Often regarded as one of the most beautiful actresses in Chinese cinema, Brigitte Lin was a Taiwanese actress who starred in over 100 films, including "Police Story" (1985) and "Gun gun hong chen" ("Red Dust") (1990) before she quietly retired in the mid-1990s while still at the peak of her international stardom.
Born Lín Qingxiá on November 3, 1954, her elegant looks and natural talent for acting caught the attention of a Taiwanese film producer. By the age of 17, she made her feature film debut in "Chuang wai" ("Outside the Window") (1973), where she played a student who fell in love with her teacher. In just a span of three years after her breakout role, Lin had already appeared in over twenty films, many of which were romantic film adaptations of Taiwanese author Chiung Yao's novels. In 1976, the Board of Directors of the Federation of Motion Picture Producers in Asia-Pacific named her the co-Best Actress of the Asia Pacific Film Festival for her performance in "Ba bai zhuang shi" ("The 800 Heroes") (1976), a Taiwanese film that dramatized the historical events of the Defense of Sihang Warehouse.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Lin's popularity soared and she became one of the most sought after actresses in Chinese cinema. She received her first Golden Horse Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in "Bi xue huang hua" ("Magnificent 72") (1980). Lin worked with other huge icons of Chinese movies, such as Sammo Hung in the fantasy film "Xin shu shan jian ke" ("Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain") (1983) - where she garnered her first Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress nomination - and martial arts film extraordinaire Jackie Chan in "Mi ni te gong dui" ("Fantasy Mission Force") (1983). Lin teamed up with Chan again, as well as fellow Chinese starlet Maggie Cheung in "Police Story," where she received another Best Actress nomination at the 1984 Hong Kong Film Awards. In 1990, Lin's talent was finally recognized when she was awarded Best Actress at the Golden Horse Awards for her performance in "Gun gun hong chen" ("Red Dust") (1990). Later in 1992, Lin was twice nominated for Best Actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards for for "Xiao ao jiang hu: Dong Fang Bu Bai" ("Swordsman II") (1991) and "Jue dai shuang jiao" ("Handsome Siblings") (1992) but once again fell short of winning the coveted award.
In 1994, Lin married billionaire and business magnate Michael Ying. After appearing in over 100 films, she subsequently retired after her marriage, with her last on-screen appearance in Wong Kar-Wai's historical drama "Dung che sai duk" ("Ashes of Time") (1994). For her incredible body of work and magnificent screen presence, Lin became an inductee of Hong Kong's Avenue of the Stars, where her handprints and signature are permanently etched onto the boardwalk along Victoria Harbor among other Asian entertainment icons such as Bruce Lee and Gong Li. Although she later lent her voice as the narrator in the films "Meishàonián zhi Liàn" ("Bishonen...") (1998) and "Youyuan jingmeng" ("Peony Pavilion") (2001), Lin remained extremely private after her retirement. Her first public appearance came fourteen years later when a re-edited version of "Ashes of Time" was released in 2008.