Joan Chong Chen was born in Shanghai, China to a family of pharmacologists. (Her grandparent Changshao Zhang was educated at University College London and was later a visiting student at Harvard). She and her older brother, Chase, were raised during the Cultural Revolution. At the age of 14, Chen was discovered on the school rifle range by Jiang Qing, the wife of leader Mao Zedong and major Chinese Communist Party figure, as she was excelling at marksmanship. This led to her being selected for the Actors’ Training Program by the Shanghai Film Studio in 1975, where she was discovered by veteran director Xie Jin who chose her to star in his 1977 film Youth as a deaf mute whose senses are restored by an Army medical team. Chen graduated from high school a year in advance, and at the age of 17 entered the prestigious Shanghai International Studies University, where she majored in English.
Chen Chong first became famous in China for her performance alongside Tang Guoqiang in Zhang… read more