Liz O'Rourke was portrayed by Cathy Keenan and Brooke Madigan (as young Liz in Crossed Wires). Although Liz appears as a new character in season 2, Cathy Keenan is an uncredited extra throughout season 1, starting with the first episode, Kiss Me, Steph. She was best friends with Christine Nelson.

Degrassi Junior High

Season 2

Liz.jpg

In Great Expectations, Liz is with her mother registering for school at Degrassi Junior High. She complains to her mom how her old school was a good school and how Degrassi is full of preppy students. Her mom says she understands how hard it is to start a new school, but she promised that she would give Degrassi a chance. At that moment, she sees Joey coming out of the principal's office. Doris introduces him to Liz and asks him to show her to Mr. Raditch's class. Liz chuckles when Joey introduces himself to her. As they're walking, Joey decides to ask Liz out on a date.

The next day, she is walking into school and smiles at Joey. In school, everybody is staring at Liz as she walks down the hallway to the girls' bathroom. In the bathroom, she stares at Stephanie and Spike as she is leaving. She asks Stephanie what is she looking at. Sarcastically, she says she loves Liz's hair and wants to know who does it. Liz retorts that at least she doesn't change clothes in the bathroom to avoid her parents knowing how she dresses at school. After Raditch's class ends, Joey comes up to her and asks if she wants to be partners on their next assignment. Liz accepts and agrees to meet in the research center after lunch.

During lunch, Spike comes up to her and asks if she could sit down with her. Liz tells her it's a free country. Spike asks Liz how does she like Degrassi so far. Liz says that the students are snobby. However, Spike tells her they are okay once Liz gets to know them. Liz asks if she is really pregnant to which Spike says yes. Liz goes on to explain how she will never get pregnant. Spike asks where is Liz from. She tells her that she's from Lyndon and how much she loved it there. She explains how no one judged her for the way she dressed like the students at Degrassi does. She states that she will move back there once she turns 16. Spikes says she bets Liz will like Degrassi by that time, but Liz says she doubts it.

In the research center, Liz is trying to work on their assignment, but Joey keeps flirting with her. The bell rings and Liz asks where should they meet after school to get their work done. Joey says it can't be his house as his grandparents are there. This causes Liz to suggest meeting at her house to work which Joey agrees to. After school, Liz gives Joey her address and they say goodbye. When sees Spike, she asks her for her opinion of Joey. Spike explains how he can be a jerk sometimes but he's alright. Liz tells her she thinks he is funny and nice. She goes on about how she thinks she likes him.

At home, Liz tells her mom how Joey is coming over to work on their project. Her mom says that she doesn't like boys over when she isn't home. Liz tells her that it's okay as Joey is nice. She tells her mom to trust her, especially since it's hard to make friends at Degrassi. Her mom says she's glad Liz is making friends and leaves to go to work. Later on, she welcomes Joey into her home and asks if he wants a soda. While working on their assignment, she says it is dumb and asks if Joey thinks the same. She asks him what is wrong. Joey asks if she wants to have sex which makes her angry. She tells him that she trusted him and thought he was different. She says she hates him and kicks him out.

At school the next day, she glares at Joey as he's telling Wheels' how much he liked her.

In Dinner & a Show, Liz runs into Joey in the hallway. He says hi, but she ignores him. After class is over, Spike is telling her how she can't hang out after school due to helping her mom and having a counseling course. Liz tells her to skip it for once, but Spike says she can't as it helps.

In Fight!, Joey smiles at Liz in class, but she ignores him. When class is over, he asks if they can talk but Liz tells him not to touch her. He tries to apologize for what happened at her house which she disbelieves. He continues to apologize by saying he doesn't think sometimes. He performs a flower trick which earns him a laugh from Liz. He takes notice of it and asks if they're friends again, but Liz tells him he's wrong and walks away.

The next day, Liz and Spike are discussing the upcoming fight between Joey and Dwayne Myers. Spike says Joey doesn't deserve to be beaten up, but Liz says he will be fine. Spike asks if Liz is still mad at him but only earns a shrug from her. The following day, she is watching the fight while cheering Joey on.

In Pass Tense, at her locker, she greets Spike and asks how she is doing. The next day, Liz and others are upset about the rumors of them adding Grade 9 to their school next year, which means they won't be attending high school.

Season 3

In Can't Live With 'Em, she is in attendance with her classmates at Wheels' parents' funeral. As they're are leaving, Spike tells Liz how she is scared as she wouldn't know what to do if her mother died. Liz says she wouldn't know what to do either. The next day, while getting lunch, she asks why Spike isn't eating anything. Spike tells her that she's on a diet. She goes on by saying how she feels like a normal person at their school. Liz asks who is watching Emma to which Spike says a friend from prenatal class. Spike continues by saying that due to watching two children at night, she can never go out at night anymore. Liz suggests she hires a babysitter but Spike says she is broke. This prompts Liz to tell her to get a part-time job.

In Season's Greetings, Liz is having lunch with Spike, Lucy, and the twins. She listening to Spike talk about her worries of possibly failing her classes until she is called to the office. Later, she comments on how Spike has been gone for a long time and hopes she is okay. She notices Spike enter the cafeteria with Emma.

In Loves Me, Loves Me Not, Liz is stopped on the stairs by Joey. He asks her to the dance, but she says no. Joey tells to forget about last year as things are different now. He asks for another chance and she reluctantly agrees. At the dance, they greet each other and go off to dance.

In The Whole Truth, Liz is hanging up posters for a protest when Caitlin asks what are they doing to the monkey on the poster. Liz explains how they're testing them for different experiments and kills them when it's over. Before leaving with Spike, she tells Caitlin to come to the protest the following weekend. Later that day, Caitlin is waiting for Liz in the hallway and asks to speak with her. She suggests that Liz should write an article for the Degrassi Digest, but Liz says no. She says she is not into the newspaper business. Caitlin says that the article could get a lot of people to come to the protest. Liz tells Caitlin that she will gather all of the information for Caitlin to write the article. Before leaving, Caitlin tells her the article is due tomorrow. Liz says they should meet after school to work on it.

After school, Spike is teasing Liz about being on the school newspaper. Liz tells her she's not as she is only helping. She goes on by saying she doesn't get involved with preps, but Spike says Caitlin isn't a prep. However, Liz tells her that everybody at the school is a prep. Caitlin greets Liz and they leave to go work on the article. At her house, Liz explains how rabbits are used to test cosmetics just so people can wear makeup. Caitlin asks if they are testing to make sure it's safe for humans. Li says yes but there are other ways. They watch a movie about animal testing which gives Caitlin the idea about doing more than one article. Liz agrees and suggests one on animals that get used to test cosmetics.

Two days later at school, Liz compliments Caitlin on the article. However, Caitlin says she can't go to the protest. Liz asks why not. Caitlin explains how she has epilepsy and her medicine is tested on animals. Liz tells her she doesn't care as she rather be sick than hurt an animal.

In Twenty Bucks, she is talking with Spike until Joey comes up to them. He asks Liz out on a date but she says no. She tells him that she thought they were just friends. The next day, she is talking to Spike who is upset about not being able to go to the concert. She calls Shane a pig and says she wished she had the money to lend Spike. Spike thanks her for her kind suggestion.

The following day, she overhears Luke saying how Shane is going to the concert and informs Spike. She watches as Spike and Shane argue. In school, they are talking about the concert until Melanie stops them and asks Spike if she wants to buy her ticket.

In Taking Off (1), she asks Spike about what time she should come to go to the concert.

In Black & White, Liz and Spike are talking about the latter's money problems. She suggests that Spike gets an after school job. She tells her about a restaurant looking for a part-time bus person. She says it'll help with paying for daycare for Emma. The next day, they are discussing Spike's upcoming job interview. Liz says that she could come with her as a way to ease her nerves. Spike agrees and they walk to class. As they're walking to the restaurant, she wishes Spike good luck on her interview. She waits outside until it's over. When she sees Spike come out upset, she asks what happened. Spike says she didn't get the job because of her hair. Liz gets angry and says she'll come back at night and throw a rock through the window. Spike tells her don't and that she'll just find another job.


In a later episode we find out she was an unwanted pregnancy and her mother almost had an abortion which led to her pro-life/animal rights interests.

Liz posted pro-life posters in school washrooms and on lockers when she found out about Erica Farrell's abortion. This leads to the first Degrassi girl fight ever. Erica grabs Liz's hair, and pulls her to the ground. The two fight until two teachers pull them off each other. Although Liz and Spike were best friends, they have had problems in their relationship, like when Spike and Patrick broke up, and Patrick asked Liz out to a concert. Liz agrees, and Spike is jealous, although she initially told Liz that she didn't care if she went out with Patrick. The two girls argue, as Spike thinks that Liz should have just known that it was wrong to go out with her ex-boyfriend. Although Liz enjoys spending time with Patrick, she cares too much about her friendship with Spike and tells him that she can't go out with him anymore.

Joey and Liz

In another Liz featured episode, Tim asks her to go the The Pogues concert and she turns him down. After talking with Spike, who convinces her Tim is a nice guy, she changes her mind and they go out. At the end of the date Tim tries to kiss her and she freaks out, screams, and slams the door in his face. Tim begs her to forgive him and is confused why she cannot. She tells Spike about it and asks for her advice. We find out through flashbacks and a heart to heart with Spike that she was molested as a child by her mother's boyfriend (not her father who was long gone by that time) which is the reason she is terrified of Tim giving her a peck and men in general. She starts to cope with it at the end and Tim and her decide to just be friends. She and Tim share a dance at Degrassi High's final dance, showing that they still have a strong friendship.

Although Liz's character was a new student to Degrassi in Great Expectations, Cathy Keenan can be spotted in earlier episodes including Kiss Me Steph and Revolution as an extra.

Parents

Liz's mother was played by Laine Williams. Liz's father was never in her life. However, in flashbacks of abuse she suffered as a child, the mother's boyfriend, who committed the abuse, was played by Les Porter, who is mis-identified in the closing credits as "Liz's Dad".

Degrassi: The Next Generaton (Season 1, 3, 5)

Liz delivering baby Jack

Liz at Spike's male strippers party.

On the Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 1 special features, in a reunion video she says she now works with the developmentally disabled. She also helps her best friend, Spike, give birth to her second child, Jack. When Liz's best friend Spike needs a pick-me-up during her separation from Snake, Liz is there comforting her. She is present along with other Degrassi alumni, when male strippers arrived to cheer Spike up.

Appearances

Degrassi Junior High (Season 2)

Degrassi Junior High (Season 3)

Degrassi High (Season 1)

Degrassi High (Season 2)

Degrassi: the Next Generation
Season 1

Season 3

Season 5

Trivia

  • Liz, along with fifteen other characters, was sexually assaulted:
  • She is the second character to have an abusive father, the other four being Rick MunroCraig ManningJane Vaughn, and Miles Hollingsworth III.
    • Liz's father never abused her, but he was abusive to her mother, beating her unconscious when she discovered that she was pregnant with their daughter.
  • Liz and Erica had the first female fist fight in the Degrassi Franchise.
  • In A New Start, it was revealed that she was pro-life. In Everybody Wants Something, she says that she is against abortion because when her mother fell pregnant with her, her father demanded that she have an abortion. Her mother didn't want to have an abortion so he beat her until she became unconscious. Her mother never went back to her father, but if she had then Liz wouldn't be alive. In Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, she vandalizes Erica's locker over the later's recent abortion.
  • She had the back of her head shaved during Degrassi Junior High.
  • Liz was the first character who was a background character before her first appearance. The second was Zane.
  • Liz shares similarities with future characters Emma Nelson and Jane Vaughn.
    • Like Emma, Liz was passionate about animal rights and protesting. She was also pro-life, though Emma was considerably more tolerant of other people's choices.
    • Similar to Jane, Liz had a punk, tomboyish style when she was in high school. Liz and Jane were also both molested as children by fathers or father figures in their lives. Liz was molested by her mother's boyfriend, and Jane was molested by her father.
  • She is one of several students who were born outside of Toronto
  • In a deleted scene from Mother and Child Reunion (2), she is revealed to be working with the mentally disabled.
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