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Who Plays Louise Shepard In The Right Stuff On Disney+?

Most historians would agree the 20th century was rife with significant historical events too numerous to document. They'd also agree few were as genuinely awe-inspiring as the space-race of the 1960s, which found the U.S.A. and Soviet Russia desperate to establish dominance on Earth by claiming dominion over space itself. It was a race America won by landing a manned craft on the surface of the moon in 1969.

The incredible events that led to that lunar landing have understandably been well documented with books and documentaries delving into every aspect of NASA's heroic astral endeavor. Hollywood has visited and re-visited the story of America's rise to space-bound prominence as well, with films like Apollo 13 (1995), Hidden Figures (2016), and First Man (2018) shining glorious light on the events that led man to the stars. One of the more overlooked films in the vaunted space-race canon (these days, anyway) is 1983's Oscar-winning epic The Right Stuff, which charted the early days of NASA, and the personal journeys of the brave pilots who became America's first astronauts.

That movie was actually based on Tom Wolfe's non-fiction novel of the same name, which is currently serving as inspiration for a sprawling mini-series event from National Geographic and Disney+. Yes, the new series is also called The Right Stuff. And yes, it also puts the stories of the famed "Mercury Seven" astronauts front and center. More than the '83 flick, the new Disney+ series explores the trials and tribulations of the astronauts' wives.

Of those wives, few endured as many trials and tribulations as Louise Shephard, whose husband Alan became the first American in space during a 1961 flight. And yes, there's a good chance you know the actor who portrays Louise in The Right Stuff. Here's why. 

Shannon Lucio was a key player in the early days of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

That actor's name is Shannon Lucio, and if you do recognize her, it's likely because you've got exceptional taste in television shows. She's frequented some of the best to hit the airwaves in the past couple of decades. In fact, the actor has made appearances in everything from small screen icons like ER and NYPD Blue to cult hits like Supernatural and Prison Break. In 2013, Lucio went full Marvel Cinematic Universe when she landed a two-episode arc on the inaugural season of one of Marvel's best TV endeavors.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the series in question, but we should go ahead and tell you that Shannon Lucio was not portraying one of the heroic agents under the command of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). Quite the opposite, in fact, as Lucio's Debbie was working with the nefarious minds of Hydra during her season 1 arc. But if the name Debbie doesn't ring a bell, she was the genius scientist spearheading Hydra's perilous Centipede Project in the early days of the show.

As S.H.I.E.L.D. fans likely recall, said project utilizes a creepy device and a special serum to create would-be super-soldiers not unlike Captain America himself. They likely also remember those soldiers turning out wildly unstable, with J. August Richards' Mike Peterson (a.k.a. Deathlok) serving as one of her few legit success stories. Even as the powered Peterson eventually saves the good doctor's life in the series' pilot episode, it's another of Debbie's Centipede Project progeny who ends it, when the fire-balling Scorch (Louis Ozawa) gets fed up with being experimented on and turns his eternal flame in her general direction.

Shannon Lucio played queen to a vampire king in True Blood

HBO has inarguably become one of the preeminent names in timeless TV masterpieces, launching smash hit series like The WireThe SopranosGame of Thrones, and Watchmen in years past. But even as the cable and streaming behemoth continues to crank out the hits (see 2020's Perry Mason and Lovecraft Country), there's one series in particular that continues to prove divisive among even it's most devoted fans. 

That series is Alan Ball's bonkers Southern Gothic vampire melodrama True Blood, which earned itself a robust fanbase in its early days, before alienating most of them by repeatedly jumping the proverbial shark in later seasons. Set in the steamy swamplands of Louisiana's fictional Bon Temps, True Blood follows Anna Paquin's Sookie Stackhouse as she becomes enmeshed in the town's seedy and sexy vampire underground. She's drawn into that world by Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a former Confederate soldier and current king of the blood-sucking set.

As Sookie's ongoing romantic entanglement with Bill remains front and center for much of True Blood's six-season run on HBO, series diehards would point out that one of Bill's other tragic romances is frequently explored too. Said romance takes place in the days after the Civil War ended, finding Bill being matched with a Southern Belle beauty by the name of Caroline. We first meet Caroline via flashback in the series' inaugural season, in which she's played by Gabrielle N. Brown. 

Caroline made her return to True Blood for a four-episode arc in the series' final season, this time being played by none other than Shannon Lucio. And even if the final season of True Blood remains intensely divisive, fans can certainly agree Lucio was great in the role.  

Shannon Lucio almost kept it in the family on The O.C.

If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and True Blood are a little too niche for your tastes, it's quite possible you know Shannon Lucio's face from her recurring role on a slightly more mainstream offering, the CW's beloved teen soap The O.C. That series made its way to the screen in the fall of 2003, and became a bit of a ratings sensation for the fledgling network. It also made veritable overnight stars of principal players Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, and Ben McKenzie.

Set in the posh Southern California town of Newport Beach, The O.C. follows the travails of a group of upper crust kids with a bit too much time and privilege on their hands. Yes, that synopsis is roughly the same as virtually ever other teen drama on the air at the time (and there were too many to recount here), but The O.C. stood apart largely thanks to better than average writing, a killer indie-rock-centric soundtrack, and an endlessly charming, star-making turn from the charismatic Brody. 

The series also featured a revolving door of secondary characters played by up-and-coming actors like Chris Pratt, Shailene Woodley, and Logan Marshall-Green. Shannon Lucio joined their ranks in The O.C.'s second season, turning up in Newport Beach as Lindsay Gardner, and going on to make a dozen appearances on the series between seasons 2 and 3. She even scores a date with Brody's Seth himself, just before she learns that he's actually her half-nephew.

Clearly things got a little weird for Lindsay on The O.C., and you can tell Shannon Lucio is enjoying every second of the madness throughout.