Bai Ling

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Bai Ling
Bai Ling 2007.jpg
Bai Ling in 2007
Chinese name白靈 (traditional)
Chinese name白灵 (simplified)
PinyinBái Líng (Mandarin)
Born(1966-10-10) October 10, 1966 (age 47)[1]
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Years active1984–present
  • Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥)
  • Chen Binbin (陳彬彬)
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Bai Ling
Bai Ling 2007.jpg
Bai Ling in 2007
Chinese name白靈 (traditional)
Chinese name白灵 (simplified)
PinyinBái Líng (Mandarin)
Born(1966-10-10) October 10, 1966 (age 47)[1]
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Years active1984–present
  • Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥)
  • Chen Binbin (陳彬彬)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Bai.

Bai Ling[a] (Chinese: 白灵, born October 10, 1966)[1] is a Chinese-born American actress known for her work in films such as The Crow, Red Corner, Crank: High Voltage, Three... Extremes, Wild Wild West, and Anna and the King, and TV shows including Entourage and Lost.

Early life[edit]

Bai was born in Chengdu, People's Republic of China in 1966. 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 a literature teacher in Sichuan University; Bai's maternal grandfather was a military officer of the Kuomintang army, and thus was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. In the early 1980s, Bai Ling's parents divorced, and later remarried. Her mother remarried to the writer Xu Chi (徐迟), renowned for his report titled Goldbach's Conjecture, about Chinese mathematician Chen Jingrun. 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 (双流), a county near Chengdu, where the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located.

She soon passed the People's Liberation Army's exams, and became an artist soldier in Nyingchi Prefecture, Tibet, where she served from age 14 to 17. Her main activity there was entertaining in the musical theater. She also served briefly as an Army nurse. Ling later stated that during her time in Tibet she, along with other female performers, was regularly plied with alcohol and sexually abused by older male Chinese officers, including one instance of rape that led to a pregnancy, which she was forced to terminate with an abortion. She cites this period of sexual abuse for her subsequent struggles with alcohol addiction.[2] Subsequently, Bai spent some time in a mental hospital.

Soon after her release from the hospital, 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 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 citizen in 1999.

Acting career[edit]

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), 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".[3] 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.[4] 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 US citizen.[5]

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 inches (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, even though the movie 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. She claimed that this was because she posed nude in the June 2005 issue of Playboy magazine, whose appearance on newsstands coincided with the movie's May 2005 release, but director George Lucas denied this, stating that the cut had been made more than a year earlier.[6] Her scenes were included in the "deleted scenes" feature of the DVD release.

In 2004, Bai starred in independent filmmaker Fruit Chan's Dumplings and the performance earned her the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. In the same year, she has been critically accaimed for her performance in another independent movie, The Beautiful Country, with Nick Nolte, by Hans Petter Moland.

Later in 2005, Bai was a cast member on the VH1 program called But Can They Sing?. The show gave several non-singer celebrities an opportunity to sing on every episode and then allowed the audience and home viewers to vote off one contestant each week. Bai Ling was most famous for her raunchy outfits and her performances of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated". She was eliminated just before the grand finale but was invited back in the final week for a special performance of Divinyls' "I Touch Myself". Also in 2005, Bai guest-starred in season 2 of Entourage, in which she played a lover 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, which has been chronicled in popular online fashion blogs like Go Fug Yourself [7]

Personal life[edit]

On February 14, 2008, Bai Ling was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for shoplifting two magazines and a package of batteries.[8] It was an "emotionally crazy" day, Bai explained to E! News. She was coping with the "huge problem of breaking up [before] Valentine's Day...wrong boyfriend."[9] She also wrote on her blog after the incident: "Life happens to you whether you like it or not, sometimes I feel you have to be so brave to stand in front of the world, and just hope that people will have a tender heart towards you."[10] On March 5, 2008 she pleaded guilty to the charge of disturbing the peace. She was fined $200 (US$700 including the fine and penalties).[11][12]

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.[13]

Regarding her public image and troubles over the years, she stated:

I accidentally or innocently destroyed the beautiful Bai Ling that everybody loved, that beautiful, talented actress. Instead, the media brought me out as this crazy slut showing her nipples everywhere. I become this character the pop culture Hollywood machine created. Somehow, I become a victim to that image.[14]

In 2011 she appeared in the fifth season of the VH1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which documented her recovery from alcohol addiction.[15]


1984Hai tan (海滩, The Beach)Lu Xiao Mei (陆小妹)
1985Tears 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)
1986Yue Yue (月月)Yue Yue (月月)
The Bloody Trace (血案疑踪)
1987Shan 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
1988Hit Without Gun (无枪枪手, Wu qiang qiang shou)Yan Hong (严红)
1989The Shining Arc (弧光, Hu guang)Jing Huan (景唤)
The Illegal Gunman (非法持枪者)
1992Pen PalsSharice
1993Homicide: Life on the StreetLin Chang/Teri ChowTV series, 1 episode
1994The CrowMyca
Dead FunnyNorriko
1995The Cosby MysteriesDr. Valerie ChongTV series, 1 episode
Dead WeekendAmelia ATV film
NixonChinese Interpreter
1997Red CornerShen YuelinBest Actress - San Diego Film Critics Society Awards
Breakthrough Female Performance - National Board of Review
Female Discovery of the Year - Golden Apple Awards
1998Touched by an AngelJean ChangTV series, 2 episodes
Somewhere in the CityLu Lu
1999Row Your BoatChun Hua
Wild Wild WestMiss East
Anna and the KingTuptim
2000Chi-Chian: The Black SeedChi-Chian (voice)TV series
AngelJhieraTV series, 1 episode
The Wild ThornberrysMei-Mei/Mother PandaTV series
2001The Monkey King (TV miniseries)GuanyinTV film
Shaolin SoccerMuiVoice
The BreedLucy Westenra
Storm WatchSkylar
Point of OriginWanda Orr
2003Taxi 3Qiu
The Extreme TeamRJ
ParisLinda/Shen Li
Jake 2.0Mei LingTV series, 1 episode
2004My Baby's DaddyXiXi
The Beautiful CountryLing
She Hate MeOni
Dumplings (餃子; Jiao zi)MeiBest Supporting Actress - 2005 Hong Kong Film Awards
Best Supporting Actress - Golden Bauhinia Awards
Best Supporting Actress - Golden Horse Film Festival
Three... Extremes (三更2; Sam gang yi)MeiSegment Dumplings
Sky Captain and the World of TomorrowMysterious Woman
2005Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the SithSenator Bana Breemudeleted scenes
Lords of DogtownPunky Photographer
EntourageLi LeiTV series, 1 episode
EdmondPeep show Girl
2006Man About TownBarbi Ling
Best of Chris Isaak (Video)Segment Please (uncredited)
Southland TalesSerpentine
Scarface: The World Is YoursU-Gin Bar ManagerVideo game, Voice
2007LostAcharaTV series, 1 episode ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
Living & DyingNadia
The UnitPrincessTV series, 1 episode
Shanghai BabyCoco
The Gene GenerationMichelle
The HustleHan
A Beautiful LifeEsther
Dim Sum FuneralDeedee
2009Crank: High VoltageRia
Chain LetterJai Pham
2010The Lazarus PapersKyo
Comedy Makes You Cry (拍卖春天, Pai mai chun tian)Zhang Qian (张倩)
Love RanchSamantha
Circle of Pain (Video)Victoria Rualan
The ConfidantBlack
Magic ManSamantha
Petty CashCoco
Locked DownGuard Flores
The Bad PennyNok
The Being Frank ShowTV series
2012Hawaii Five-0EsmeraldaTV series, 1 episode
Clash of the EmpiresLaylan
Yellow Hill: The Stranger's TaleThe StrangerShort
2013Speed DragonJackieBest Feature Film - New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
The GauntletKim LeeBest Actress - Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood (Fall 2013)
Best Actress - 2014 Asians On Film Festival
American GirlsAmanda Chen
2014Blood ShedLucy
Terms & ConditionsThe Bodyguard
Beyond the GameTBD
6 Ways to SundownJune Lee
When the Devil Rides OutTBD
The Haunted SecretZiZi
Call Me KingLi Soo



Music videos[edit]


  1. ^ simplified Chinese: 白灵; traditional Chinese: 白靈; pinyin: Bái Líng.


  1. ^ a b "Bai Ling Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  2. ^ Lynn Elber (July 2, 2011). Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army. Associated Press. Accessed 2012-05-24.
  3. ^ The Red Corner (1997) FILM REVIEW; Lady Killer? Beijing Is Not Charmed, The New York Times, 31 October 1997
  4. ^ "Awards for Red Corner". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Bai Ling biography on
  6. ^ "Ling claims Star Wars bosses cut her after Playboy pose". Contact Music. Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Dan Whitcomb (February 14, 2008). "Actress Bai Ling arrested for shoplifting in L.A". Reuters. 
  9. ^ "Bai Ling Blames Her Arrest on Bad Breakup - Crime & Courts, Bai Ling". 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  10. ^ "BAI LING OFFICIAL WEBSITE 白靈官方網站: No matter what happens, today is a Valentines day, I still want to wish all the loved ones are together sharing love and smile and a tender kiss under the beautiful sky". Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ Alex Dobuzinskis (April 18, 2009), "Bai Ling cranks up moonstruck life for 'High Voltage'", Reuters. Accessed 2012-05-24.
  14. ^ "Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army - Yahoo News". 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  15. ^ "Intake". Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Season 5. Episode 1. June 26, 2011. VH1.
  16. ^
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