Bai Ling (traditional Chinese: 白靈; simplified Chinese: 白灵; pinyin: Bái Líng) (born October 10, 1970) is a Chinese American actress. Bai is her surname, which literally means "white". Ling, a common given name for Chinese, means spirit, or the qualities of alertness and divine intelligence.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Bai Ling was born in Chengdu, China. Her father Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥) was a musical instrument performer in the People's Liberation Army, who later got discharged and became a music teacher. Her mother Chen Binbin (陈彬彬) was a literature teacher in Sichuan University, whose father was a military officer of Kuomintang's army, and thus was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. In early 1980's, Bai Ling's parents divorced, and both got remarried later. Her mother was remarried to a famous writer Xu Chi (徐迟), who got his national reputation by his report titled Goldbach's Conjecture, about Chinese mathematician Chen Jingrun.
Bai Ling has one elder sister Bai Jie (白洁), who works for a tax bureau in China, and a younger brother Bai Chen (白陈), who emigrated to Japan and works for an American company.
Bai Ling has described herself as a very shy child who found that she best expressed herself through acting and performing. She has since said that acting allows one to ignore how society tells one to behave and allows other parts within oneself to be expressed. During the Cultural Revolution (1966 - 1976), she learned how to perform by participating in Eight model plays shows in her elementary school. After her graduation of middle school, she was sent to do labor work at Shuangliu (双流), a suburb county of Chengdu, where the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located.
Before long, she managed to pass the People's Liberation Army's exams, and became an "artist soldier" at Linzhi, Tibet. Her main activity there was to entertain with musical theater. She also served as a nurse for a while in the army. Three years later, she was discharged from the army, and joined People's Art Theater of Chengdu, and became a professional actress. She performance in a stage play Yueqin and Little Tiger as a young man drew attention of movie director Teng Wenji (滕文骥), and gained her first movie role in On The Beach （1985）, as a village girl who just became a factory worker, and fought against her father's will for her to marry her cousin.
In the later years, she appeared in several movies. However, her rebelliousness caused friction with the authority. She was accused of insubordination for using tobacco and alcohol, was briefly hospitalized for depression by the end of her army service, and partook in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. 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.
Controversy[edit | edit source]
Many of the events in Bai's past have only been verified by Bai herself; her past in China is especially in doubt. No independent source besides Ling has verified her claims of her time spent in the Chinese army. The same is true of her time spent in New York as a visiting scholar, when her age would have made her a suspiciously young candidate for such an honor, especially given the paucity of her academic achievements. Finally, her participation in the Tiananmen Square protests would have been quite remarkable, given the fact that she attended the 1989 Moscow International Film Festival one month later as a member of an official Chinese movie group. However, further investigations by critics revealed that Bai was indeed a child prodigy,http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/common/images/button_link.png Internal link
Bai Ling's past has been verified by the U.S. Asylum Board after several court trials. In addition, her scholarship at New York University is verified at the institution itself and by the talent manager and honorary member of the U.S. Congress, Jadin Wong.
Bai once claimed publicly that she was engaged to Nick Carter, but Carter immediately denied it and the two have never married. She has further claimed that she was "cut out" of Star Wars due to her appearance in Playboy magazine while also insinuating a large role for her character; George Lucas denied this, citing the facts that the edit had been done months before the Playboy appearance was known and stating that Bai's role was only a few lines of unimportant dialogue. Additionally, Go Fug Yourself has documented Bai numerous times appearing publicly in revealing outfits that happen to "slip" and show her nipples in pictures, despite the fact that she was attending as a guest at events with no overt sexual content.
Acting career[edit | edit source]
Bai had previously appeared in several Chinese movies when she was in China. In 1984, Ling 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. Her role as a girl with psychological disorder who had affair with her doctor gained her fame, in the movie Arc Light (弧光) directed by director Zhang Junzhao (张军钊). She attended Moscow Movie Festival in 1989 due to this role.
When she was in China, her photographs had been used in magazines and calendars frequently, mostly with her whole shoulder and upper breasts exposed, which was not common in China at that time.
Since coming to the United States in 1991, she has appeared in a number of American movies.
She began in the cult movie The Crow (1994), playing the half-sister/lover of the main villain, Top Dollar. It was her character that figures out the key to The Crow's power. Hu guang was her most celebrated role in the Chinese film industry, and Red Corner (1997) would be considered her break-out role in English film.
She filmed scenes for Star Wars: Episode III (2005) 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.
She was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 1998. She was briefly said to be romantically linked to Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. Rumors spread that Ling was engaged to him, but Carter denied the rumors, saying they were "just friends."
Later in 2005 Ling 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 risque 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.
Ling was singled out for ridicule in an episode of The Showbiz Show with David Spade in late 2005. Spade noted that her high level of exposure in magazines and tabloids, frequently being photographed at movie premiers and parties, was not justified by the relatively minor roles she has been playing, and he implied that she was engaging in desperate self-promotion.
She has most recently appeared in the show Lost as part of Jack's flashbacks. Her character is Achara, who many believe to be associated with the Dharma Initiative. She has predictive powers, and is the artist of Jack's tattoo reading "He resides among us, but he is not one of us." Achara attests to predicting Jack's leadership role on the island. She is expected to be on for three episodes.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Bai Ling lived in Singapore for the summer of 2006 and frequently patronised a now-defunct gay dance club called Happy now renamed as Play. She was apparently performing research for her upcoming film, an undisclosed film about the sex trade.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
In USA[edit | edit source]
- The Crow (1994) as Myca
- Dead Funny (1995) as Norico
- Dead Weekend (1995)
- Nixon (1995)
- Red Corner (1997)
- Somewhere in the City (1998)
- Wild Wild West (1999)
- Anna and the King (1999) (directed by Andy Tennant)
- Angel (episode: "She") (2000)
- Row Your Boat (2000)
- The Breed (2001)
- The Monkey King (2001)
- Face (2002)
- Point of Origin (2002)
- Storm Watch (2002)
- Paris (2003)
- Taxi 3 (2003)
- The Extreme Team (2003)
- 2003 MTV Movie Awards (2003)
- Three... Extremes - Dumplings (2004)
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
- She Hate Me (2004) (directed by Spike Lee)
- My Baby's Daddy (2004)
- The Beautiful Country (2004) (written by Sabina Murray)
- Entourage (2005) ("Chinatown" episode as martial arts trainer, Li Lei)
- Edmond (2005)
- But Can They Sing? (2005)
- Lords of Dogtown (2005)
- Star Wars: Episode III (2005) (Scene as Senator Bana Breemu deleted before release)
- The Gene Generation (2006)
- Man About Town (2006)
- Southland Tales (2006)
- After Sex (2006)
- Living & Dying (2006)
- Lost (2007)
Bai Ling also provided the voice of "Mui" in the dubbed American version of Shaolin Soccer, 2001.
In China[edit | edit source]
- At the Beach 海滩（1984）
- Suspended Sentence 缓期执行（1985）
- Tears in Suzhou 泪洒姑苏（1985）
- The Bloody Trace 血案疑踪（1986）
- Yueyue 月月（1986）
- On Their Own 大学生轶事 or College Student Stories（1987）
- Arc Ligh 弧光（1988）as Jing Huan
- Hit Without Gun 无枪枪手（1988）
- The Illegal Gunman 非法持枪者（1989）
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Made an appearance on (then) G4TechTV's The Screen Savers, confusing the two hosts at the time (Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht) as gay.
- Shaved off her hair, which had exceeded a length of 36 in. (91.44 cm.) for her role in Anna and the King, and is widely known in Thailand as "Tubtim", her character's name from the film, even though the movie is officially banned because of its depiction of the Siamese king.
- Her eccentric fashion sense often gets her featured on the website Go Fug Yourself.
- Dated a play actor in mid 1980's in China, music composer Qu Xiao-Song in mid 1990's, and Chris Isaak 1999-2001.
- She predicted that Donald Trump will get his hair shaved in World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania 23 "Battle of the Billionaires" Match. She says that "It will be nice to see him bald" 
References[edit | edit source]
- Original text from Famous Chinese Women, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
- Cite error: Invalid
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- "Carter denies he is set to marry Ling". (New Straits Times, p. 30 November 10, 2005). Reports circulating wildly in Chinese media have deduced that it is very likely that Nick Carter had seduced Bai Ling and taken advantage of her. Because of dependence of record sales on the Asian adolescent female market in Asia, he has to officially deny all relationships with Bai.
- Contoversial picture
- Jack's tattoo actually reads "鹰击长空", meaning Eagle Strikes the Sky.
- Bai Ling: The innocent past story (in Chinese)
- The WrestleMania Predictions of Celebs
[edit | edit source]
- Bai Ling Interview at The Bastardly (In Santa Monica, CA)
- Bai Ling at the Internet Movie Database
- Newport Beach Film Festival Interview: Bai Ling
- CNN interview with Bai Ling
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