Taiwanese-born Lin Chi-Ling parlayed her extraordinary popularity as a model and spokesperson into a successful second career as an actress in such blockbuster Chinese films as John Woo's "Red Cliff" (2009) and Chen Kaige's "Monk Comes Down the Mountain" (2015). Born November 29, 1974 in Taipei, Taiwan, she was discovered as a teenager by a model talent scout, but her parents insisted that she continue her studies and sent her to a private boarding school in Toronto, Canada. After earning her bachelor's degree in a double major - Western art history and economics - Lin returned to Taiwan, where she worked in the arts and culture field at various foundations and art schools. During this period, she also modeled on a part-time basis, which she viewed as a short-term prospect; however, in 2002, she was featured in a television ad that earned massive media attention. The spot led to hosting duties on television programs, including a fashion industry show on Shanghai Oriental Television that furthered her exposure to Chinese audiences. Modeling assignments in China and Japan for major companies like Chrysler, Olay, Pantene and Longines soon made Lin one of the most popular and highest-paid models in Asia, and led to a rise in the fashion industry's interest in Taiwanese models that media observers dubbed the "Lin Chi-ling Phenomenon." In 2008, she made her acting debut in director John Woo's sprawling, two-part historical epic "Red Cliff" (2008-2009), which was soon followed by roles in the action-drama "The Treasure Hunter" (2009) and the Japanese television series "Moon Hunters" (Fuji TV, 2010). A slew of largely decorative turns in action films like "Switch" (2013) preceded a more substantive role in Chen Kaige's fantasy-adventure "Monk Comes Down the Mountain" (2015), which, like "Red Cliff," set Chinese box office records.