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Joan Chen

Joan Chen was born in Shanghai, China. As a teenager, she was selected for the Actor's Training Program by the Shanghai Film Studio.

Her first starring role was in the movie Youth, on which she worked with acclaimed director Xie Jin. Her next starring role, in Zhang Zheng's The Little Flower, won her the Best Actress Award in China.

Ms. Chen left China for America to study filmmaking, and graduated with honors from California State University, Northridge. She resumed her acting career in the U.S. and abroad, playing leading roles in Daryl Duke's Tai-Pan; Bernardo Bertolucci's Academy Award-winning The Last Emperor; David Webb Peoples' The Blood of Heroes; Stephen Wallace's Turtle Beach; John Madden's Golden Gate; and Oliver Stone's Heaven & Earth. She also starred as Josie Packard in the classic television series Twin Peaks.

In 1993, she returned to her hometown of Shanghai to star in Stanley Kwan's Red Rose, White Rose, which was adapted from a novel by Lust, Caution author Eileen Chang. Ms. Chen's performance as Red Rose earned her the Golden Horse Award (Taiwan's equivalent of the Oscar) and the Hong Kong Film Critics Society award for Best Actress.

She made her directorial debut with the critically acclaimed feature Xiu Xiu, The Sent-Down Girl, for which she also co-wrote the screenplay adaptation with author Yan Geling. The film was released internationally in the spring of 1999 and went on to win awards all over the world, including Golden Horse Awards for Best Picture and Director. Ms. Chen was honored by the National Board or Review with the International Freedom of Expression Award; and was named by Variety as one of its 10 Directors to Watch. Her second effort behind the camera was Autumn in New York, starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder.

In recent years, Ms. Chen returned to China to star in three features; Hou Yong's Jasmine, Zhang Yang's Sunflower, and Jiang Wen's The Sun Also Rises. Additionally, she starred in Alice Wu's independent feature Saving Face and Tony Ayres' Australian independent feature The Home Song Stories.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Joan Chen Facts

Birth NameChen Chung
OccupationActress, Director
BirthdayApril 26, 1961 (61)
BirthplaceShanghai, People's Rep. of China
Height5' 4" (1m63)  How tall is Joan Chen compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Golden Triangle
Curious George
Hemingway & Gellhorn
On Deadly Ground
Mao's Last Dancer
The Last Emperor
Lust, Caution
Twin Peaks: The Complete Series
Saving Face
What's Cooking?
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