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Gong Li–the Pride of Jinan

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Ni men hao, Guys~!!! This time I would like to show you the pride of my hometown, the daughter of Jinan: Gong Li.

I am very curious about how famous she is in the world, especially in the United States, because every time people mention her they always include the title “World Famous”. There is no doubt that she is one of the most excellent actresses in China.

Gong Li was born in Shenyang, a big city in northeast China, and spend her childhood in Jinan–her hometown. After finishing primer school and high school there, she became a college student of The Central Academy Of Drama in Beijing, which is regarded as the top school of the three most prestigious drama schools in China. At that time, she was discovered by Zhang Yimou, who chose her for the lead role in “Red Sorghum”, his first film as a director. In 1990, she acted in the film Ju Dou; in 1992, she was “Qiu Ju” in the film called “The Story of Qiu Ju” , which she was rewarded the Best Actress for at the 1992 Venice Film Festival. In the early years of her career, she was always a tragic and innocent victims persecuted by the feudal society, like in the film “Raise the Red Lantern” and “Shanghai Triad” (1995).

In June 1998, Gong Li was 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 2006, Premiere Magazine ranked her performance in “Farewell My Concubine” as the 89th greatest performance of all time.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 inMemoirs of a Geisha”. Her performance was met with generally positive reviews.Her other English-language roles to date include Chinese Box in 1997, Miami Vice in 2006 and Hannibal Rising in 2007. In all three films, she learned her English lines phonetically.  (The 4th Paragraph is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gong_Li )

Three of her most famous and excellent films, “The Story of Qiu Ju” , “Red Sorghhum” and “Farewell My Concubine” won the Golden Lion in 49th Venice Film Festival of 1992, the Golden Bear in 38th  Berlin International Film Festival in 1988 and the Palme d’Or in 43th Cannes Film Festival in 1993.

In 2008, Gong Li received her Singapore citizenship certificate, and has aroused criticism from many Chinese people. But I think from the bottom of most of Chinese people’s hearts, she’s the best actress ever in Chinese film history.

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