Shǐ Yǒngfēn (史永芬)
June 27, 1921
|Died||August 27, 1999 (aged 78)|
|Burial place||Nirvana Memorial Park, Semenyih, Malaysia|
Bai Guang was born Shi Yongfen (Chinese: 史永芬) in 1921 in Beijing. In her early years, she was a student of the Beiping Salon Theatrical Troupe (北平沙龍劇團), and once performed Cao Yu's play "Sunrise". In 1937, she studied at the University of Tokyo's music department until World War II in 1942. After drama school, she wanted to be a movie star. As she proclaimed, she wanted to be like the beams of light coming off the movie projectors onto the big screen. Hence, her stage name was (白光), which translated to "White Light".
Her mandopop songs were often used in many of her movies as soundtracks. In an age and culture where light, higher voices were usually favored, she had a slightly deep and hoarse voice, which helped her become a big star in Shanghai. People called her the "Queen of the Low Voice" (低音歌后).
Bai's big screen career started in 1943. She was known for playing seductive roles due to her flirtatious image on screen and has also played villains at times. She lent a more dramatic tone or sexy attitude to her songs. Some of her hits are "Autumn Evening" (秋夜), "Without You" (如果沒有你), "The Pretender" (假正經), "Revisiting Old Dreams" (魂縈舊夢), and "Waiting For You" (等著你回來).
By 1950 Bai tired of the low-quality films she was given and retired as an actress in China. After marrying an American GI in 1951, she lived in Japan and successfully opened a nightclub in Tokyo's Ginza District in 1953. The union did not last, and she returned to Hong Kong, recording some music through 1959 when she officially retired. In 1969 she resettled in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she married a man 20 years her junior. She performed to wide acclaim in 1979 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Her last public appearance was in 1995 at Hong Kong's TV top 10 Chinese singer award presentation.
- Love Peas of Southland (紅豆生南國) (1943)
- The Fire of Love (戀之火) (1943)
- Spy Ring #13 (十三號凶宅) (1947)
- Blood Stained Begonia (血染海棠紅) (1949)
- A Forgotten Woman (蕩婦心) (1949)
- Songs in the Rainy Nights (雨夜歌聲) (1950)
- A Strange Women (一代妖姬) (1950)
- Smiling Rose (玫瑰花開)
- Hours Passed the Wedding (結婚廿四小時) (1950)
- Tears of Songstress (歌女紅菱艷)(1953)