Born on New Year's Eve, 1965, in Shenyang, Liaoning, China,
Gong Li has appeared in most films directed by Zhang Yimou up
Gong Li grew up in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province. Gong knew from a young age that she wanted to be an actress, and at school she excelled at singing and dancing almost to the exclusion of other subjects. In spite of failing her college exam twice, she was eventually accepted to the Beijing Central College of Drama in 1985 and graduated in 1989.
Gong Li was still a student there when Zhang Yimou chose her in 1987 for the lead role in his first film as a director, Red Sorghum, which was awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
Li has since become one of the most successful Chinese-American actresses, with fame that has extended abroad to many areas. Gong Li's work has been recognized with awards from the Venice International Film Festival and New York Critics Film Circle, and she retains a strong popularity.
In addition to acting, Gong Li is also an exceptional singer, as demonstrated during her performance in Shanghai Triad. Gong Li was also presented the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in June 1998.
Gong Li starred in Zhang Yimou's films well into the mid-1990s. During their long collaboration, the two created a scandal for being long-term lovers, despite Zhang's marital status. The duo eventually broke up in 1995, and Gong Li married Singaporean tobacco tycoon Ooi Hoe Soeng the next year.
Li's limited Hollywood appearances include 1997's Chinese Box, and expanded with 2005's Memoirs of a Geisha, in which she spoke English fluently, and she, in the words of Time Magazine film critic Richard Corliss, was "gloriously channeling Bette Davis". Gong Li will also appear in the upcoming film adaptation of Miami Vice.
Gong Li is also expected to team up with Zhang Yimou one more time in the upcoming Autumn Remembrance as well as starring in Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask, the prequel to the other three Hannibal Lecter films.
Film List for Gong Li
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