Maggie Cheung – Chinese Actress
Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung was born on September 20, 1964 and was raised in Hong Kong as well as England where she she moved with her family at the age of eight and lived for ten years before returning to Hong Kong. She also, at one point, lived in Paris for ten years, and as a result of her wide exposure to such a variety of cultures, she has been able to perform roles speaking fluent Cantonese (her native language), Mandarin, Shanghainese, English, and French. In 1983, Cheung won the first runner-up in the Miss Hong Kong pageant and was even a semi-finalist in the Miss World pageant the same same year. Before her career as an actress, Cheung did modeling, which may have contributed to her winning of the Miss Photogenic award in the Miss Hong Kong pageant.
Until 1988, Maggie Cheung’s career as an actress had limited her to roles that emphasized her looks and her body more than her skills as an actress and her linguistic talents, although she did perform beside such actors as Jackie Chan, even before the start of her serious acting career. Her diversity of talent and evolution as an actor has lead her to become one of the most versatile actress in Asia, even learning to perform difficult choreography like this scene with Jet Li in “Hero”.
Cheung was the first Asian actress to earn and award at the Cannes Festival and actually appeared as the first real actress to have her face on a Cannes Festival poster, which was for the 59th Cannes Festival and was the first time in its history that this had been done. She has been a jury member at many film festivals, two of which being the 1997 Berlin Film Festival and the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
After her success for her role in “Clean” at the Cannes Festival, Cheung believed that she had successfully fulfilled her potential as an actress, and thus moved away from acting to pursue composition and painting as well as film composition and editing, and even delving into philanthropy. She was named UNICEF’s ambassador to China in 2010 and in 2011 was awarded a degree at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. In addition, she has won several awards for acting, including an award for Best Actress at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival for her role in the film “Center Stage,” an award for Best Actress at the Cannes Festival in 2004 for her role in the film “Clean,” a Best Supporting Actress of Golden Horse award at the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards in 1990 for her role in “Red Dust,” and has been earned Best Actress awards at various other festivals for many different roles.
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