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Gong Li

Gong Li

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Also Known As: Lei Gung, Li Gong Died:
Born: December 31, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: China Profession: actor, teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

China's most internationally famous actress and a significant creative force in the new era of Chinese film in the 1980s, Gong Li began her film career in Zhang Yimou's "Red Sorghum" (1987), for which she received considerable international acclaim. A frequent collaborator with Yimou throughout her career, Li came to embody a new generation of Chinese woman - one brought up amid ancient tradition but reaching toward feminist values - with empowered roles in films like "Ju Dou" (1990), "Farewell My Concubine" (1993), and "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005). Li's compelling, naturalistic performances as women struggling to overcome feudalism and patriarchy contributed to the international success of her films, and Li herself was credited with helping attract American audiences to Chinese film for the first time. Li continued holding their interest into the next millennium with lead roles in a variety of Academy Award-nominated films exploring Chinese culture, history, politics and passion.

China's most internationally famous actress and a significant creative force in the new era of Chinese film in the 1980s, Gong Li began her film career in Zhang Yimou's "Red Sorghum" (1987), for which she received considerable international acclaim. A frequent collaborator with Yimou throughout her career, Li came to embody a new generation of Chinese woman - one brought up amid ancient tradition but reaching toward feminist values - with empowered roles in films like "Ju Dou" (1990), "Farewell My Concubine" (1993), and "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005). Li's compelling, naturalistic performances as women struggling to overcome feudalism and patriarchy contributed to the international success of her films, and Li herself was credited with helping attract American audiences to Chinese film for the first time. Li continued holding their interest into the next millennium with lead roles in a variety of Academy Award-nominated films exploring Chinese culture, history, politics and passion.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 What Women Want (2011)
2.
 Shanghai (2011)
3.
4.
 Hannibal Rising (2007)
6.
 Miami Vice (2006) Cast
7.
 Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) Geisha Hatsumomo
8.
 Eros (2004) Cast ("The Hand")
10.
 Zhou Yu's Train (2003) Zhou Yu
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1985:
Entered the Central Academy of Drama against the wishes of her parents
1987:
Film debut, "Red Sorghum"
:
Stayed on at the Central Academy of Drama as an instructor
1990:
Played opposite director Zhang Yimou in the adventure comedy, "The Terra Cotta Warrior"
1990:
Starred in Zhang Yimou's "Ju Dou"
1991:
Reunited with Zhang Yimou to star in "Raise the Red Lantern"
1992:
Had title role in "The Story of Qiu Ju", directed by Zhang Yimou
1993:
Initial collaboration with Chen Kaige, "Farewell My Concubine"
:
Was the subject of the popular Hong Kong documentary, "The Rising Star: Gong Li", directed by Kam Kwok-leung
1994:
Reunited with Zhang Yimou for "To Live"
1995:
Had co-starring role in "Shanghai Triad"; last film collaboration with Zhang Yimou
1996:
Second film with Chen Kaige "Temptress Moon"
1998:
Appeared in first English-language role in "Chinese Box", opposite Jeremy Irons
1999:
Reunited with Chen Kaige to star in "The Emperor and the Assassin"
2000:
Headlined "Breaking the Silence", directed by Sun Zhou
2004:
Starred with Maggie Cheung and Ziyi Zhang in "2046" directed by Wong Kar Wai
2005:
Cast as Geisha Hatsumomo in Rob Marshall's adaptation of the best selling novel "Memoirs of a Geisha"
2006:
Cast as a drug baroness in the feature adaptation of the 80's series "Miami Vice" directed by Michael Mann
2006:
Once again worked with director Zhang in "Curse of the Golden Flower," which co-stars Chow Yun-Fat
2007:
Starred in "Hannibal Rising" a prequel to "Silence of the Lambs"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Central Academy of Drama: - 1989

Notes

"Up to now, I haven't seen any interesting parts. If you want me to be a hua ping (literally "flower vase", or "bimbo") in a movie dominated by men--why would I bother? There are plenty of films I could do in China."--Gong Li on why she has not appeared in a Hollywood film, quoted in Premiere, March 1996.

Gong Li served as president of the jury at the 50th Annual Berlin Film Festival in February 2000.

She once recorded an album of songs made popular by Madonna.

Made an Officer des Arts et Lettres by the French government in 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Zhang Yimou. Director. Together for eight years; born in 1950; married; separated from Gong Li in 1995.
husband:
Ooi Hoe Seong. Businessman. Married on February 15, 1996 in Singapore; born c. 1950; executive with British American Tobacco in Hong Kong; first met in 1993 at a car race.

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