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General information  

Alias  

  • (cinese tradizionale 白靈
  • cinese semplificato 白灵
  • Ling Bai
  • pinyin Bái Líng)

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Bai Ling (1966)

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  Summary  

Bai Ling is a Chinese actress known for her work in films such as The Crow, Red Corner and Wild Wild West, and in TV series such as Entourage and Lost. In 2011 she appeared in the fifth season of the VH1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which documented her recovery from alcohol addiction.

  Biography  

 early life
Bai was born in Chengdu, People's Republic of China in 1966. Her father, Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥), was a musician in the People's Liberation Army, and later a music teacher. Her mother, Chen Binbin (陈彬彬), was a dancer, stage actress, and a literature teacher in Sichuan University; Bai's maternal grandfather was a military officer of the Kuomintang army, and thus was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. In the early 1980s, Bai Ling's parents divorced, and later remarried. Her mother remarried to the writer Xu Chi (徐迟), renowned for his report titled Goldbach's Conjecture, about Chinese mathematician Chen Jingrun. Bai Ling has one older sister Bai Jie (白洁), who works for the Chinese tax bureau, and a younger brother Bai Chen (白陈), who emigrated to Japan and works for an American company.

Bai has described herself as a very shy child who found that she best expressed herself through acting and performing. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), she learned how to perform by participating in Eight model plays, at her elementary school shows. After her graduation from middle school, Bai was sent to do labor work at Shuangliu, a county near Chengdu, where the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located.

She soon passed the People's Liberation Army's exams, and became an "artist soldier" at , Tibet, where she served from age 14 to 17. Her main activity there was entertaining in the musical theater. She also served briefly as an Army nurse. Bai later claimed that during her time in Tibet she, along with other female performers, was regularly plied with alcohol and sexually abused by older male Chinese officers, including one instance of rape that led to a pregnancy, which she was forced to terminate with an abortion. She blamed this period of sexual abuse for her subsequent struggles with alcohol addiction.

Subsequently, Bai spent some time in a mental hospital. Though she insisted then and now, "I'm not crazy," she maintains to this day that she is from the moon, where her grandmother lives. "I'm not really in reality. I'm in my own universe and my mind is a million miles somewhere else," she claims, further explaining, "Why I feel like I come from the moon is because my mother told me I was found somewhere." She believes that when she looks up at the moon, she can often spot her grandmother there, still living in her childhood home.

Soon after her release from the hospital, Bai joined People's Art Theater of Chengdu, and became a professional actress. Her performance as a young man in the stage play Yueqin and Little Tiger drew the attention of movie director Teng Wenji (滕文骥), which gained her her first movie role in On The Beach , as a village girl who becomes a factory worker and struggled against her father's will for her to marry her cousin.

In later years, she appeared in several movies. She temporarily moved to New York in 1991 to attend New York University's film department as a visiting scholar, but later obtained a special visa that allowed her to remain in the United States until she became a citizen in 1999.

 acting career
Bai had previously appeared in several Chinese movies. In 1984, Bai appeared as a fishing village girl in the movie On the Beach (海滩). Later she filmed several other movies, including Suspended Sentence (缓期执行), Yueyue (月月), Tears in Suzhou (泪洒姑苏) without much attention. She became famous after playing a girl with a psychological disorder who has an affair with her doctor, in the film Arc Light (弧光) directed by Zhang Junzhao (张军钊). She attended Moscow International Film Festival in 1989. Since coming to the United States in 1991, she has appeared in a number of American movies.

She appeared in The Crow , playing the half-sister/lover of the main villain, Top Dollar. Hu guang was her most celebrated role in the Chinese film industry, and Red Corner would be considered her break-out role in English film. She was named one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 1998. She appeared in Chris Isaak's music video "Please" in 1998. She shaved off her hair, which had exceeded a length of 36 in for her role in Anna and the King, and is widely known in Thailand as "Tuptim", her character's name from the film, even though the movie is officially banned because of its depiction of the King of Siam. She filmed scenes for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as Senator Bana Breemu, but her role was cut during editing. She claimed that this was because of her posing nude for the June 2005 issue of Playboy magazine, whose appearance on newsstands coincided with the movie's May 2005 release, but director George Lucas denied this, stating that the cut had been made more than a year earlier. Her scenes were included in the "deleted scenes" feature of the DVD release.

Later in 2005 Bai was a castmate of the VH1 program called But Can They Sing?. The show gave several non-singer celebrities an attempt at singing on every episode and then allowed the audience and home viewers to vote off one contestant each week. Bai Ling was most famous for her risqué and raunchy get-ups and her performances of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated". Bai was eliminated just before the grand finale but was invited back on the final week for a special performance of Divinyls' "I Touch Myself".

She appeared in one episode of the show Lost.

Bai made a guest appearance on a episode of Entourage titled "China Town". She played a stunt co-ordinator named Li Lei, who Vincent Chase sleeps with.

 personal life
On February 14, 2008 Bai Ling was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for shoplifting two magazines and a package of batteries. It was an "emotionally crazy" day, Bai explained to E! News. She was coping with the "huge problem of breaking up Valentine's Day...wrong boyfriend." She also wrote on her blog after the incident: "Life happens to you either you liked it or not, sometimes I feel you have to be so brave to stand in front of the World, and just hope that people will have a tender heart toward you." On March 5, 2008 she pleaded guilty to the charge of disturbing the peace. She was then fined $200 (US$700 when totaling the fine and penalties) for the action at the airport.

In regards to her public image and recent troubles over the years, she stated:

I accidentally or innocently destroyed the beautiful Bai Ling that everybody loved, that beautiful, talented actress. Instead, the media bring me out as this crazy slut showing her nipples everywhere. I become this character the pop culture Hollywood machine created. Somehow, I become a victim to that image.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Bai Ling", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.