Gong Li (Chinese: 巩俐) is a Chinese actress. She starred in three of the four Chinese-language films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film. Gong was born in Shenyang, Liaoning, and grew up in Jinan, Shandong. She enrolled at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, from where she graduated in 1989. While a student at the Academy, she was spotted by director Zhang Yimou and debuted in Zhang's Red Sorghum in 1987. Gong and Zhang's professional and personal relationship received much media attention in the Chinese-speaking world, as they continued to collaborate on a string of critically acclaimed movies, including the Oscar-nominated features Ju Dou (1990) and Raise the Red Lantern (1991). For her role in the Zhang-directed The Story of Qiu Ju (1992), Gong won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. Gong also starred in the Chen Kaige-directed Oscar-nominated Farewell My Concubine (1993), for which she won Best Supporting Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. In English-language films, she won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for her Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), directed by Rob Marshall. Other notable appearances include Flirting Scholar (1993), To Live (1994), Chinese Box (1997), The Emperor and the Assassin (1998), Breaking the Silence (2000), Zhou Yu's Train (2003), 2046 (2004), Miami Vice (2006), Curse of the Golden Flower (2006), and Coming Home (2014). Gong was head of jury at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival and the 2002 Venice Film Festival, the first Asian person to hold such position at both events. Throughout her career, Gong has won three Hundred Flowers Awards, two Golden Rooster Awards, a Hong Kong Film Award, and honorary awards at the Berlin and Cannes film festivals. She was appointed a Commander (Commandeur) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France in 2010.
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