Her name meaning "White Spirit," beautiful actress Bai Ling (1970-) was born on this day in the Szechwan province of China. At age 14, she was a part of the Red Army who entertained troops in Tibet. She then became a popular stage and screen star in her country.
She said of her profession: "I had heard about how people struggle and how hard it is to get into acting. But I did not care because it's something I love."
Moving to New York in 1991, she starred in The Crow (1994), then earned praise with her role in Red Corner (1997), the controverial condemnation of Chinese legal corruption.
Her costar Richard Gere described Ling as "somewhere between Audrey Hepburn and Julia Roberts. It's not just her beauty that makes her special. It's her inner strength and her ability to mesmerize a camera."
Anna and the King (1999) and Wild Wild West followed. "I am very, very lucky to have these opportunities," she said.
With roles as the wicked Mysterious Woman in Sky Captain (2004) and the senator of Coruscant in Star Wars: Episode III (2005), Ling has blasted off to international fame.
"I don't like to think about the future-- the future belongs to the future," she said. "That way, you appreciate more. You live every day. In life, every step is important. It is a journey."
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