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Ying Ruocheng (simplified Chinese: 英若诚; traditional Chinese: 英若誠; pinyin: Yīng Ruòchéng; June 21, 1929 - December 27, 2003) was a Chinese actor, director, playwright and vice minister of culture from 1986 to 1990. He first came to the attention of Western audiences for his portrayal of Kublai Khan in the 1982 miniseries Marco Polo. He is best known for playing the part of the governor of the detention camp in the Bernardo Bertolucci's film The Last Emperor, and the role of the Tibetan Buddhist Lama Norbu in Little Buddha. He is also well known as a theater translator, director, and actor for the Beijing People's Art Theatre, particularly for his role as Pockmark Liu in Lao She's masterpiece "Teahouse" and as Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman" in 1983, directed by Arthur Miller (Ying also translated the script).

Ying Ruocheng
Vice-Minister of Culture
In office
MinisterWang Meng
Personal details
Born(1929-06-21)June 21, 1929
Beijing, China
DiedDecember 27, 2003(2003-12-27) (aged 74)
Beijing, China
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Spouse(s)Wu Shiliang
RelationsYing Lianzhi (grandfather)
Aisin Gioro Shuzhong (grandmother)
ChildrenYing Da
Ying Xiaole
ParentsYing Qianli
Cai Baozhen
Alma materTsinghua University
OccupationPolitician, director, actor, playwright
AwardsRamon Magsaysay Award (1998)


Ying was born in Beijing into a Manchu family. He studied in a church school in Tianjin in his early years, and later graduated from the Department of Foreign Languages of Tsinghua University. He was forced into the provinces to perform manual labor during the Cultural Revolution.

Ying is the author of a memoir, co-authored by Claire Conceison, "Voices Carry: Behind Bars and Backstage During China's Revolution and Reform" (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).

Ying died on December 27, 2003, at the age of 74.

Personal lifeEdit

His wife, Wu Shiliang (1928-1987), was a translator, and his son, Ying Da, is also a noted actor. His grandson Ying Rudi is a noted ice hockey player.


His father Ying Qianli (英千里; 1900–1969) was a professor at National Taiwan University and Fu Jen Catholic University. His mother Cai Baozhen (蔡葆真) was president of Beijing Children's Library. His grandfather Ying Lianzhi (英敛之; 1867–1926) was the founder of Takungpao and Fu Jen Catholic University. His grandmother Aisin Gioro Shuzhong (爱新觉罗·淑仲) was a member of the Qing dynasty royal family and therefore related to Puyi the last Emperor of China. His maternal grandfather Cai Rukai (蔡儒楷; 1867–1923) was president of National Beiyang University.[1][2][3]

4. Ying Lianzhi
2. Ying Qianli
5. Aisin Gioro Shuzhong
1. Ying Ruocheng
6. Cai Rukai
3. Cai Baozhen


  • Ying Ruocheng; Claire Conceison (2012). Voices Carry: Behind Bars and Backstage during China’s Revolution and Reform. United States.
  • Ying Ruocheng; Claire Conceison (2016). 《水流云在:英若诚自传》 (in Chinese). Translated by Zhang Fang. Beijing: Citic Press Corp. ISBN 9787508655437.


Year Film Role Notes
1964 Baiqiuen dai fu Secretary Tong
1981 Zhi yin Yuan Shikai
1982 Marco Polo Kublai Khan TV mini-series
1987 The Last Emperor Governor of Detention Center
1993 Little Buddha Lama Norbu


  1. ^ 英达家族五代传奇经历 慈禧亲赐“英”姓有皇族血统. (in Chinese). 2012-11-13.
  2. ^ Southern People Weekly (2010-01-22). 关注英氏家族成功奥秘:历代重视中西文化交流. sina (in Chinese).
  3. ^ 英达接受华媒采访谈英氏家族 称婚姻比事业更难. Chinanews (in Chinese). 2010-06-02.

External linksEdit