Home   >   Movie Stars   >   L   >   Gong Li

Gong Li

Gong Li's remarkable talent and beauty has propelled her to success beyond her homeland, making her an internationally renowned star and the leading face of Chinese cinema.

Born in the northeastern province of Liaoning, Gong Li enrolled in the acting department of the prestigious Beijing Film Academy in 1985. A year before her graduation in 1989, she was offered the lead role in Zhang Yimou's landmark film, Red Sorghum, which went on to win the Golden Bear at the 1989 Berlin Film Festival.

Following her breakthrough role in Red Sorghum, Gong Li built an international reputation through her remarkable performances in subsequent films directed by Zhang Yimou, including Operation Cougar, Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qiu Ju, To Live, and Shanghai Triad.

Her other films include Li Han-hsiang's The Empress Dowager, Ching Siu-tung's A Terracotta Warrior, Sylvia Chang's Mary From Beijing, Huang Shujin's Painted Soul, and Wayne Wang's Chinese Box, opposite Jeremy Irons. She teamed three times with Chen Kaige, on Farewell My Concubine, Temptress Moon and The Emperor and the Assassin, and most recently, she has made two films with Zhou Sun: Breaking the Silence and Zhou Yu's Train.

Gong Li has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career. In 1992, she received the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in The Story of Qiu Ju, and she was voted best supporting actress by the New York Film Critics Circle in 1993 for her role in Farewell My Concubine. In 1997, she served as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival, and has since been headed juries at Berlin, Venice and Tokyo. Included in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1992, Gong Li has served as a beauty ambassador for L'Oreal cosmetics. In 1998, the French government awarded her Officer des Arts et Lettres for contributions to cinema.

CHANG CHEN (Zhang) is best known in this country for his role as Lo, the desert bandit in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He previously teamed up with Wong Kar Wai in Happy Together and in a video Wong directed for DJ Shadow called Six Days. Chang also stars in Wong's upcoming 2046.

Chang was born in Taipei, the son of actor Guozhu Zhang. He made his film debut at fourteen in the leading role of A Brighter Summer Day, directed by Edward Yang (Yi Yi). His other films include Edward Yang's Mahjong, opposite Virginie Ledoyen, Flyin' Dance, Betelnut Beauty, and Chinese Odyssey 2002, which was produced by Wong Kar Wai and directed by Jeffrey Lau.

Chang has been nominated twice for Hong Kong Film Awards, for Happy Together and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Gong Li Facts

BirthdayDecember 31, 1965 (58)
BirthplaceShenyang, People's Rep. of China

Selected Filmography

Hannibal Rising
Memoirs Of A Geisha
The Monkey King 2
Miami Vice
Dragon Chronicles
Curse of the Golden Flower
The Hannibal Lecter Collection
Continue » Find more details on the Gong Li Movies page