|The Widow Twanky|
In "...And Fancy Free"
|Portrayed By||Edith Sidebottom|
|Series||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|First Appearance||"...And Fancy Free"|
|Last Appearance||"Greece is Burning"|
|Also Known As||Laughing Lizzy|
|Romances||Hercules ((in love with))|
|Affiliations||Althea of Rhumba, Autolycus (Autolyca), Salmoneus (Salmonella), Count von Verminhaven|
The Widow Twanky, was a skilled dancer and instructor. In her youth, she was infamous for her dance, the Twanky Twiddle, which was made illegal in several places and resulted in her being ostracized from the dance world. She offered to teach Hercules and Althea how to dance and under her tutelage, they won the Panathenaic Dance Competition in Rhumba (HTLJ "...And Fancy Free").
Having made a comeback as a dancer, The Widow Twanky formed a dance troupe called the Twanky Tulips. When Salmoneus and Autolycus were framed for the murder of King Tolos they disguised themselves as Autolyca and Salmonella and became members of the troupe. When Twanky introduced herself to them she said she was known "throughout the Western World as Laughing Lizzy: the sailors' surprise". Twanky eventually revealed to them that she had seen through their disguises the whole time, but let them get away with it because she felt it was important for men to walk in a woman's shoes for a while. She then astonished them by easily adapting her dance moves into impressive combat skills. (HTLJ "Men in Pink").
Some time later in Trendopolis, after Count von Verminhaven, a wealthy Patron, made advances which she rejected, destroyed her career, she could only work as a "one dinar dancing girl". After Hercules convinced her even (or as Herc would have said, justice) by helping to organize and later moderating Althea's fashion show. (HTLJ "Greece is Burning")
- The Widow Twanky was played by Michael Hurst, though he was credited in all appearances as guest star Edith Sidebottom.
- Hurst reportedly based his performance on his mother.
- The Widow Twanky (sometimes spelled Twankey) is not native to the Xenaverse. The comic character originated in the pantomime "Aladdin." Twanky is always played by a man as a comic foil to Aladdin, who is played by a woman. The original Widow Twanky is not usually presented as a dance instructor, but as a washerwoman.
- The character proved so popular that Hurst continued to appear as her at Xena-related conventions into the 2010s.