Maggie Cheung
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Maggie Cheung
Maggie Cheung
Maggie Cheung cropped.jpg
Maggie Cheung in 2007.
Native name
Cheung Man-yuk

(1964-09-20) 20 September 1964 (age 55)
ResidenceHong Kong
Alma materSt. Paul's Convent School
St Edmund's School, Canterbury
University of Edinburgh
Years active1984-2004
Olivier Assayas
(m. 1998; div. 2001)
Ole Scheeren (2007-2011)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Maggie Cheung Man-yuk (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Zh?ng Mànyù; Jyutping: Zoeng1 Maan6 Juk2; born 20 September 1964) is an Hong Kong-born British actress. Raised in Hong Kong and England, she started her career after placing second in 1983's Miss Hong Kong Pageant. She achieved critical success in the late 80s and into the early 2000s, before taking a break from acting since her last starring role in 2004. In recent years, she rarely makes public appearances except for fashion events and award ceremonies.

Cheung has won numerous accolades at home and abroad for her acting. She has won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress 5 times in the span of 11 years from 1990 to 2001, and holds the record for most wins in that category. She also holds the record for most wins for the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress in Taiwan, having won 4 times. In the West, she has been awarded the Silver Bear for Best Actress at Berlin International Film Festival in 1992 and Best Actress at Cannes Film Festival in 2004. In 2004, she became the first Asian actress to be nominated for the French César Award for Best Actress.

Her most acclaimed performances include As Tears Go By, Center Stage, Comrades: Almost a Love Story, The Soong Sisters, In the Mood for Love, and Clean. Her cheongsam-wearing character in 2000's In The Mood for Love, opposite male lead Tony Leung and under the direction of Wong Kar-wai, is a classic in both the film and fashion worlds.

Early life and education

Maggie Cheung was born in Hong Kong in 20 September 1964 to Shanghainese parents. She attended St. Paul's Primary Catholic School in Happy Valley, where she began at the primary one level. Her family emigrated from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom when she was eight. She spent part of her childhood and adolescence in Bromley, London, England. She returned to Hong Kong at the age of 18 in 1982 for a vacation but ended up staying for modeling assignments and other commitments. She also shortly obtained a sales job at Lane Crawford department store.[1]

In 1983, Cheung entered the Miss Hong Kong pageant and won the first runner-up and the Miss Photogenic award as well.[2] She was a semi-finalist in the Miss World pageant the same year.[3] After two years as a TV presenter, it led to a contract with TVB (the television arm of the Shaw Bros. Studio).[1]

Cheung is a polyglot as a result of her upbringing in Hong Kong and England and ten years' stay in Paris. In Center Stage, Cheung performed in Cantonese, Mandarin, and Shanghainese fluently, switching languages with ease. In Clean, she performed in fluent English, French, and Cantonese.


Soon after her debut, Cheung broke into the film industry, starring in comedies. She caught the attention of Jackie Chan, who cast her in Police Story (1985) as May, his long-suffering girlfriend. The film was a huge hit and made Cheung a star overnight.[4][5] TVB had also cast Barbara Yung and Kent Tong in a period drama, Kings of Ideas (?) but due to the death of Barbara Yung, the role was assigned to Cheung.

Despite her success, Cheung found herself typecast in the roles of comics or weak, clumsy women. Realizing this, Cheung wanted to break away by seeking more dramatic roles. She got this opportunity when Wong Kar-wai cast her in As Tears Go By (1988), her first of many collaborations with Wong.[4][5] Cheung often cites the film as the piece that truly began her serious acting career, and she won critical praise for it. In 1989, she won Best Actress awards at the Golden Horse Award and Hong Kong Film Award for her work in Full Moon in New York and A Fishy Story respectively.[5] In 1991, she became the first Chinese performer to win a Best Actress Award at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival for her work in Center Stage.[6]

Cheung subsequently proved her versatility with roles in action films. Her performance in the sci-fi martial arts smash hit The Heroic Trio (1992) and its sequel, Executioners (1993), impressed both critics and audiences with her martial arts skills.[4] Also in a departure from her usual roles, Cheung played a beautiful and vicious femme fatale in New Dragon Gate Inn (1992).[5]

After taking a break in 1994, Cheung returned to film Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep (1996), which helped her break into the international scene.[4] That same year, she won further acclaim for her work in the romantic film Comrades: Almost a Love Story, in which she played one of a pair of lovers kept apart for ten years by fate and circumstance. The following year, she made her first English-language film in Wayne Wang's Chinese Box (1997). Cast as a mysterious young woman named Jean, Cheung held her own against the more internationally well-established Irons and Gong.[5]

After her 1998 marriage with Olivier Assayas, Cheung stayed mainly in France. She returned to Hong Kong to film In the Mood for Love (2000), which won critical acclaim and a second Taiwanese Golden Horse award for Cheung.[1][4] Thereafter, she starred in Zhang Yimou's Hero (2002) and Wong's 2046 (2004).[4] She won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role as a mother who tries to kick her drug habit and reconcile with her long-lost son in Clean (2004).[7]

Cheung was a jury member at the 1997 Berlin Film Festival,[8] the 1999 Venice Film Festival, the 2004 Hawaii International Film Festival, the 2007 Cannes Film Festival,[9] and the 2010 Marrakech International Film Festival.[10] And for the first time in its history, the 59th Cannes Film Festival (2006) used a photographic image of a real actress on its poster — that of Cheung.

On 7 February 2007, The New York Times rated Cheung as one of the 22 Great Performers in 2006 for her Cannes winning role as Emily in Clean.[11] After 25 years of making movies, she decided to retire from acting to pursue a career as a film composer. She had mentioned she would like to compose music and paint after having fulfilled her acting potential.[12] Her most recent film appearance was as Mazu, Chinese goddess of the sea, in the film Ten Thousand Waves (2010) by British filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien.[13]

As UK's Independent puts it, since her Cannes moment in 2004, Cheung "turned her back on film"[12] and has shifted her focus to philanthropy, making music, and editing. In April 2010, Cheung was appointed as UNICEF's Ambassador to China.[14] In July 2011, she was awarded a doctor honoris causa at the University of Edinburgh.[15]

Cheung has provided celebrity endorsement for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.[16]

Personal life

Cheung married French director Olivier Assayas in 1998; they divorced in 2001.[17] She began a relationship with German architect Ole Scheeren in 2007,[18] but the relationship ended in 2011.[19]

Cheung has been rumoured to have been romantically involved with In the Mood for Love co-star Tony Leung, who is married to fellow actor Carina Lau. Lau quashed rumours of a feud by uploading a photo of her running into Cheung at an airport in 2013.[20]


Year Chinese Title English title Notes
1984 ? Prince Charming
Behind the Yellow Line
1985 Girl with the Diamond Slipper
? Police Story
? It's a Drink, It's a Bomb
1986 Lost Romance
Happy Ghost 3
? The Seventh Curse
1987 ? Seven Years Itch Cameo
? Sister Cupid
? Heartbeat 100
The Romancing Star
A? Project A Part II
You Are My Destiny Cameo
1988 ?1988 Call Girl '88
? Love Soldier of Fortune
? Paper Marriage
? Double Fattiness
? As Tears Go By
? Mother vs. Mother
Moon, Star, Sun
How to Pick Girls Up!
Police Story 2
Beloved Son Of God
? The Game They Call Sex
? Last Romance
1989 Little Cop
A Fishy Story
Hearts No Flowers
The Bachelor's Swan-Song
? My Dear Son
In Between Loves
? The Iceman Cometh
Doubles Cause Troubles
1990 ? Full Moon in New York
Heart into Hearts
? Song of the Exile
? The Dragon from Russia
? Farewell China
? Red Dust
? Days of Being Wild
1991 ? Today's Hero
? The Banquet
? The Perfect Match
Will of Iron
? Alan & Eric - Between Hello & Goodbye
Center Stage aka Actress
1992 ?,,? Too Happy for Words Short film
? All's Well, Ends Well
? True Love
New Dragon Gate Inn
?! What a Hero!
Twin Dragons
?3 Police Story 3: Supercop
Heart Against Hearts Cameo
? Moon Warriors
1993 ? Millionaire Cop
? The Bare-Footed Kid
? The Heroic Trio
Holy Weapon
Green Snake
? Enigma of Love
? The Eagle Shooting Heroes
? Flying Dagger
Boys are Easy
First Shot
Mad Monk
1994 In Between
? Ashes of Time
1996 Comrades: Almost a Love Story
/ Irma Vep
1997 ? The Soong Sisters
Chinese Box
1999 ? Augustin, King of Kung-Fu
2000 ? Sausalito
? In the Mood for Love
2002 Hero
2004 2046 2046
2008 ?() Ashes of Time Redux
2009 ? Inglourious Basterds deleted scene[21]
2010 ? Hot Summer Days Cameo
Better Life Short film[22]
Ten Thousand Waves


Year Original Title English title
1984 ? Rainbow Round My Shoulder
? Police Cadet '84
1985 ? The Fallen Family
? Zhe Dang Pai Dang
The Yang's Saga
? Kings of Ideas


Year Award Category Nominated work
1989 Golden Horse Award Best Actress Full Moon in New York
1990 Best Supporting Actress Red Dust
Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress A Fishy Story
Torino International Festival of Young Cinema Jury Special Prize Farewell China
1991 Golden Horse Award Best Actress Center Stage
1992 Berlin International Film Festival
Chicago International Film Festival
1993 Hong Kong Film Awards
1996 Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards Comrades: Almost a Love Story
1997 Hong Kong Film Awards
Asia-Pacific Film Festival
Golden Bauhinia Awards
Golden Horse Award
Hong Kong Film Awards The Soong Sisters
2000 Golden Horse Award In the Mood for Love
2001 Asian Film Critics Association Awards
Chinese Film Media Awards
Durban International Film Festival
Hong Kong Film Awards
SESC Film Festival Best Foreign Actress
2003 Chinese Film Media Awards Most Popular Actress Hero
2004 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Clean
Hawaii International Film Festival Award for Achievement in Acting N/A
2005 Montréal World Film Festival Exceptional Contribution to Cinematographic Art N/A
Asian American International Film Festival Acting Achievement Award N/A
2007 Shanghai International Film Festival Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Cinema N/A


Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1985 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress As Tears Go By Nominated
1990 Farewell China Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Red Dust Nominated
1992 Best Actress New Dragon Gate Inn Nominated
2002 Hero Nominated
1992 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards Best Leading Actress New Dragon Gate Inn Nominated
1998 Golden Bauhinia Awards Best Actress The Soong Sisters Nominated
2000 In the Mood for Love Nominated
2002 Hero Nominated
2005 César Awards Best Actress(Meilleure actrice) Clean Nominated
2002 Chlotrudis Awards Best Actress In the Mood for Love Nominated
2007 Best Actress Clean Nominated

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Maggie Cheung: The Lady Is A Vamp". The Independent.
  2. ^ "Miss Hong Kong 1983". Retrieved 2010.
  3. ^ "Miss World Previous Title Holders - 1983".[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Hong Kong Actress Maggie Cheung".
  5. ^ a b c d e "Maggie Cheung: A Multi Award-Winning Actress from Hong Kong". Women of China.
  6. ^ "'Grand Canyon' Wins The First Prize At Berlin Festival". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Maggie Cheung Snatches Best Actress Award at Cannes". Sina.
  8. ^ "Annual Archives - Juries". Retrieved 2010.
  9. ^ "Juries 2007". Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "Jury 2010". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (11 February 2007). "Great Performers". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ a b Flynn, Bob (10 April 2007). "Maggie Cheung : Why the Asian Star is turning her back on film". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008.
  13. ^ Gritten, David (6 October 2010). "Maggie Cheung returns in Ten Thousand Waves". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ "Maggie Cheung appointed UNICEF Ambassador in China". Unicef.
  15. ^ "Honorary degree for Maggie Cheung". Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ Wolfgang Schaefer and JP Kuehlwein, Rethinking Prestige Branding, Kogan Page, 2015, p92.
  17. ^ "Maggie Cheung talks about her divorce". China Daily.
  18. ^ "Maggie Cheung Makes Beijing New Home in Name of Love - All China Women's Federation". Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ "Maggie Cheung dumped for younger girl". Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ " ? ?13". ?. 25 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Maggie Cheung Okays with 'Basterds' Cut". China Daily. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  22. ^ "Maggie Cheung waits to age before return to films". The Washiongton Times.
  23. ^ "Maggie Cheung". Retrieved 2010.
  24. ^ "Maggie Cheung". Retrieved 2010.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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