Gong Li (born December 31, 1965) is a Chinese film actress. She first came into international prominence through close collaboration with Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Gong Li is generally considered as one of the best actresses in China.
Gong was born in Shenyang, Liaoning, China, the fifth child in her family. Her father was a professor of economics and her mother, who was 40 when Gong was born, was a teacher. Gong grew up in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be an actress, and at school she excelled at singing and dancing almost to the exclusion of other subjects. In spite of failing her college exam twice, she was eventually accepted to the Beijing Central College of Drama in 1985 and graduated in 1989. She was still a student there when Zhang Yimou chose her in 1987 for the lead role in his first film as a director, Red Sorghum, which won 7 awards at the Golden Roosters, China’s equivalent of the American Academy Awards… read more