MICHELLE YEOH Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » michelle yeoh


Name: Yeoh Choo-Kheng                                                                 
Born: 6 August 1962 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia                                             
Dato' Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng (born August 6, 1962)                                 
is a Chinese Malaysian actress and dancer, well known for                             
performing her own stunts in the action films that brought her to fame in the         
early 1990s.                                                                         
Born in Ipoh, Malaysia, she is based in Hong Kong and was chosen by People           
magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.                 
She is credited as Michelle Khan in some of her earlier films.                       
Michelle Yeoh was born to an ethnic Chinese family in Ipoh, Malaysia on August 6,     
1962. She was very sporty when she was young and had a passion for dance. She         
started to study ballet at the age of four years old. At the age 15, her parents     
accompanied her to England and enrolled her at a boarding school there. Later         
Yeoh entered London Royal Academy of Dance, majoring in Ballet. But a spinal         
injury ended her dream of being a prima ballerina, and she consequently had to       
switch her focus away from dance to choreography and other arts. She later           
received a B.A. degree in Creative Arts with a minor in Drama.                       
It was at the age of 21 when Yeoh became the winner of the Miss Malaysia beauty       
pageant in 1983. She was also Malaysia's representative at the 1983 Miss World       
pageant in London. From there, she appeared in a television commercial with           
Jackie Chan which caught the attention of a fledgling film production company         
called D&B Films.                                                                     
Yeoh's career in Hong Kong started with a few commercials for Charles Jourdan,       
opposite action movie heroes Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-Fat before being offered a     
film contract. The Charles Jourdan brand was handled by D&B Group in Hong Kong,       
run by Yeoh's future husband, Dickson Poon. In 1988, she retired from acting         
after marrying Poon. Three years later, the couple divorced, and Yeoh returned       
to acting in 1992. Her first movie after the comeback was Police Story 3, which       
was partly shot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.                                           
Yeoh started her film career acting in action and martial arts movies such as         
The Heroic Trio in 1993, and the Yuen Woo-ping films Tai Chi Master and Wing         
Chun in 1994. Yeoh has had no formal martial arts training and she relies on her     
dance training and instructors, and does many of her own stunts.                     
Yeoh learned English and Malay before Cantonese, and cannot read Chinese             
characters. As she does not speak Mandarin, she learned the lines for Crouching       
Tiger, Hidden Dragon phonetically.                                                   
Like many other Hong Kong stars, Yeoh has attempted to break into Hollywood. She     
starred in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies as Wai Lin (1997).Natasha         
Henstridge was rumoured as cast in the lead Bond Girl role but eventually Yeoh       
was confirmed. Brosnan was impressed, describing her as a "wonderful actress"         
who was "serious and committed about her work". She wanted to perform her own         
stunts but was prevented because director Spottiswoode ruled it too dangerous         
and uninsured. Thereafter, she was offered the role of Seraph in the two             
sequels to The Matrix, and she could not accept due to a scheduling conflict (the     
Matrix writers then changed Seraph into a male character and cast Collin Chou in     
the role). In 2002, she produced her first English movie, The Touch through her       
own production company, Mythical Films.                                               
In 2005, Yeoh starred as the graceful Mameha in the film adaptation of Memoirs       
of a Geisha, and she continued her English-language work in 2007 with Sunshine.