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LindaEast
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PostSubject: Gong Li   Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:41 pm



Gong Li (Simplified Chinese: 巩俐; Traditional Chinese: 鞏俐; Pinyin: Gǒng L) (born December 31, 1965) is a Chinese film actress. She first came into international prominence through close collaboration with Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Gong Li is generally considered as one of the best actresses in China.


Early life

Gong Li was born in Shenyang, Liaoning, 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 Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province. She 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. She was eventually accepted to the Beijing Central College of Drama in 1985 and graduated in 1989. She 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 won 7 awards at the Golden Roosters, China's equivalent of the American Academy Awards.


Career

Over the next several years after her 1987 debut, Gong received both local and international acclaim for her roles in several more Zhang Yimou films, including Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern and The Story of Qiu Ju, for which she was named Best Actress at the 1992 Venice Film Festival.
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 at the time her first major role with a director other than Zhang Yimou. In 2006, Premiere Magazine ranked her performance as the 89th greatest performance of all time.
She retains a very strong popularity in most Asian countries and is prized for both her talents and beauty (she has been on People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" list). In addition to acting, she is also an exceptional singer, as demonstrated during her performance in the 1998 film Shanghai Triad. Her international acclaim was demonstrated when she became a recipient of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in June 1998.
Her relationship with Zhang Yimou was both professional and romantic and they created a scandal for being lovers during their long collaboration, despite Zhang already being married during that time. The couple eventually broke up in 1995, and Gong Li married Singaporean tobacco tycoon Ooi Hoe Soeng the next year.
Gong and Zhang stopped working together until 2006, when they were finally reunited for Zhang's Curse of the Golden Flower, where she played the beautiful and ultimately dying Golden Phoenix.
Despite her high profile, Gong had for years put off working on Hollywood films, due to both her lack of confidence speaking English and her discontent with the types of roles being offered to her. Her first major English-language role came in 2005 when she starred as the beautiful but vindictive Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha.
Her other English-language roles to date have been in Miami Vice in [[2006] and the poorly received film Hannibal Rising in 2007. In all three films, she learned her English lines phonetically.

Credit to www.wikipedia.org.
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