Gong Li (born 31 December 1965) is a Singaporean-Chinese actress.
She first came to international prominence through her close collaborations with Chinese director Zhang Yimou and won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at Venice for her performance in his 1992 film The Story of Qiu Ju.
She was heavily criticised, however, for ending Zhang's marriage with a subsequent affair.
Though Zhang Yimou (张艺谋) and Gong Li’s (巩俐) partnership in the last three decades resulted in many memorable films, their affair in the 1990s spurred controversy.
He brought her to the set of 1997’s , where she developed an interest in filmmaking.
Zhang sent her to study film in the United States, where she earned a prestigious degree at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York.
She is credited with helping to bring Chinese cinema to Europe and the United States.
In 2008, she became a naturalized citizen of Singapore.
Zhang Yimou’s Daughter’s Forgivesness Zhang Mo has said that Zhang and Gong’s affair had ruined her childhood.
When Zhang Mo was only 7 years old, her parents divorced and she rarely saw her father in her childhood.
Gong won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for Farewell My Concubine (1993) and the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).
She has also twice been awarded the Golden Rooster and the Hundred Flowers Awards, as well as the Berlinale Camera, and the Cannes Festival Trophy.
Zhang and his daughter Zhang Mo (张末) often had long phone conversations.