Lilly Rush (Queen of the Willis)
|Queen of the Willis character|
|First appearance||Quillsville Cold Case: Albert Willis|
|Created by||Ava Zinn and Meredith Stiehm|
|Portrayed by||Kathryn Morris|
|Occupation||Homicide Detective (former) |
Police Sergeant (current)
|Family||Paul Cooper (father) |
Ellen Rush (mother, deceased)
Christina Rush (sister)
Finn Cooper (half-brother)
Celeste Cooper (stepmother)
Quillsville Police Sergeant Detective Lillian Dana "Lilly" Rush (born January 28, 1974) is a fictional character voiced by Kathryn Morris on the animated sitcom Queen of the Willis. She is one of the homicide sergeant detectives of the city of Quillsville, Indiana, where the show is set.
Morris portrayed a homicide detective also named Lilly Rush, a senior detective assigned to the Philadelphia Homicide Division. In Cold Case, Rush's persona displays similar characteristics to the later Queen of the Willis character. However, she dressed formally and behaved slightly exact to her Cold Case character. Creator Ava Zinn found Morris' character and performance on Cold Case intriguging that she created a similar character for Queen of the Willis of the same name.
She is known as Quillsville's first female senior homicide detective after getting an offer from then-Mayor Lee Kelso moving to Quillsville and left Philadelphia in 2010. She specializes in working current and cold cases alongside Quillsville Metropolitan Police Department officers Jarett Dailey, Ramona Battishill, Elaine Reed, Kymberly Millspaugh and previously Tiffani Kendall. According to Lilly, "People shouldn't be forgotten, even if they're my kind of people. Maybe, they don't have a lot of money, they don't have lawyers, but they matter."
Like her character on Cold Case, Lilly was born on January 28, 1972 in Quillsville, Indiana but raised in Philadelphia on welfare by an alcoholic mother, Ellen Rush, who often neglected her. Her father, Paul Cooper, left the family when Lilly was six. Lilly was left to fend for herself and care for her younger sister, Christina Rush. The family lived in Kensington, a rough part of Philadelphia from 1984 until graduating from high school in 1992.
At the age of 12, Lilly had been sent out late at night by her mother to buy alcohol, and a man brutally attacked and robbed her. Suffering a broken jaw, among other injuries, young Lilly was nursed by Ray Williams. The detective that apprehended the man that attacked Lilly was Lt. John Stillman. Lt Stillman became a mentor and father figure after capturing her attacker when she was a child. After joining the Philadelphia police force in the late 1990s, Stillman followed her career and chose her for Homicide when she passed her detective exam.
Lilly has a contentious relationship with her sister in Philadelphia despite rescuing her sister, Lilly discovers that she's now an aunt to Christina's baby daughter.
In 2011, prompted by then-Quillsville Mayor Lee Kelso, Lilly is hired away from Philadelphia to Quillsville, Indiana (630 miles).
Sgt. Lilly Rush has appeared 20 times on Queen of the Willis. As of "Quillsville Cold Case: Richmond Quill Explosion", she surpassed Harry Willis in terms of the number of recurring character appearances.
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Albert Willis"
- "Ten Years To Life"
- "The Rape of Heather Willis"
- "A Quillsville Under Suspicion" (cameo)
- "Quillsville Under Siege"
- "Valentine's Day in Quillsville, Indiana"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Something About Loose Ava"
- "Stalking Mandy and Brynn" (cameo)
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Peggy Harvey"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Final Teaching"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Bail Mail Scam"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: The Prom from Hell"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Anna & I"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Blown Away"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Battered Husbands"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Richmond Quill Explosion"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Caring About Cara"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Daddie Dearest"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Opioid Amber"
- "Quillsville Cold Case: Doctor Death of Indiana"
As a detective
Her first Philadelphia homicide investigation was in 1999. The victim was Vaughn Bubley.
Shortly after Lilly's change from on-the-line jobs to cold cases, her partner, Chris Lassing, transfers out because of his diabetic condition, leading to Scotty being promoted to Homicide and becoming Lilly's partner.
She thinks rationally and has a very strong, independent personality, but at the same time she also has the necessary compassion to deal appropriately with victims and their families. While cold and unyielding with criminals and suspects, she can be devoted to a fault in her concern for the suffered close ones of the victims. In the last episode of the first season of Cold Case ("Lovers Lane'') she is visited at her home at three o'clock in the morning by the distressed partner of a victim. While her romantic interest is waiting for her in the apartment, she takes time to comfort the man. As a result, her romantic partner breaks up with her, pointing out her too strong devotion to help other people as a reason.
Lilly solves the most difficult cases in order to seek the truth after all these years in hopes of giving the victim's family and the victims themselves, justice. She often works long hours on these cases. Because of this, her relationships with men are relatively shaky and her family can best be described as dysfunctional.
One of Lilly's most challenging cases was that of a serial killer who stalked his victims like wild animals. One of the victim's bodies from 1985, Janet Lambert, is found by hikers in a wildlife preserve. The investigation quickly leads Lilly and the cold case squad to the grisly discovery of 8 more decapitated bodies. Soon, suspicion falls on George Marks, who gets brought into the interview room. During interrogation, he manages to get most of the team members agitated until Lilly is finally brought in to get George to confess to these gruesome murders. Instead, George hints about Lilly's dark secret as being the real reason why she became a cop. By this, he was referring to her being attacked as a child, which she rarely discussed. Months later, when Lilly finally confronted George with evidence that he murdered not only the victims from their previous encounter, but his own mother as well, George forced Lilly into reliving her attack before their shootout, which ended his life.
In 2007, shortly after the death of her mother Ellen Rush, Lilly interviewed a victim, Kim Jacobi, only to be ambushed by the person who had murdered Kim's family the year before. The entire Homicide department was held hostage for a short time, with Detectives Scotty Valens and Kat Miller outside the building and under orders from the SWAT team not to break their perimeter. Scotty broke this order and approached Lilly's location in an observation room, where she was attempting to negotiate with the killer. Using a code word they had established that morning, Scotty shot the killer from the blind side of a two-way mirror in the interview room, but not before he shot Lilly in the chest. While undergoing surgery, Lilly apparently sees her late mother before her. She eventually recovers in time to convince John Stillman to reopen the Jack Raymes case, and credits Scotty for saving her life.
Months later, the FBI is trying to recruit her.
Pets: 2 cats, Olivia and Tripod. Olivia only has 1 eye and Tripod only has 3 legs.
Badge # 9123
Lilly relocated from Philadelphia to Quillsville unnannounced in a similar way the Baltimore Colts relocated from Baltimore to Indianapolis on March 29, 2011 (exactly 27 years to the day). Her first Quillsville homicide investigation and cold case was on March 30, 2011. She investigated the drowning of Albert Willis at the Quillsville Pool on August 10, 2002.
Shortly after her move from Philadelphia to Quillsville, Lilly interviewed the victim's spouse, Julie Crawford Willis, only to be ambushed by the person who had murdered Ava's brother nine years before. The entire Quillsville Police Department was held hostage for a short time, with Albert's transgendered sister (Ava Willis), Albert's transgendered nephew (Tom Willis), Tabby (then Rags), and Shushu inside the building while Quillsville Police Officers Tiffani Kendall and Jarrett Dailey outside the building and under orders from the SWAT team not to break their perimeter. Ava Willis approached Lilly's location in an observation room, where Rush was attempting to negotiate with Julie Willis. Using a code word they had established that morning, Tiffani shot Julie Willis from the blind side of a two-way mirror in the interview room, but not before Julie shot Lilly in the chest as well as Ava Willis in her left arm and Tom Willis in the stomach (the latter dies from his injuries). Ava Willis and Lilly Rush eventually recovers in time to convince Quillsville Police Commissioner Chelsea Wolf to reopen the "Who Shot Ava" case, and credits Ava Willis for saving her life. Lilly saved Ava in Something About Loose Ava.
As she did in Philadelphia, Lilly thinks rationally and has a very strong, independent personality, but at the same time she also has the necessary compassion to deal appropriately with victims and their families. While cold and unyielding with criminals and suspects, she can be devoted to a fault in her concern for the suffered close ones of the victims.
Lilly solves the most difficult cases in order to seek the truth after all these years in hopes of giving the victim's family and the victims themselves, justice. She often works long hours on these cases. Because of this, her relationships with men and transgendered woman are relatively shaky and her family in Philadelphia can best be described as dysfunctional.
One of Lilly's most challenging cases in Quillsville was that of a serial lesbian rapist who stalked victims (Alisan Porter, Avril Lavigne, and Karly Jameson) in retaliation of not getting the main anchor job at Fox 11 to replace Cheryl Parker in 2009. The investigation quickly leads Lilly and the police squad to a staker who had shot Ava in 2009 ("Therapist Hopping 2"), kidnapped Alisan Porter, molested Avril Lavinge ("The Perils of Quillsville Idol"), and nearly raped Karly Jameson ("Ten Years To Life"). Soon, suspicion falls on Cynthia Wilson (aka Jill Da Rippa), who gets brought into the interview room. During interrogation, Cynthia manages to get most of the team members agitated until Cynthia is tackled by Ava, Tabby, and Shushu and Cynthia confesses to these gruesome crimes. Instead, Cynthia hints about Lilly's dark secret as being the real reason why she became a cop and Ava's reason why she underwent a sex change on November 1, 1999. By this, Cynthia was referring to Ava Willis' gender transition that began in 1996.
When she was a young adult in Philadlphia, Lilly almost married Ray Williams, but Ray couldn't bring himself to get off of his motorbike to go into the courthouse after having ridden to Knoxville. Lilly later confides to her then-boyfriend Joseph Shaw that she was once engaged to Ray, but he was not the "settling down" type.
She rekindles a relationship in Philadelphia with Eddie Saccardo. Their relationship ends because he is working undercover.
After moving back to Quillsville, Lilly focused more on her career than her personal life.
- Karen A. Romanko, Television's Female Spies and Crimefighters: 600 Characters and Shows, 1950s to the Present (2016), p. 180.