Gong Li is a Chinese actress. She has also appeared in a number of award-winning films, most notably the best Chinese language film, Kung Mangarap (Taiwan) and Don’t Let Go (Hong Kong). Gong Li is Chinese at heart, having been born in Fujian province in central China. She grew up immersed in the culture of her country’s martial arts during her early years, studying kung fu with her father, who was a teacher and later a professional kickboxer. Gong Li studied film in Beijing before moving to Singapore where she grew to become a celebrated actress here.
Director Zhang Xian specializes his work on cross-cultural movies, having made the popular Kung Fu Panda and The Kung Fu Panda franchise. His latest Chinese character – Gong Li – is the latest release from his illustrious career. Directed by Zhang Xian, the movie boasts a star cast that includes current Hollywood actresses Rosario Dawson and Michelle Yeoh. The film not only gained local box office success but also earned widespread critical acclaim, earning the director an Academy Award for Best Picture.
|Chinese name||鞏俐 (traditional)|
|Chinese name||巩俐 (simplified)|
|Pinyin||Gǒng Lì (Mandarin)|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1965-12-31) 31 December 1965|
Shenyang, Liaoning, China
|Wife/Husband||Ooi Hoe Soeng (1996–2010)|
|Parents||Gong Lize (father)|
Liu Ying (mother)
|Ancestry||Jinan, Shandong, China|
Though not exactly a traditional Chinese film actress, Gong Li does have similarities to the classic Chinese supermodel. She is very good looking, with flawless skin, long legs and an athletic build. She has been compared, to a number of modern Chinese actresses, including the late Diana Qi and Fan Bingbing. Although she is not as graceful as Qi and Bingbing, who died tragically in 2021, she is still an accomplished and skilled Chinese cinema actress.
A few years before her death, Gong Li made a visit to China’s Fujian province. She was there to promote the filmography of Wang Xiaojie, a Chinese screenwriter who is known for his psychological and social studies. According to those who have seen the film, Gong Li did not like the color blue and did not like to go to the set. But once she arrived there, the rumors started – that she was staying at the Raffles hotel, which had blue-tinted windows. The next day, it was all quiet, and no one knew where the famous Chinese star was. However, when the head of the publicity department of the Fujian film factory visited the place, the whole story came out, and Gong Li was found hanging from the bathroom mirror, with the rope around her neck.
It was widely assumed that Gong Li had met with a horrible, violent end, but in fact, she survived the experience, and emerged a much healthier woman afterwards. It was rumoured that the incident was staged, and that she had been pushed to death or had been killed in some kind of accident. However, after an extensive investigation, it was finally decided that the actress was indeed “killed on the spot” by a hit man, while on assignment in Beijing. This is how Gong Li became one of the most popular names in the history of Chinese cinema. Many people consider her to be one of the best actresses to come out of China, and she went on to have several films hit the cinemas worldwide, including winning the best actress award for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She also spent several years studying at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and became an expert in acupuncture and oriental medicine.
Today, Gong Li lives in Hong Kong and has made a name for herself as a successful, acclaimed actress and singer. She has also travelled to various places in the US and returned to Asia several times to perform, along with other Chinese stars such as Chen Zhiqing and Tsang Pui. She has always remained close to Singapore, where her parents were born and grew up, and where she was later married to a Chinese businessman, before going on to enjoy a successful, varied career that would see her perform in films, TV programmes, commercials, and even singing live. Today, Gong Li continues to work hard, and remains a very busy, accomplished and loved performer who is able to take home some of the finest awards in the Chinese film industry.