation) she seems to be the only child born to her parents.
Her father was born on March 5, 1919, in Ukraine but unfortunately passed when Lusia was still a child, at the age of 60. He lived through the Ukrainian Holodomor, the war, being put in a German prison camp, and losing his family including his brother, Andriy.
Lusia’s father also suffered from cancer which made him lose so much weight that he had to use ropes to get up.
Eventually, he died on June 9, 1979, Eugenia’s 45th birthday.
Due to her Ukrainian roots, the American actress spoke Ukrainian as her first language. She also attended Ukrainian schools at the weekends to improve her language and knowledge of her people.
Following the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war in early 2022, Strus has used her voice to drum support for her people. She has continued to condemn the oppression and war.
The 53-year-old Actress was Once Married
There isn’t much to this information on the web but a careful journey through Lusia’s Instagram page gave off a hint.
Apparently, she got wedded at the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral sometime in August 2003.
The stage actress posted on her wall on August 8, 2019, that 16 years back (counting from 2019) she had a rehearsal dinner for a wedding in which she was the bride. She continued by stating how the marriage ended in a ‘sludgy divorce and she managed to get a black & white image saved from the day
Who she got married to, wasn’t mentioned in the post. However, she looked like a satisfied bride at the time the picture of her in her wedding gown was taken.
These days, she isn’t letting us in on her love life. There’s barely any evidence of any relationship or romance safe for the ones that happen in her movies.
The union also didn’t seem to have produced any kids because she never posted pictures of them. The closest we see her being with any ‘baby’ is when she gets to flaunt her dogs, Mr. Ruffles who passed away on July 3, 2019, and Ernie.
She Started Off in Theatre and Has Written a Few Plays
Many years ago, when she was still a young primary school girl at St. Nicholas Ukrainian School, she had her first play. Lusia played the role of Snowflake for the school performance.
Professionally, Lusia Strus started off her career in the entertainment industry when she joined Greg Allen’s Ne-Futurists group in 1993. She began by writing solo ensemble performances while with the group.
Years later, she began to earn roles in plays for theatres in Chicago such as Steppenwolf, Goodman, Curious Theatre Company, and Victory Gardens, to name a few. Lusia has also worked for the Chicago Jazz Festival, a non-commercial educational radio station known as WBEZ, and Yoplait.
Her stint in theatre has spanned about 2 decades now and she only got to incorporate screen acting into her activities later on.
You May Have Seen Lusia Strus in Any of these Movies/Series
One of Strus’ most famous roles so far is as Alexa in 50 First Dates where she was cast alongside American actor, Adam Sandler. She has been in many more films and series since her debut role as McCarthy in Stir of Echoes (1999).
Here’s a list of Strus’ filmography (Film and TV);
- Stirs of Echoes (1999 film) – As McCarthy
- Soul Survivors (2001film) – As Stern Nurse
- 50 First Dates (2004 film) – As Alexa
- Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide (2005 TV series) – As Dr. Xavier
- Miss Congeniality (2005 film) – As Janine
- Modern Family (2011 TV series) – As Officer Blevin
- Wayward Pines (2025 TV series) – As Marcy
- Good Behavior (2016 TV series) – As Estelle
- New Amsterdam (2018 TV series) – As Jeffers
- Claws (2018 TV series) – As Brenda
- Buffaloed (2019 film) – As Frances
- The Blacklist (2019 TV series) – As Marguerite Renard
- Search Party (2020 TV series) – As Melissa Miracle
- Paint (2023 film) – As Beverly