Gong Li

Actor, Teacher
China's most internationally famous actress and a significant creative force in the new era of Chinese film in the 1980s, Gong Li began her film career in Zhang Yimou's "Red Sorghum" (1987), for which she received ... Read more »
Born: 12/31/1965 in China


Actor (29)

The Monkey King 2 2016 (Movie)

Baigujing (Actor)

Coming Home 2015 (Movie)

Feng Wanyu (Actor)

Shanghai 2015 (Movie)

Anna (Actor)

The Empress Dowager 2014 (Movie)


What Women Want 2011 (Movie)

Li Yilong (Actor)

Hannibal Rising 2007 (Movie)

Lady Murasaki (Actor)

Curse of the Golden Flower 2006 (Movie)

The Empress (Actor)

Miami Vice 2006 (Movie)

Isabella (Actor)

2046 2005 (Movie)

Su Li Zhen (Actor)

Eros 2005 (Movie)

Miss Hua (Actor)

Memoirs of a Geisha 2005 (Movie)

Hatsumomo (Actor)

Zhou Yu's Train 2004 (Movie)

Zhou Yu (Actor)

Piao Liang Ma Ma 2000 (Movie)

Sun Liying (Actor)

The Emperor and the Assassin 1999 (Movie)

Lady Zhao (Actor)

Chinese Box 1998 (Movie)

Vivian (Actor)

Temptress Moon 1997 (Movie)

Pang Ruyi (Actor)

Shanghai Triad 1995 (Movie)

Xiao Jinbao--The Godfather's Mistress (Actor)

Mary From Beijing 1994 (Movie)

Ma Lei--Mary (Actor)

The Great Conqueror's Concubine 1994 (Movie)

Lu Zhi (Actor)

To Live 1994 (Movie)

Jiazhen (Actor)

Farewell My Concubine 1993 (Movie)

Juxian (Actor)

The Painter 1993 (Movie)

Pan Yuliang (Actor)

The Story of Qiu Ju 1993 (Movie)

Qiu Ju (Actor)

Raise the Red Lantern 1992 (Movie)

Songlian (Actor)

Ju Dou 1991 (Movie)

Ju Dou (Actor)

The Terra-Cotta Warrior 1989 (Movie)

Twon (Actor)

Operation Cougar 1988 (Movie)


Red Sorghum 1988 (Movie)

Nine--Grandmother (Actor)


China's most internationally famous actress and a significant creative force in the new era of Chinese film in the 1980s, Gong Li began her film career in Zhang Yimou's "Red Sorghum" (1987), for which she received considerable international acclaim. A frequent collaborator with Yimou throughout her career, Li came to embody a new generation of Chinese woman - one brought up amid ancient tradition but reaching toward feminist values - with empowered roles in films like "Ju Dou" (1990), "Farewell My Concubine" (1993), and "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005). Li's compelling, naturalistic performances as women struggling to overcome feudalism and patriarchy contributed to the international success of her films, and Li herself was credited with helping attract American audiences to Chinese film for the first time. Li continued holding their interest into the next millennium with lead roles in a variety of Academy Award-nominated films exploring Chinese culture, history, politics and passion.



born c. 1978

youngest of several children

Ooi Seong

married on February 15, 1996 in Singapore born c. 1950 executive with British American Tobacco in Hong Kong first met in 1993 at a car race

Zhang Yimou Director

together for eight years born in 1950 married separated from Gong Li in 1995


Central Academy of Drama

Beijing 1989
enrolled in 1985;



Starred in "Hannibal Rising" a prequel to "Silence of the Lambs"


Once again worked with director Zhang in "Curse of the Golden Flower," which co-stars Chow Yun-Fat


Cast as a drug baroness in the feature adaptation of the 80's series "Miami Vice" directed by Michael Mann


Cast as Geisha Hatsumomo in Rob Marshall's adaptation of the best selling novel "Memoirs of a Geisha"


Starred with Maggie Cheung and Ziyi Zhang in "2046" directed by Wong Kar Wai


Headlined "Breaking the Silence", directed by Sun Zhou


Reunited with Chen Kaige to star in "The Emperor and the Assassin"


Appeared in first English-language role in "Chinese Box", opposite Jeremy Irons


Second film with Chen Kaige "Temptress Moon"


Had co-starring role in "Shanghai Triad"; last film collaboration with Zhang Yimou


Reunited with Zhang Yimou for "To Live"


Initial collaboration with Chen Kaige, "Farewell My Concubine"


Had title role in "The Story of Qiu Ju", directed by Zhang Yimou


Reunited with Zhang Yimou to star in "Raise the Red Lantern"


Starred in Zhang Yimou's "Ju Dou"


Played opposite director Zhang Yimou in the adventure comedy, "The Terra Cotta Warrior"


Film debut, "Red Sorghum"


Entered the Central Academy of Drama against the wishes of her parents

Was the subject of the popular Hong Kong documentary, "The Rising Star: Gong Li", directed by Kam Kwok-leung

Stayed on at the Central Academy of Drama as an instructor

Bonus Trivia


Gong Li served as president of the jury at the 50th Annual Berlin Film Festival in February 2000.


She once recorded an album of songs made popular by Madonna.


Made an Officer des Arts et Lettres by the French government in 1998.