Gong Li

Quick Facts:

Birthday: 31st December 1965

Father's name: Gong Lize

Mother's name: Liu Ying

Born In: Shenyang, China

Nationality: Chinese


The Story of Qiu Ju was probably also the story of all the beginning of fame and triumph chapter for Gong Li. Born in China, Gong Li is a very popular Singaporean actress. She is well known for her original art and beauty. She is often credited to be the revolutionalizing factor to bring upon the consideration of Chinese Cinema among European and American spectators.

Zhang Yimou, who is a Chinese director, played a very crucial role in her success as well. She got into the audience after her close collaborations with Zhang. Later, she also won Volpi Cup for Best Actress at Venice for the same movie "The Story of Qiu Ju."

Apart from this, Gong Li has been receiving multiple other awards for her work as an actress. These include the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress, National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress, Golden Rooster Awards, Hundred Flowers Award, etc.

Though Gong has been very successful as an actor in her entire career, she commenced it at the age of about 21 years, when the director Zhang Yimou gave her the lead role.

Early Life:

Gong Li was born in the city of Shenyang, Liaoning, China, and was the youngest of five children. Her father, Gong Lize, was a professor of economics subject. Likewise, her mother, Liu Ying, was a teacher. She was brought up in Jinan, which is also the capital city of Shandong.

In the year 1985, she was admitted to study at the Central Academy of Drama in the city of Beijing; she completed her education in the year of 1989. During her course as a student at the Central Academy of Drama, she was recognized by Zhang Yimou, who then chose Gong for the lead role in Red Sorghum, which was also his first film as a director.

Within some years following her 1987 debut of acting in Red Sorghum, Gong gained international recognition for her roles in numerous other Zhang Yimou films. She featured in Ju Dou in the year 1990. Her excellent performance in the Oscar-nominated movie "Raise the Red Lantern" that was released in the year 1991 stood her in the international spotlight and hall of fame. She was titled the Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival for her fantastic performance in The Story of Qiu Ju that was released in the year 1992. These significant roles set her reputation. In the Asiaweek, she was depicted and featured as one of the entire world's most glamorous movie stars and also an elegant carry-over to Hollywood's golden era.

In tons of her early movies, Gong used to represent a tragic victim and an oppressed soul (emotionally or physically), attempting to escape herself from an impossible tangle of violence, corruption, and suppression. In Raise the Red Lantern and Shanghai Triad that were released in the year 1995, an additional shocking element is appended to her being as she accidentally becomes the executioner of new innocent people, making her understand that she is now sailing on the dark side of the illegal activities.

In the year 1993, she got a New York Film Critics Circle award for her fantastic role in Farewell My Concubine: a release of 1993. The movie was directed by Chen Kaige and was her first prominent role with a director who was actually not Zhang Yimou. In the same year, she was bestowed with the Berlinale Camera during the 43rd International Film Festival, held in Berlin. Premiere magazine rated her work in Farewell My Concubine as the 89th most magnificent performance of all times. She also worked with famous director Stephen Chow for the comedy drama films Flirting Scholar, which was released in the year 1993 and God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai that was released two years earlier to the previously mentioned movie in 1991.

Immune to political consequences because of her ever-growing fame, Gong Li started to criticize the censorship policies in China. Two of her films: "Farewell My Concubine" and "The Story of Qiu Ju," were banned initially in China for having thinly-veiled reviews of the Chinese government. Due to the presence of sexual content in Ju Dou, Chinese censorship considered the film an adverse impact on the spiritual and physical health of youth in China.

In the month of June 1998, Gong Li emerged as a beneficiary of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Later, after years, she was summoned by the Berlin Film Festival to hold the role of president of its international jury for the festival's 50th anniversary, which was to happen in the month of February 2001.

Further, Gong Li became the president of the jury for the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival in the year 2014. Following that same year, she rejoined with Zhang Yimou for the movie Coming Home, which is produced during the throes of the Cultural Revolution; this movie was their first collaboration after a long period of 8 years.

In the year 2016, Gong played her first action role in The Monkey King 2, where she performed as the White Bone Demon.

In the year 2018, Gong worked in Lou Ye's period drama Saturday Fiction, where she acts as an actress who is operating undercover gathering intelligence for the Allies. That same year, she also played in the live-action reworking of the 1998 Disney animated film Mulan as an unknown villain.


  • She received the Best Supporting Actress Award at Hundred Flowers Award in the year 1989.
  • She received the Best Actress Award at Hong Kong Film Awards in the year 1990.
  • She received the Best Actress Award at Hundred Flowers Award in the year 1991.
  • She received the Volpi Cup for Best Actress Award at Venice Film Festival in the year 1992.She received the Best Actress Award at Golden Rooster Awards in the year 1993.

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