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Bai Ling
Bai Ling at MTV Movie Awards 2015.jpg
Bai Ling at the MTV Movie Awards in 2015
Born (1966-10-10) October 10, 1966 (age 56)
Nationality American
Occupation Actress
Years active 1981–present
Parent(s) Bai Yuxiang, Chen Binbin
Awards Hong Kong Film Awards – Best Supporting Actress
2004 Dumplings

Golden Bauhinia Awards – Best Supporting Actress
2004 Dumplings

Golden Horse Awards – Best Supporting Actress
2004 Dumplings

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 白靈
Simplified Chinese 白灵

Bai Ling (Chinese: 白灵, born October 10, 1966) is a Chinese-American actress known for her work in the films The Crow, Nixon, Red Corner, Crank: High Voltage, Dumplings, Wild Wild West, Anna and the King, Southland Tales, and Maximum Impact, as well as TV shows Entourage and Lost. Notably, she won the Best Supporting Actress awards at the 2004 Hong Kong Film Awards and the 2004 Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan for her role in Dumplings.

Early life

Bai was born in Chengdu. Her father, Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥), was a musician in the People's Liberation Army, and later a music teacher. Her mother, Chen Binbin (陈彬彬), was a dancer, stage actress, and literature teacher at Sichuan University; Bai's maternal grandfather was a military officer of the Kuomintang army, thus was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. In the early 1980s, Bai Ling's parents divorced, and her mother married renowned writer Xu Chi. Bai Ling has one older sister, Bai Jie (白洁), who works for the Chinese tax bureau, and a younger brother, Bai Chen (白陈), who emigrated to Japan and works for an American company.

Bai has described herself as a very shy child who found that she best expressed herself through acting and performing. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), she learned how to perform by participating in eight model plays, at her elementary school shows. After her graduation from middle school, Bai was sent to do labor work at Shuangliu, on the outskirts of Chengdu.

In 1978, after graduating from high school, she passed the People's Liberation Army's exams, and became an artist soldier in Nyingchi Prefecture, Tibet. Her main activity there was entertaining in the musical theater. She also served briefly as an Army nurse. ..... Subsequently, Bai spent some time in a mental hospital.

Soon after her release from the hospital, in 1981, Bai joined People's Art Theater of Chengdu, and became a professional actress. Her performance as a young man in the stage play Yueqin and Little Tiger drew the attention of movie director Teng Wenji (滕文骥), which gained her first movie role in On the Beach (1985), as a village girl who becomes a factory worker and struggled against her father's will for her to marry her cousin.

In later years, she appeared in several movies. She temporarily moved to New York in 1991 to attend New York University's film department as a visiting scholar, but later obtained a special visa that allowed her to remain in the United States until she became a U.S. citizen in 1999.


Bai Ling
Ling at a party in July 2007

Bai began her acting career in China, appearing in several Chinese feature films. In 1984, she made her film debut as a fishing village girl in the movie On the Beach (海滩). Later, she filmed several other movies, including Suspended Sentence (缓期执行), Yueyue (月月), and Tears in Suzhou (泪洒姑苏) without much attention. She became famous after playing a girl with a psychological disorder who has an affair with her doctor, in the film The Shining Arc (弧光), directed by Zhang Junzhao (张军钊), her most highly acclaimed role in the Chinese film industry. In 1991, Bai moved to the United States, where she appeared in a number of American films and television shows.

Bai's first major American film role was in The Crow (1994), where she played the half sister/lover of the main villain, Top Dollar. In 1997, she played the lead female role, opposite Richard Gere, in the American film Red Corner. The New York Times praised Bai Ling's performance, saying that she gave the film "not only grace, but also substantial gravity". For her role in Red Corner, she received the National Board of Review Freedom for Breakthrough Female Performance and the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress. The film was critical of human rights abuse in China, and as a result, Bai Ling's Chinese citizenship was revoked. She later became a U.S. citizen.

Bai was named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1998. She shaved off her hair, which was longer than 36 in (90 cm) for her role in Anna and the King, and is widely known in Thailand as "Tuptim", her character's name from the film, though the film is officially banned because of its depiction of the King of Siam. She filmed scenes for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) as Senator Bana Breemu, but her role was cut during editing. ..... Her scenes were included in the deleted scenes feature of the DVD release.

In 2004, Bai made a comeback to Chinese cinema, co-starring with Hong Kong actress Miriam Yeung in independent filmmaker Fruit Chan's horror thriller Dumplings. Her portrayal of the villainous local chef Aunt Mei in the film earned her the 2005 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actress, and led to her renewed popularity among the Chinese film audience. In the same year, she also received critical acclaim for her performance in another independent movie, The Beautiful Country, co-starring Nick Nolte, and directed by Hans Petter Moland.

Later in 2005, Bai was a member of the official jury at the 55th Berlin International Film Festival. On television, she was a cast member on the VH1 program called But Can They Sing?. Also in 2005, Bai guest-starred in season two of Entourage in which she played a love interest of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier).

In 2007, she starred as Coco in the film adaptation of the controversial Chinese contemporary novel Shanghai Baby, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, and also guest-starred in one episode ("Stranger in a Strange Land") of the show Lost. Since 2007, she has appeared in a number of films, including Love Ranch, Crank: High Voltage, and A Beautiful Life, although she became more well known for her red-carpet appearances and outrageous fashions.

In 2013, Bai enjoyed a career resurgence with the movie The Gauntlet (a.k.a. Game of Assassins), which earned her the Best Actress award at the Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood, and at the 2014 Asians on Film Festival. Also, for Speed Dragon, she received the Best Feature Film Award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. In late 2014, Bai starred alongside David Arquette in The Key, Jefery Levy's adaptation of the novel by Nobel Prize laureate Jun'ichirō Tanizaki. In October 2014, Bai was a member of the jury in the "India Gold 2014" section of the Mumbai Film Festival.

Personal life

In a 2009 interview, Bai claimed that she is from the Moon, where her grandmother lives. "I'm not really in reality. I'm in my own universe and my mind is a million miles somewhere else", she stated, further explaining: "Why I feel like I come from the Moon is because my mother told me I was found somewhere". She believes that when she looks up at the Moon, she can often spot her grandmother there, still living in her childhood home.

..... In 2011, she appeared in the fifth season of the VH1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which documented her recovery from .... Bai is openly bisexual.

On February 14, 2008, Bai was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for shoplifting. Bai stated it was an "emotionally crazy" day due to the breakup of a relationship, and was ordered to pay a fine and penalties after pleading guilty in March 2008 to disturbing the peace.


Year Film Role Notes
1984 Hai tan (海滩, The Beach) Lu Xiao Mei (陆小妹)
1985 Tears in Suzhou (泪洒姑苏, Lei sa Gu Su) Wang Lingjuan (王怜娟)
Suspended Sentence (缓期执行) Yang Lei (杨蕾)
1986 Yue Yue (月月) Yue Yue (月月)
The Bloody Trace (血案疑踪)
1987 Shan cun feng yue (山村风月, "Wind and Moon of Mountain Village") 桂儿
College Student Stories (大学生轶事, Da xue sheng yi shi) Xiao Qian (小钱) aka On Their One
1988 Hit Without Gun (无枪枪手, Wu qiang qiang shou) Yan Hong (严红)
1989 The Shining Arc (弧光, Hu guang) Jing Huan (景唤)
The Illegal Gunman (非法持枪者, Feifa chiqiangzhe) Nu Siji
1992 Pen Pals Sharice
1993 Homicide: Life on the Street Lin Chang / Teri Chow TV series (1 episode)
1994 The Crow Myca
Dead Funny Norriko
1995 The Cosby Mysteries Dr. Valerie Chong TV series (1 episode)
Dead Weekend Amelia A. TV film
Nixon Chinese Interpreter
1997 Red Corner Shen Yuelin Best Actress – San Diego Film Critics Society Awards
Breakthrough Female Performance – National Board of Review
Female Discovery of the Year – Golden Apple Awards
1998 Touched by an Angel Jean Chang TV series, 2 episodes
Somewhere in the City Lu-Lu
1999 Row Your Boat Chun Hua
Wild Wild West Miss Mae Lee East
Anna and the King Tuptim
2000 Chi-Chian: The Black Seed Chi-Chian (voice) TV series
Angel Jhiera TV series (Episode: "She")
The Wild Thornberrys Mei-Mei / Mother Panda TV series
2001 The Monkey King Guanyin TV film
Shaolin Soccer Mui Voice (English Version)
The Breed Lucy Westenra
2002 Face Kim
Storm Watch Skylar
Point of Origin Wanda Orr
2003 Taxi 3 Qiu
The Extreme Team R.J.
Paris Linda / Shen Li
Jake 2.0 Mei Ling TV series (1 episode)
2004 My Baby's Daddy XiXi
The Beautiful Country Ling
She Hate Me Oni
Dumplings (餃子; Jiao zi) Mei Best Supporting Actress – 2005 Hong Kong Film Awards
Best Supporting Actress – Golden Bauhinia Awards
Best Supporting Actress – Golden Horse Film Festival
Best Supporting Actress – Chinese Film Media Awards
Three... Extremes (三更2; Sam gang yi) Mei Segment: Dumplings
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Mysterious Woman
2005 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Senator Bana Breemu Deleted scenes
Lords of Dogtown Punky Photographer
Entourage Li Lei TV series (1 episode)
Nomad Gaukhar Voice
Edmond ... Girl
2006 Man About Town Barbi Ling
Best of Chris Isaak Segment: "Please" (uncredited)
Southland Tales Serpentine
2007 Lost Achara TV series (Episode: "Stranger in a Strange Land")
Living & Dying Nadia
The Unit Princess TV series (1 episode)
Shanghai Baby Coco
The Gene Generation Michelle
2008 Toxic Lena
The Hustle Han
A Beautiful Life Esther
Dim Sum Funeral Deedee
2009 Crank: High Voltage Ria
Chain Letter Jai Pham
2010 The Lazarus Papers Kyo
Comedy Makes You Cry (拍卖春天, Pai mai chun tian) Zhang Qian (张倩)
Love Ranch Samantha
Circle of Pain Victoria Rualan
The Confidant Black
Magic Man Samantha
Petty Cash Coco
Locked Down Guard Flores
The Bad Penny Nok
The Being Frank Show TV series
2011 Knockdown Nok
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Esmeralda TV series (1 episode)
Clash of the Empires Laylan
Yellow Hill: The Stranger's Tale The Stranger Short
2013 Speed Dragon Jackie Best Feature Film – New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
Game of Assassins Kim Lee Best Actress – Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood (Fall 2013)
Best Actress – 2014 Asians On Film Festival
American Girls Amanda Chen
2014 Blood Shed Lucy
Assassin's Game The Bodyguard
The Key Ida
2015 6 Ways to Sundown June Lee
Call Me King Li Soo
Everlasting Cristiane
Finding Julia ZiZi
ABCs of Superheroes Galvana
Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance Doggé
Party Pieces Lydia
Boned The Mistress
2016 Enter the Samurai Herself Documentary on the creation of Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance
Better Criminal Miss Jasmine Feng
2017 Maximum Impact Scanlon
2019 Exorcism at 60,000 Feet Amanda
The ... Jane
2020 The Legion Amirah
2020 Conjuring: The Book of the Dead Zilia
2021 Venus as a Boy Cleo



  • "Rehab" (2011)
  • "U Touch Me, I Don't Know U" (2011)
  • "I Love U My Valentine" (2012)
  • "Tuesday Night 8pm" (2012)

Music videos

  • "Rehab" (2011)
  • "U Touch Me, I Don't Know U" (2011)
  • "I Love U My Valentine" (2012)
  • "Tuesday Night 8pm" (2012)

See also

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