Real name: Zhang Ziyi
Birthdate: February 9, 1979
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Zhang Ziyi (章子怡; pinyin: Zhāng Zǐyí) (born February 9, 1979 in Beijing, China) is one of the best-known Chinese film actresses working today, with a string of Chinese and international hits to her name. She has worked with renowned directors such as Zhang Yimou, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, Seijun Suzuki and Rob Marshall.
Born in Beijing, China, Zhang Ziyi joined the Beijing Dance Academy at the age of 11, and at 15 she entered China's prestigious Central Academy of Drama (regarded as the top acting college in China).
Her first appearance in an American movie was in Rush Hour 2, but as she didn't speak English at the time, Jackie Chan had to translate everything the director said to her. In that movie, her character's name, "Hu Li" translated from Mandarin Chinese is "Fox".
In 2005, she landed the lead role of Sayuri in the film adaptation of the international bestseller Memoirs of a Geisha. For the film, she reunited with her 2046 co-star Gong Li and with her Crouching Tiger co-star Michelle Yeoh. For the role, she received a 2006 Golden Globe Award nomination.
In the fall of 2006, Zhang' most recent film was released, a new drama set in the Tang Dynasty of China called The Banquet (Yè Yàn 夜宴).
Most recently she provided the voice of Karai in the TMNT movie that was released on March 23, 2007. She has recently finished filming a movie called Horsemen with Dennis Quaid.
Zhang Ziyi is the face of Maybelline, Garnier and Shangri-la Hotel and Resort Group. She is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics and a spokesperson for Care for Children, a foster-home program in China.
Hong Kong and Taiwanese media have often pushed at ties between Zhang Ziyi and co-star Jackie Chan. This was fuelled in part by photos that emerged of the pair during celebrations of Chan's birthday on the set of Rush Hour 2.
Zhang Ziyi for a while was publicly linked with Fok Kai-shan, grandson of Hong Kong business tycoon Henry Fok.
Although Zhang Ziyi does not like to talk in public about her private life, in 2006 she stated in an interview that she had found love but did not offer a name. When quizzed in early 2007 if she was happy by Phoenix TV, she stated in the interview: "Yes, very much so ... I'm doing the things I enjoy."
In January 2007, Zhang Ziyi was spotted holding hands and kissing with her new partner at a New York basketball game. The man was identified as 41-year-old, Israeli multi-millionaire, venture capitalist Vivi Nevo. The two were again seen together at an Oscar party in Los Angeles. Nevo, who has previously been tied to model Kate Moss, is a major shareholder in Time Warner and an early backer of The Weinstein Company with whom Zhang Ziyi is purported to have a multi-film deal.
- 2006 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama for Memoirs of a Geisha
Golden Horse Film Festival
- 2000 - Best Actress for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- 2004 - Best Actress for 2046
MTV Movie Awards
- 2001 - Breakthrough Female Performance for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- 2002 - Best Villain for Rush Hour 2
- 2005 - Best Fight for House of Flying Daggers *(For Zhang Ziyi vs. The Emperor's guards)
- 2006 - Sexiest Performance for Memoirs of a Geisha
Online Film Critics Society Awards
- 2001 - Best Supporting Actress for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon