As one of Hong Kong's most popular and well-respected performers, actress Maggie Cheung has thrived on versatility, riding a wave of success in numerous martial arts flicks and acclaimed dramatic films on her way to becoming an international star. Having played everything - an action hero, a comedienne, a damsel in distress, a lovelorn married woman, a suicidal silent film actress, and in one film, herself - Cheung emerged from her native Hong Kong to win acclaim abroad, including in the United States. In Hong Kong, she first established herself as the classic - albeit stereotypical - damsel in distress opposite action hero Jackie Chan in the first three pictures in the "Police Story" (1985-1992) franchise. Unsatisfied with the limiting roles of her early career, Cheung branched out into more challenging dramatic performances through her collaboration with Wong Kar-wai, who directed the actress in "As Tears Go By" (1989), "Ashes of Time" (1994) and the sultry "In the Mood for Love" (2001). In between, she won several top awards for her performance as doomed silent film star Ruan Lingyu in "Centre Stage" (1992), while earning high praise for her role in "Comrades: Almost a Love Story" (1996). But she eventually broke through as an international star with Zhang Yimou's epic historical fantasy "Hero" (2004), which finally allowed Cheung to display her wide-ranging talents to a larger foreign audience.