Bai Ling (Chinese: 白灵, born October 10, 1966) is a Chinese-American actress known for her work in films such as The Crow, Red Corner, Crank: High Voltage, Three... Extremes, Wild Wild West, Anna and the King and Southland Tales, as well as TV shows including Entourage and Lost.
Bai Ling in 2007
|Chinese name||白靈 (traditional)|
|Chinese name||白灵 (simplified)|
|Pinyin||Bái Líng (Mandarin)|
October 10, 1966|
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Bai was born in Chengdu, People's Republic of China. 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.
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. 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 officers, including one instance of rape that led to a pregnancy she aborted. She cites this period of sexual abuse for her subsequent struggles with alcohol addiction. 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 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 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". 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 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 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. She claimed that this was because she posed naked 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. 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 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 2 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, 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 & 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.
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.
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.
On February 14, 2008, Bai Ling was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for shoplifting two magazines and a package of batteries. 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." 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." 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).
|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|
|1993||Homicide: Life on the Street||Lin Chang/Teri Chow||TV series (1 episode)|
|1995||The Cosby Mysteries||Dr. Valerie Chong||TV series (1 episode)|
|Dead Weekend||Amelia A||TV film|
|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 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|
|The Breed||Lucy Westenra|
|Point of Origin||Wanda Orr|
|The Extreme Team||RJ|
|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)|
|Edmond||Peep show Girl|
|2006||Man About Town||Barbi Ling|
|Best of Chris Isaak||Segment: "Please" (uncredited)|
|Scarface: The World Is Yours||U-Gin Bar Manager (voice)||Video game|
|2007||Lost||Achara||TV series (Episode: "Stranger in a Strange Land")|
|Living & Dying||Nadia|
|The Unit||Princess||TV series (1 episode)|
|The Gene Generation||Michelle|
|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)|
|Circle of Pain||Victoria Rualan|
|Locked Down||Guard Flores|
|The Bad Penny||Nok|
|The Being Frank Show||TV series|
|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|
|The Gauntlet||Kim Lee||Best Actress – Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood (Fall 2013)|
Best Actress – 2014 Asians On Film Festival
|American Girls||Amanda Chen|
|Assassin's Game||The Bodyguard|
|2015||6 Ways to Sundown||June Lee|
|Call Me King||Li Soo|
|ABCs of Superheroes||Galvana|
|Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance||Doggé|
|2016||Enter the Samurai||Herself||Documentary on the creation of Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance|
|Better Criminal||Miss Jasmine Feng|
- "Rehab" (2011)
- "U Touch Me, I Don't Know U" (2011)
- "I Love U My Valentine" (2012)
- "Tuesday Night 8pm" (2012)
- "Bai Ling Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "Bai Ling - IMDb". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- Lynn Elber (July 2, 2011). Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army. NBC 5. Accessed 2017-11-13.
- The Red Corner (1997) FILM REVIEW; Lady Killer? Beijing Is Not Charmed, The New York Times, October 31, 1997
- "Awards for Red Corner". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- Bai Ling biography on cnn.com
- "Ling claims Star Wars bosses cut her after Playboy pose". Contact Music. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- Casual Fuggerday: THE RETURN OF BAI LING – Go Fug Yourself: Because Fugly Is The New Pretty. Go Fug Yourself (2014-05-31). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- Alex Dobuzinskis (April 18, 2009), "Bai Ling cranks up moonstruck life for 'High Voltage'", Reuters. Accessed 2012-05-24.
- "Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army – Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- "Intake". Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Season 5. Episode 1. June 26, 2011. VH1.
- Vicki Hogarth. "Bai Ling Interview". AskMen. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- "Actress Bai Ling Discusses Her Bisexuality". GLAAD. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- Dan Whitcomb (February 14, 2008). "Actress Bai Ling arrested for shoplifting in L.A". Reuters.
- "Bai Ling Blames Her Arrest on Bad Breakup – Crime & Courts, Bai Ling". People.com. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- "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". Ling-bai.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- Bai Ling Enters Shoplifting Plea Deal. Fox News. March 7, 2008
- Rehab – Single by Bai Ling on iTunes. Itunes.apple.com (2011-10-07). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- U Touch Me I Don't Know U – Single by Bai Ling on iTunes. Itunes.apple.com (2011-12-25). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- I Love U My Valentine – Single by Bai Ling on iTunes. Itunes.apple.com (2012-02-12). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- Tuesday Night 8pm – Single by Bai Ling on iTunes. Itunes.apple.com (2012-06-20). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- Bai ling – Rehab. YouTube (2011-10-27). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- Bai Ling Song "U touch me I don't know U". YouTube (2012-01-08). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- Bai Ling (2012-02-14) I love U my Valentine.m4v. YouTube. Retrieved on 2015-10-31.
- Bai Ling Song Tuesday Night 8pm. YouTube (2012-06-21). Retrieved on 2015-10-31.