Maggie Cheung Man-yuk (Chinese: 張曼玉; born 20 September 1964) is a Hong Kong former actress. Raised in Hong Kong and Britain, she started her career after placing second in 1983's Miss Hong Kong Pageant. She achieved critical success in the late 1980s and into the early 2000s, before taking a break from acting following her last starring role in 2004. She rarely makes public appearances except for fashion events and award ceremonies.
Cheung Man-yuk Margaret
20 September 1964
|Alma mater||St. Paul's Primary Catholic School, Happy Valley |
St Edmund's School, Canterbury
University of Edinburgh
|Years active||1984–2004 |
(m. 1998; div. 2001)
|Partner(s)||Ole Scheeren (2007–2011)|
Cheung has won numerous accolades at home and abroad for her acting. She has won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress 5 times in the span of 11 years from 1990 to 2001, and holds the record for most wins in that category. She also holds the record for most wins for the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress in Taiwan, having won 4 times. In the West, she has been awarded the Silver Bear for Best Actress at Berlin International Film Festival in 1992 and Best Actress at Cannes Film Festival in 2004. In 2004, she became the first Asian actress to be nominated for the French César Award for Best Actress.
Her most acclaimed performances include As Tears Go By, Center Stage, Comrades: Almost a Love Story, Green Snake, The Soong Sisters, Irma Vep, In the Mood for Love, Hero and Clean. Her cheongsam-wearing character in 2000's In the Mood for Love, opposite male lead Tony Leung Chiu Wai and under the direction of Wong Kar-wai, is a classic in both the film and fashion worlds.
Early life and educationEdit
Maggie Cheung was born in Hong Kong on 20 September 1964 to Shanghainese parents. She attended St. Paul's Primary Catholic School in Happy Valley, where she began at the primary one level. Her family emigrated from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom when she was eight. She spent part of her childhood and adolescence in Bromley, London, England. She returned to Hong Kong at the age of 18 in 1982 for a vacation but ended up staying for modelling assignments and other commitments. She also shortly obtained a sales job at Lane Crawford department store.
In 1983, Cheung entered the Miss Hong Kong pageant and won the first runner-up and the Miss Photogenic award as well. She was a semi-finalist in the Miss World pageant the same year. After two years as a TV presenter, it led to a contract with TVB (the television arm of the Shaw Bros. Studio).
Cheung is a polyglot as a result of her upbringing in Hong Kong and England and ten years' stay in Paris. In Center Stage, Cheung performed in Cantonese, Mandarin, and Shanghainese fluently, switching languages with ease. In Clean, she performed in fluent English, French, and Cantonese.
Soon after her debut, Cheung broke into the film industry, starring in comedies. She caught the attention of Jackie Chan, who cast her in Police Story (1985) as May, his long-suffering girlfriend. The film was a huge hit and made Cheung a star overnight. TVB had also cast Barbara Yung and Kent Tong in a period drama, Kings of Ideas (橋王之王) but due to the death of Barbara Yung, the role was assigned to Cheung.
Despite her success, Cheung found herself typecast in the roles of comics or weak, clumsy women. Realizing this, Cheung wanted to break away by seeking more dramatic roles. She got this opportunity when Wong Kar-wai cast her in As Tears Go By (1988), her first of many collaborations with Wong. Cheung often cites the film as the piece that truly began her serious acting career, and she won critical praise for it. In 1989, she won Best Actress awards at the Golden Horse Award and Hong Kong Film Award for her work in Full Moon in New York and A Fishy Story respectively. In 1991, she became the first Chinese performer to win a Best Actress Award at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival for her work in Center Stage.
Cheung subsequently proved her versatility with roles in action films. Her performance in the sci-fi martial arts smash hit The Heroic Trio (1992) and its sequel, Executioners (1993), impressed both critics and audiences with her martial arts skills. Also in a departure from her usual roles, Cheung played a beautiful and vicious femme fatale in New Dragon Gate Inn (1992).
After taking a break in 1994, Cheung returned to film Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep (1996), which helped her break into the international scene. That same year, she won further acclaim for her work in the romantic film Comrades: Almost a Love Story, in which she played one of a pair of lovers kept apart for ten years by fate and circumstance. The following year, she made her first English-language film in Wayne Wang's Chinese Box (1997). Cast as a mysterious young woman named Jean, Cheung held her own alongside the more internationally well-established stars, Jeremy Irons and Gong Li.
After her 1998 marriage with Olivier Assayas, Cheung stayed mainly in France. She returned to Hong Kong to film In the Mood for Love (2000), which won critical acclaim and a second Taiwanese Golden Horse award for Cheung. Thereafter, she starred in Zhang Yimou's Hero (2002) and Wong's 2046 (2004). She won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role as a mother who tries to kick her drug habit and reconcile with her long-lost son in Clean (2004).
Cheung was a jury member at the 1997 Berlin Film Festival, the 1999 Venice Film Festival, the 2004 Hawaii International Film Festival, the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, and the 2010 Marrakech International Film Festival. And for the first time in its history, the 59th Cannes Film Festival (2006) used a photographic image of a real actress on its poster – that of Cheung.
On 7 February 2007, The New York Times rated Cheung as one of the 22 Great Performers in 2006 for her Cannes winning role as Emily in Clean. After 25 years of making movies, she decided to retire from acting to pursue a career as a film composer. She had mentioned she would like to compose music and paint after having fulfilled her acting potential. Her last film appearance was as Mazu, Chinese goddess of the sea, in the film Ten Thousand Waves (2010) by British filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien.
As UK's Independent puts it, since her Cannes moment in 2004, Cheung "turned her back on film" and has shifted her focus to philanthropy, making music, and editing. In April 2010, Cheung was appointed as UNICEF's Ambassador to China. In July 2011, she was awarded a doctor honoris causa at the University of Edinburgh. Cheung retired from acting in 2013 and has since kept a low profile.
Cheung has been rumoured to have been romantically involved with In the Mood for Love co-star Tony Leung, who is married to fellow actor Carina Lau. Lau quashed rumours of a feud by uploading a photo of her running into Cheung at an airport in 2013.
|Year||Chinese Title||English title||Notes|
|緣份||Behind the Yellow Line|
|1985||摩登仙履奇緣||Girl with the Diamond Slipper|
|聖誕奇遇結良緣||It's a Drink, It's a Bomb|
|開心鬼撞鬼||Happy Ghost 3|
|原振俠與衛斯理||The Seventh Curse|
|1987||七年之癢||Seven Years Itch||Cameo|
|精裝追女仔||The Romancing Star|
|A計劃續集||Project A Part II|
|用愛捉伊人||You Are My Destiny||Cameo|
|1988||應召女郎1988||Call Girl '88|
|愛的逃兵||Love Soldier of Fortune|
|旺角卡門||As Tears Go By|
|南北媽打||Mother vs. Mother|
|月亮星星太陽||Moon, Star, Sun|
|求愛敢死隊||How to Pick Girls Up!|
|警察故事續集||Police Story 2|
|肥貓流浪記||Beloved Son of God|
|黃色故事||The Game They Call Sex|
|不脫襪的人||A Fishy Story|
|少女心||Hearts No Flowers|
|再見王老五||The Bachelor's Swan-Song|
|我要富貴||My Dear Son|
|求愛夜驚魂||In Between Loves|
|急凍奇俠||The Iceman Cometh|
|神勇雙妹嘜||Doubles Cause Troubles|
|1990||人在紐約||Full Moon in New York|
|三人新世界||Heart into Hearts|
|客途秋恨||Song of the Exile|
|紅場飛龍||The Dragon from Russia|
|阿飛正傳||Days of Being Wild|
|富貴吉祥||The Perfect Match|
|黑雪||Will of Iron|
|雙城故事||Alan & Eric - Between Hello & Goodbye|
|阮玲玉||Center Stage||aka Actress|
|1992||兩個女人，一個靚，一個唔靚||Too Happy for Words||Short film|
|家有喜事||All's Well, Ends Well|
|新龍門客棧||New Dragon Gate Inn|
|譁! 英雄||What a Hero!|
|警察故事3: 超級警察||Police Story 3: Supercop|
|三人做世界||Heart Against Hearts||Cameo|
|赤腳小子||The Bare-Footed Kid|
|東方三俠||The Heroic Trio|
|飛越謎情||Enigma of Love|
|東成西就||The Eagle Shooting Heroes|
|追男仔||Boys Are Easy|
|東邪西毒||Ashes of Time|
|1996||甜蜜蜜||Comrades: Almost a Love Story|
|1997||宋家皇朝||The Soong Sisters|
|1999||爱在异乡的故事||Augustin, King of Kung-Fu|
|花樣年華||In the Mood for Love|
|2009||惡棍特工||Inglourious Basterds||Deleted scene|
|2010||全城熱戀||Hot Summer Days||Cameo|
|Better Life||Short film|
|萬層浪||Ten Thousand Waves|
|Year||Original Title||English title|
|1984||畫出彩虹||Rainbow Round My Shoulder|
|新紮師兄||Police Cadet '84|
|1985||武林世家||The Fallen Family|
|拆擋拍擋||Zhe Dang Pai Dang|
|楊家將||The Yang's Saga|
|橋王之王||Kings of Ideas|
|1989||Hong Kong Film Awards||Best Actress||As Tears Go By||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Red Dust||Nominated|
|1992||Best Actress||New Dragon Gate Inn||Nominated|
|1992||Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards||Best Leading Actress||New Dragon Gate Inn||Nominated|
|1998||Golden Bauhinia Awards||Best Actress||The Soong Sisters||Nominated|
|2000||In the Mood for Love||Nominated|
|2005||César Awards||Best Actress (Meilleure actrice)||Clean||Nominated|
|2002||Chlotrudis Awards||Best Actress||In the Mood for Love||Nominated|
- "Style File: Maggie Cheung".
- "Maggie Cheung: The Lady Is A Vamp". The Independent. 5 October 2011.
- "Miss Hong Kong 1983". misshkbeauties.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Miss World Previous Title Holders - 1983". missworld.tv.[permanent dead link]
- "Hong Kong Actress Maggie Cheung". China.org.cn.
- "Maggie Cheung: A Multi Award-Winning Actress from Hong Kong". Women of China.
- Rockwell, John (25 February 1992). "'Grand Canyon' Wins The First Prize at Berlin Festival". The New York Times.
- "Maggie Cheung Snatches Best Actress Award at Cannes". Sina.
- "Annual Archives - Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Juries 2007". festival-cannes.fr. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Jury 2010". festivalmarrakech.info. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- Hirschberg, Lynn (11 February 2007). "Great Performers". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- Flynn, Bob (10 April 2007). "Maggie Cheung : Why the Asian Star is turning her back on film". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007.
- Gritten, David (6 October 2010). "Maggie Cheung returns in Ten Thousand Waves". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
- "Maggie Cheung appointed UNICEF Ambassador in China". Unicef.
- "Honorary degree for Maggie Cheung". Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- "Maggie Cheung Gets Unfairly Slammed by Netizens After Someone Posts This Photo of Her".
- Wolfgang Schaefer and JP Kuehlwein, Rethinking Prestige Branding, Kogan Page, 2015, p92.
- "Maggie Cheung talks about her divorce". China Daily.
- "Maggie Cheung Makes Beijing New Home in Name of Love - All China Women's Federation". womenofchina.cn. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "Maggie Cheung dumped for younger girl". Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "高招 劉嘉玲 拉張曼玉逆襲 世紀合照 破13年僵局". 蘋果日報. 25 November 2013.
- "Maggie Cheung Okays with 'Basterds' Cut". China Daily. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
- "Maggie Cheung waits to age before return to films". The Washiongton Times.
- "Maggie Cheung". IMDb. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
- "Maggie Cheung". chinesemov.com. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
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