Photo of Ziyi Zhang Ziyi Zhang

Born Feb. 9, 1979, in Beijing, Ziyi Zhang studied dance from an early age -- a talent she put to use brilliantly in the choreographed fight scenes of movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and House of Flying Daggers (2004).

While attending Beijing's Central Drama Academy, Zhang landed a role on a shampoo commercial, and before she knew it, the ad's director -- acclaimed filmmaker Yimou Zhang -- cast her as the young lead in The Road Home (2000). After the huge success of Crouching Tiger (which came out just a few months later), Zhang made her American cinematic debut opposite Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in Rush Hour 2.

Zhang's star has continued to rise ever since as she delivered intense and luminous performances in action spectaculars such as Hero (2002) and romantic dramas such as 2005's Memoirs of a Geisha, which netted her a Golden Globe nomination.

Ziyi Zhang in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

2000 PG-13

Ang Lee's articulate direction and Woo-Ping Yuen's balletic martial arts choreography elevate this story about a young woman in ancient China who longs for an adventurous life rather than a dull arranged marriage.

  • Ziyi Zhang in House of Flying Daggers House of Flying Daggers
  • Ziyi Zhang in Rush Hour 2 Rush Hour 2
  • Ziyi Zhang in The Grandmaster The Grandmaster
  • Ziyi Zhang in Zu Warriors Zu Warriors
  • Ziyi Zhang in Memoirs of a Geisha Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Ziyi Zhang in Legend of the Black Scorpion Legend of the Black Scorpion
  • Ziyi Zhang in Hero Hero
  • Ziyi Zhang in 2046 2046
  • Ziyi Zhang in The Horsemen The Horsemen
  • Ziyi Zhang in The Road Home The Road Home
  • Ziyi Zhang in The Warrior The Warrior
  • Ziyi Zhang in Purple Butterfly Purple Butterfly
  • Ziyi Zhang in Princess Raccoon Princess Raccoon
  • Ziyi Zhang in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Ziyi Zhang in Dangerous Liaisons Dangerous Liaisons