Maggie Cheung

Not to be confused with Maggie Cheung Ho-yee.
Maggie Cheung
Chinese name 張曼玉 (traditional)
Pinyin Zhāng Mànyù (Mandarin)
Jyutping Zoeng1 Maan6 Juk6 (Cantonese)
Born (1964-09-20) 20 September 1964
British Hong Kong
Occupation Actress
Years active 1984–2004, 2010
Spouse(s) Olivier Assayas (1998–2001; divorced)

Maggie Cheung Man-yuk (Chinese: 張曼玉; born 20 September 1964) is a Hong Kong actress. Raised in Britain and Hong Kong, she has over 70 films to her credit since starting her career in 1983. Some of her most commercially successful work was in the action genre, but Cheung once said in an interview that of all the work she has done, the films that really meant something to her are Song of Exile, Centre Stage, Comrades: Almost a Love Story and In the Mood for Love. As Emily Wang in Clean, her last starring role to date, she became the first Asian actress to win a prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Early life and education

Maggie Cheung was born in Hong Kong in 1964 to Shanghainese parents. She attended St. Paul's Convent School, 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, Kent, 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.

In 1983, Cheung entered the Miss Hong Kong pageant and won the first runner-up and the Miss Photogenic award as well.[1] She was a semi-finalist in the Miss World pageant the same year.[2]

Prior to 1988, Cheung's screen appearances were often limited to eye candy roles. One of Cheung's notable movie roles then is that of "May", the girlfriend of police detective "Kevin" Chan Ka Kui in Jackie Chan's Police Story series (however, she did not reprise the role in Police Story 4: First Strike or New Police Story). Maggie frequently cited her performance in the movie As Tears Go By (1988), her first of many collaborations with film director Wong Kar-wai, as the piece that truly began her serious acting career.

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


Audiences outside Asia have become increasingly familiar with Cheung's work, including Irma Vep, Centre Stage, Chinese Box, In the Mood for Love, Hero, 2046, and, (still) most recently, Clean.

Cheung was a jury member at the 1997 Berlin Film Festival,[3] the 1999 Venice Film Festival,[4] the 2004 Hawaii Int'l Film Festival, the 2007 Cannes Film Festival,[5] and the 2010 Marrakech Film Festival.[6] 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 Maggie Cheung as one of the 22 Great Performers in 2006 for her Cannes winning role as Emily in Clean.[7] 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.[8] Her most recent film appearance was as Mazu, Chinese goddess of the sea, in the film/video installation Ten Thousand Waves by British filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien.

As UK's Independent puts it, since her Cannes moment in 2004, Cheung "turned her back on film"[9] and has shifted her focus to philanthropy, making music, and editing. In April 2010, Cheung was appointed as UNICEF's Ambassador to China. In July 2011, she was awarded a doctor honoris causa at the University of Edinburgh.[10]

Personal life

Cheung had a relationship with Hong Kong film director Derek Yee in the late 1980s.[11][12]

Cheung married French director Olivier Assayas in 1998. They divorced in 2001 but their relationship remained amicable. In 2004, Cheung made her award-winning film Clean with him. As part of her portrayal of recovering drug addict and aspiring singer Emily in Clean, Cheung performed songs written by David Roback of Mazzy Star and Dean Wareham of Dean & Britta.


Year Title English
1984 青蛙王子 Prince Charming
1984 緣份 Behind the Yellow Line
1985 摩登仙履奇緣 Modern Cinderella
1985 警察故事 Police Story
1985 聖誕奇遇結良緣 It's a Drink, It's a Bomb
1986 玫瑰的故事 Lost Romance
1986 開心鬼撞鬼 Happy Ghost 3
1986 原振俠與衛斯理 The Seventh Curse
1987 天賜良緣 Sister Cupid
1987 心跳一百 Heartbeat 100
1987 精裝追女仔 The Romancing Star
1987 A計劃續集 Project A Part II
1988 應召女郎1988 Call Girl '88
1988 愛的逃兵 Love Soldier of Fortune
1988 過埠新娘 Paper Marriage
1988 雙肥臨門 Double Fattiness
1988 旺角卡門 As Tears Go By
1988 南北媽打 Mother vs. Mother
1988 月亮星星太陽 Moon, Star, Sun
1988 求愛敢死隊 How to Pick Up Girls
1988 警察故事續集 Police Story 2
1988 肥貓流浪記 The Nowhereman/Beloved Son Of God
1988 黃色故事 The Game They Call Sex
1988 流金歲月 Last Romance
1989 小小小警察 Little Cop
1989 不脫襪的人 A Fishy Story
1989 少女心 Hearts No Flowers
1989 再見王老五 The Bachelor's Swan-Song
1989 我要富貴 My Dear Son
1989 求愛夜驚魂 In Between Loves
1989 急凍奇俠 The Iceman Cometh
1989 神勇雙妹嘜 Doubles Cause Troubles
1990 人在紐約 Full Moon in New York
1990 三人新世界 Heart into Hearts
1990 客途秋恨 Song of the Exile
1990 紅場飛龍 The Dragon from Russia
1990 愛在別鄉的季節 Farewell China
1990 滾滾紅塵 Red Dust
1990 阿飛正傳 Days of Being Wild
1991 志在出位 Today's Hero
1991 豪門夜宴 The Banquet
1991 富貴吉祥 The Perfect Match
1991 黑雪 Will of Iron
1991 雙城故事 Alan & Eric - Between Hello & Goodbye
1992 阮玲玉 Centre Stage (aka Actress)
1992 兩個女人,一個靚,一個唔靚 Too Happy for Words (short film)
1992 白玫瑰 Rose
1992 家有喜事 All's Well, Ends Well
1992 真的愛妳 True Love
1992 新龍門客棧 New Dragon Gate Inn
1992 譁! 英雄 What a Hero!
1992 雙龍會 Twin Dragons
1992 警察故事3: 超級警察 Police Story 3: Supercop
1992 三人做世界 Heart Against Hearts
1992 千面天王 Millionaire Cop
1992 The Enigma of Love
1993 戰神傳說 Moon Warriors
1993 赤腳小子 The Bare-Footed Kid
1993 東方三俠 The Heroic Trio
1993 武俠七公主 Holy Weapon
1993 青蛇 Green Snake
1993 飛越謎情 Enigma of Love
1993 東成西就 The Eagle Shooting Heroes
1993 神經刀與飛天貓 Flying Dagger
1993 追男仔 Boys are Easy
1993 現代豪俠傳 Executioners
1993 廉政第一擊 First Shot
1993 濟公 Mad Monk
1994 新同居時代 In Between
1994 東邪西毒 Ashes of Time
1996 甜蜜蜜 Comrades: Almost a Love Story
1996 迷离劫/迷離劫 Irma Vep
1997 宋家皇朝/宋家三姐妹 The Soong Sisters
1997 中国匣/中國匣 Chinese Box
1999 爱在异乡的故事/愛在異鄉的故事 Augustin, King of Kung-Fu
2000 一見鍾情 Sausalito
2000 花樣年華 In the Mood for Love
2002 英雄 Hero
2004 2046 2046
2004 错过又如何/錯得多美麗 Clean
2008 東邪西毒(終極版) Ashes of Time Redux
2009 Inglourious Basterds (deleted scene)[13]
2010 全城熱戀 Hot Summer Days
2010 Better Life (short film, part of a video installation)[14]
2010 萬層浪 Ten Thousand Waves


TV Drama

TV Drama
Year Title English
1984 畫出彩虹 Rainbow Round My Shoulder
1984 新紮師兄 Police Cadet '84
1985 武林世家 The Fallen Family
1985 拆擋拍擋
1985 楊家將 The Yang's Saga

Music Video/Music TV Drama

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1984 Hong Kong Film Awards Best New Performer Behind the Yellow Line Nominated
1988 Best Actress As Tears Go By Nominated
1989 Golden Horse Award Full Moon in New York Won
1990 Hong Kong Film Awards A Fishy Story Won
Golden Horse Award Best Supporting Actress Red Dust Won
1992 Best Actress Centre Stage Won
Hong Kong Film Awards Won
42nd Berlin International Film Festival Won
Chicago International Film Festival Won
Silver Hugo Award Won
1996 Asia-Pacific Film Festival Best Actress Comrades: Almost a Love Story Won
Golden Horse Award Won
Hong Kong Film Awards Won
1998 The Soong Sisters Won
2001 In the Mood for Love Won
2003 Hero Nominated
2004 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Nominated
Best Actress Clean Won
César Awards Nominated
2005 Festival des Films du Mond Exceptional Contribution to Cinematographic Art Won
2007 10th Shanghai International Film Festival Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Cinema Won

See also


  1. "Miss Hong Kong 1983". Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  2. - Miss World Previous Title Holders - 1983
  3. "Annual Archives - Juries". Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  4. "Venice Film Festival (1999)". IMDb. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  5. "Juries 2007". Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  6. "Jury 2010". Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  7. Hirschberg, Lynn (11 February 2007). "Great Performers". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  8. 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.
  9. Bob Flynn (10 April 2007). "Maggie Cheung: Why the Asian star is turning her back on film". The Independent. Archived from the original on 19 January 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  10. "Honorary degree for Maggie Cheung". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  12. "尔冬升谈旧情人张曼玉:她为了躲我才离开香港-娱乐-人民网". Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  13. "Maggie Cheung Okays with 'Basterds' Cut". China Daily. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  14. Gritten, David (6 October 2010). "Maggie Cheung returns in Ten Thousand Waves". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  15. "Maggie Cheung". Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  16. "Maggie Cheung". Retrieved 8 April 2010.

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