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Facts about Bai Ling
Biography for Bai LingBai Ling (traditional Chinese: 白靈; simplified Chinese: 白灵; pinyin: Bái Líng; born Oct. 10, 1966 (47 years ago)) is a Chinese-born American actress.
Early yearsBai was born in Chengdu, People's Republic of China; "Bai", her family name, literally means "white". Ling, a common Chinese given name, means clever. Her father, Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥), was a musician in the People's Liberation Army, and later a music teacher. Her mother, Chen Binbin (陈彬彬), was a dancer, stage actress, and a literature teacher in Sichuan University; Bai's maternal grandfather was a military officer of the Kuomintang army, and thus was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. In the early 1980s, Bai Ling's parents divorced, and later remarried. Her mother remarried to the writer Xu Chi (徐迟), renowned for his report titled Goldbach's Conjecture, about Chinese mathematician Chen Jingrun. Bai Ling has one older sister Bai Jie (白洁), who works for the Chinese tax bureau, and a younger brother Bai Chen (白陈), who emigrated to Japan and works for an American company.
Bai has described herself as a very shy child who found that she best expressed herself through acting and performing. She has 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 her elementary school shows. After her graduation from 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 entertaining in the musical theater. She also served shortly as an Army nurse. Three years later, she was discharged from the army.
Subsequently, Bai spent some time in a mental hospital. Though she insisted then and now, "I'm not crazy," she maintains to this day that she is from the moon, where her grandmother lives, "I'm not really in reality. I'm in my own universe and my mind is a million miles somewhere else," she claims, further explaining, "Why I feel like I come from the moon is because my mother told me I was found somewhere." She believes that when she looks up at the moon, she can often spot her grandmother there, still living in her childhood home.
Soon after her release from the hospital, Bai joined People's Art Theater of Chengdu, and became a professional actress. Her performance as a young man in the stage play Yueqin and Little Tiger drew the attention of movie director Teng Wenji (滕文骥), which gained her her first movie role in On The Beach (1985, 28 years ago), as a village girl who becomes a factory worker and struggles against her father's will for her to marry her cousin.
In later years, she appeared in several movies. She temporarily moved to New York in 1991 (22 years ago) to attend New York University's movie 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 (14 years ago).
CareerBai had previously appeared in several Chinese movies. In 1984 (29 years ago), Bai 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 an 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 International movie Festival in 1989 (24 years ago) 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 (22 years ago), she has appeared in a number of American movies.
She began in The Crow (1994, 19 years ago), playing the half-sister/lover of the main villain, Top Dollar. Hu guang was her most celebrated role in the Chinese movie industry, and Red Corner (1997, 16 years ago) would be considered her break-out role in English film. She was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 1998 (15 years ago). She appeared in Chris Isaak's music video "Please" in 1998 (15 years ago). She shaved off her hair, which had exceeded a length of 36 in (90 cm) for her role in Anna and the King, and is widely known in Thailand as "Tuptim", her character's name from the film, even though the movie is officially banned because of its depiction of the King of Siam. She filmed scenes for Star Wars: Episode III (2005, 8 years ago) as Senator Bana Breemu, but her role was cut during editing. She claimed that this was because of her posing nude for the Jun. 2005 (8 years ago) issue of Playboy magazine, whose appearance on newsstands coincided with the movie's May 2005 (8 years ago) 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 (Digital Versatile Disc) release.
Later in 2005 (8 years ago) Bai 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 risqué 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".
She has most recently appeared in the show Lost as part of Jack's flashbacks. Her character, Achara, has predictive powers, and is the artist of Jack's tattoo reading "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us." Achara attests to predicting Jack's leadership role on the island.
Personal lifeShe is friends with Kimberly Stewart. She dated a play actor in the mid-1980s in China, and music composer Qu Xiao-Song in the mid 1990s, and Chris Isaak 1999-2001. She was briefly said to be romantically linked to Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. Rumors spread that Bai was engaged to him, but Carter denied the rumors, saying they were "just friends". More recently, Ling was linked with Dionne Warwick's son, Damon Elliott, though the two are not currently dating.
On Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008 (5 years ago) Bai Ling was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for shoplifting two magazines and a package of batteries. It was an "emotionally crazy" day, Ling explained to E! News. She was coping with the "huge problem of breaking up [before] Valentine's Day...wrong boyfriend." She also wrote on her blog after the incident: "Life happens to you either you liked it or not, sometimes I feel you have to be so brave to stand in front of the World, and just hope that people will have a tender heart toward you." On Mar. 5, 2008 (5 years ago) she pled guilty to the charge of disturbing the peace. She was then fined US$200 (US$700 when totaling the fine and penalties) for the action at the airport.
Throughout her career, Bai Ling has been known for her unorthodox and revealing fashion choices. The attention she garners from her outfits is varied, but often negative. Her seemingly bizarre taste in fashion was first showcased on the 2005 (8 years ago) Vh1 show But Can They Sing? On her blog, she posts her own pictures (wallpaper) of her various outfits, though she rarely mentions her clothes in the content of her entries. In a 2007 (6 years ago) interview, she revealed that she was initially ignorant of fashion and designers, but learned more as she rose to fame. In the same interview, she put her style into her own words: “… I'm free, I like to live the life I want to. I'm not caught up on anything. I dress in anything mixed together and I think in 2006 (7 years ago) we're all young and everything is free, people should dress how they want to and not get caught up this designer or that designer. I see on the red carpet there's Armani and Dolce & Gabanna but where are you? You disappeared. They're great and I can wear them but I'm young, I want to have fun so I love to dress in a short skirt, it's a part of my personality. I just need to match and put things together. It's fun... being an individual and I don't have to get caught up in any of it. I think all this is extra to me and I don't need it. I think it's a gift from others.” In an earlier interview, she states that “clothing is just a decoration… society has rules and morals but I think most of the time, it comes from a dirty mind.” She does not consider herself a style icon.
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