Date of Birth : Dec 31st 1965
Gong received international acclaim for her roles in several more Zhang Yimou films: She appeared in Ju Dou in 1990; Her performance in the Oscar-nominated Raise the Red Lantern put her in the international spotlight; In The Story of Qiu Ju, she was named Best Actress at the 1992 Venice Film Festival. These roles established her reputation, according to Asiaweek, as “one of the world’s most glamorous movie stars and an elegant throwback to Hollywood’s golden era.” In June 1998, Gong Li became a recipient of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Two years later, she was invited by the Berlin Film Festival to be the president of its international jury at the festival’s 50th anniversary (2001 February)
In 1993 she received a New York Film Critics Circle award for her role in Farewell My Concubine. Directed by Chen Kaige, the film was her first major role with a director other than Zhang Yimou. In 2006, Premiere Magazine ranked her performance in Farewell My Concubine as the 89th greatest performances of all time. Gong Li was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 16 October 2000.
Despite her popularity, Gong avoided Hollywood for years, due to a lack of confidence in speaking English. She made her English speaking debut in 2005 when she starred as the beautiful but vindictive Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha. Her performance was met with generally positive reviews. Her other English-language roles to date included Chinese Box in 1997, Miami Vice in 2006 and Hannibal Rising in 2007. In all three films, she learned her English lines phonetically.