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Gong Li ( ; born December 31, 1965) is a Chinamarker-born Singaporean film actress. Gong first came into international prominence through close collaboration with Chinese director Zhang Yimou and is credited with helping bring Chinese cinema to Europe and the United Statesmarker.

She has twice been awarded the Golden Rooster and the Hundred Flowers Awards as well as the Berlinale Camera, Cannesmarker Festival Trophy, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle Award, and Volpi Cup.

She married Singaporean businessman Ooi Hoe Soeng in 1996, and became a Singaporean citizen in 2008.

Early life

Gong Li was born in Shenyangmarker, Liaoningmarker, China, the fifth child in her family. Her father was a professor of economics and her mother, who was 40 when Gong was born, was a teacher. Gong grew up in Jinanmarker, the capital of Shandongmarker.

Gong was accepted to the prestigious Central Academy of Drama in Beijing in 1985, and graduated in 1989. While as a student at Central Academy of Drama, she was discovered by Zhang Yimou, who chose her for the lead role in Red Sorghum, his first film as a director.

Career

Over the next several years after her 1987 debut in Red Sorghum, Gong received international acclaim for her roles in several more Zhang Yimou films: She appeared in Ju Dou in 1990; Her performance in the Oscar-nominated Raise the Red Lantern put her in the international spotlight; In The Story of Qiu Ju, she was named Best Actress at the 1992 Venice Film Festival. These roles established her reputation, according to Asiaweek, as "one of the world's most glamorous movie stars and an elegant throwback to Hollywood's golden era."

In June 1998, Gong Li became a recipient of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Two years later, she was invited by the Berlin Film Festival to be the president of its international jury at the festival's 50th anniversary (2001 February)

In 1993 she received a New York Film Critics Circle award for her role in Farewell My Concubine. Directed by Chen Kaige, the film was her first major role with a director other than Zhang Yimou. In 2006, Premiere Magazine ranked her performance in Farewell My Concubine as the 89th greatest performances of all time.

Gong Li was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 16 October 2000.

Immune to political repercussions because of her fame, Gong Li began criticizing the censorship policy in China. Her films Farewell My Concubine and The Story of Qiu Ju were initially banned in China for being thinly-veiled critiques of the Chinese government. Regarding the sexual content in Ju Dou, Chinese censorship deemed the film "a bad influence on the physical and spiritual health of young people."

Despite her popularity, Gong avoided Hollywoodmarker for years, due to a lack of confidence in speaking English. She made her English speaking debut in 2005 when she starred as the beautiful but vindictive Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha. Her performance was met with generally positive reviews.

Her other English-language roles to date included Chinese Box in 1997, Miami Vice in 2006 and Hannibal Rising in 2007. In all three films, she learned her English lines phonetically.

Personal life

Her collaboration with director Zhang Yimou was highly publicized, but an affair with Zhang created a scandal that ended their professional relationship in 1995. They were, however, reunited in 2006 for Zhang's Curse of the Golden Flower.

In 1996, news began circulating that Gong had married Singaporean tobacco tycoon, Ooi Hoe Soeng (黄和祥). They were married in November 1996 at Hong Kongmarker's China Club.

Gong Li applied for Singapore citizenship in early 2008. When overseas professional obligations prevented her from showing up at her scheduled August citizenship ceremony, she was harshly criticized for not making it a priority. On Saturday November 8, 2008, Gong, in an effort to make amends, attended a citizenship ceremony held at Teck Ghee Community Club and received her Singapore citizenship certificate from Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah.

Filmography

Year English title Chinese title Role Notes
1987 Red Sorghum 红高梁 My Grandma Zhang Yimou's directorial debut, Golden Bear winner of 1988
1989 The Empress Dowager 西太后 Guilian
Mr. Sunshine 開心巨無霸
Codename Cougar 代号美洲豹 Ah Li Hundred Flowers Award for Best Supporting Actress, 1989
1990 A Terracotta Warrior 秦俑 Winter/Lili Chu Nominated – Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actress
Ju Dou 菊豆 Ju Dou First Chinese film nominated for an Academy Award, entered at Cannes
1991 God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai 賭俠2之上海灘賭聖 Yu-Sin/Yu-Mong
Raise the Red Lantern 大红灯笼高高挂 Songlian see Raise the Red Lantern#Awards and wins
The Banquet 豪門夜宴 Waitress at banquet
1992 The Story of Qiu Ju 秋菊打官司 Qiu Ju Golden Rooster Awards for Best Actress, 1993
Volpi Cup (Venice Film Festival) for Best Actress
Mary from Beijing 夢醒時分 Mary
1993 Farewell My Concubine 霸王别姬 Juxian New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Flirting Scholar 唐伯虎點秋香 Chow Heung
1994 Dragon Chronicles: The Maidens of Heavenly Mountain 新天龍八部之天山童姥 Mo Han-Wen
A Soul Haunted by Painting 画魂 Pan Yuliang
To Live 活着 Xu Jiazhen Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
King of Western Chu 西楚霸王 Lu Zhi
1995 Shanghai Triad 摇啊摇,摇到外婆桥 Xiao Jingbao
1996 Temptress Moon 风月 Pang Ruyi Nominated – Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actress, 1997
1997 Chinese Box 中國匣子 Vivian
1998 The Emperor and the Assassin 荆柯刺秦王 Lady Zhao
2000 Breaking the Silence 漂亮妈妈 Sun Liying Golden Rooster Awards for Best Actress, 2000
Montreal World Film Festivalmarker for Best Actress, 2000
2002 Zhou Yu's Train 周渔的火车 Zhou Yu
2004 2046 2046 Su Li Zhen Wong Kar-wai, director
Eros 爱神 Miss Hua
2005 Memoirs of a Geisha 艺伎回忆录 Hatsumomo National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
2006 Miami Vice 迈阿密风暴 Isabella
Curse of the Golden Flower 满城尽带黄金甲 Empress Phoenix Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actress, 2007
Hong Kong Film Critics Award for Best Actress, 2007
2007 Hannibal Rising 沉默的羔羊前传之揭开罪幕 Lady Murasaki Shikibu Lecter
2010 Shanghai 上海 Anna Lan-Ting


Other information

  • Gong Li was voted the most beautiful woman in China in 2006.




Other works

  • She narrated "Beijing" (2008), an audio walking tour by Louis Vuitton and Soundwalk, which won an Audie Award for best Original Work (2009).


See also



Notes

  1. Chong, Chee Kin (2008). "Gong Li is now a S'porean", Breaking News: Lifestyle, The Straits Times, November 10, 2008, www.straitstimes.com
  2. Gong Li Sidebar
  3. Gong Li Biography - Barnes & Noble.com
  4. Ghahremani, Yasmin; Stanmeyer, Anastacia (1999-09-24), "Nation builders". Asiaweek. 25 (38):74
  5. Dargis, Manohla (2004-12-05), "Glamour's New Orientation". New York Times. 154 (53054):Arts & Leisure 1
  6. No byline (2000-02-25), "FIRST LADY OF FILM". Asiaweek. 26 (7):34
  7. The Women of ''Memoirs of a Geisha'' | Memoirs of a Geisha | Movie News | Movies | Entertainment Weekly | 3
  8. Lyttle, John (2006-01-16), "The eastern affront". New Statesman, 135 (4775):47
  9. No byline (1997-02-10), "Gong Li & Ooi Hoe Seong". People. 47 (5):112
  10. Louie, Elaine (1996-10-29), "Chronicle:Gong Li". New York Times. 146 (50595):B16
  11. Gault, Ylonda; Fannin, Rebecca A. (1997-07-14), "Hong Kong retail giant Tang ready to pluck Big Apple". Advertising Age. 68 (28):33
  12. Soundwalk. Accessed Sept. 17, 2009.
  13. Louis Vuitton Soundwalk. Accessed Sept. 20, 2009.
  14. Audio Publishers Association. Accessed Sept. 20, 2009.


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