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Famous Like Me > Actress > Y > Michelle Yeoh

Profile of Michelle Yeoh on Famous Like Me

Name: Michelle Yeoh  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 6th August 1962
Place of Birth: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Profession: Actress
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Michelle YeohJanuary 29, 2004

Dato' Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng (Chinese: 楊紫瓊; pinyin: Yáng Zǐqióng; born August 6, 1962) is a Hong Kong-based actress and dancer, sometimes billed as "Michelle Khan". Yeoh is a Malaysian Chinese born in Ipoh, Malaysia. Yeoh was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.


Yeoh began ballet dancing at the age of four. Inspired by the movie, Fame (1980), she enrolled in England's Royal Academy of Dance, where she eventually earned a Bachelor of Art degree in dancing. She also excelled in athletic events. During her teenage years, Yeoh enjoyed playing squash and was also a national competitor in swimming and diving. Yeoh was quite ambitious and was determined to gain a master's in dancing. While she was living in England, Yeoh explored contemporary, jazz and ballet dancing. Michelle's dream of being a prima ballerina was abruptly cut short by a spinal injury which she suffered during a ballet practicing session at her college years. The doctor she consulted announced that a rotated disk in her spine would not be able to stand the daily intensive ballet workout. Michelle consequently had to switch her focus away from dance to choreography and other arts. Sadly, Michelle never did get a chance to perform ballet professionally on stage. Instead, she alternately set her sights on running her own school to teach ballet.

Beginning of career

In 1983, Yeoh returned to her home country, Malaysia. It was at the age of 21 when Yeoh became the winner of the Miss Malaysia beauty pageant in 1983. 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 in modeling, where she appeared in a series of commercials for Pierre Cardin, opposite action movie heroes Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-Fat. The Pierre Cardin brand was handled by D&B Group in Hong Kong, and this is how Yeoh met her future husband, Dickson Poon. In 1988, she retired after marrying prominent Hong Kong tycoon, Dickson Poon of D&B Films. 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.

Ascension to fame

Despite having no formal martial arts training, Yeoh is best known for her roles in action and martial arts movies (notably The Heroic Trio in 1993, Tai-Chi Master and Wing Chun in 1994). She relies on her dance training and instructors, and does many of her own stunts. She is one of the few women Jackie Chan allows to do her own stunts in his movies; they first worked together on a commercial in 1984.

Yeoh learned English and Malay before Chinese (Cantonese dialect), and still cannot read Chinese. In some of her early films, she recited her dialogue by rote.

Michelle Yeoh (clock-wise right) in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Like many other Hong Kong stars, Yeoh has attempted to break into Hollywood. Despite starring in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and the popular Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which also starred Zhang Ziyi, she has not won a mainstream audience in the English-speaking world. She could have gained that audience had she accepted the role of Seraph in the two Matrix sequels, but due to a scheduling conflict she was unable to accept them, so the Matrix writers changed Seraph into a male character and cast Colin Chou in the role. In 2002, she produced her first English movie, The Touch through her own production company, Mythical Films.


In December 2004, Ferrari Formula One team principal Jean Todt announced his engagement to Yeoh at a news conference. "I proposed to her and we are now engaged," said the 58 year old Todt. However, a day later, Yeoh denied the engagement. During a phone interview with Chinese-language newspaper Oriental Daily News, Yeoh was asked about the engagement and she exclaimed, "What? How did that come about? I did not know about it?" When asked whether Todt had asked her to marry him, she said, "No, I have a lot of responsibilities and I've got a lot of work and projects to do. I think I'll get them done first." The marriage rumors began circulating when Yeoh brought Todt home to visit with her family in December 2004. "This is the first time I have brought Todt to see my parents. Everybody seems to like him and he has been accepted by family members, but we have not talked about marriage just yet," she said. When questioned about the beautiful blue diamond ring that she was wearing, she said it was not an engagement ring but just a present from Todt. Yeoh stated that she was happy with the relationship as it was and that she would "inform everyone if she got married in the future." Todt and Yeoh met in June 2004 in a promotional event organized by Ferrari in Shanghai, China. They were introduced by Yeoh's former beau of four years, Hong Kong movie producer, Thomas Chung.


In 2001, Yeoh was given the title of dato' by the Sultan of Perak, her home state. Dato' is an honorary Malaysian title somewhat like an English knighthood, and it lies below the ranks of Dato' Seri, Tan Sri and Tun.


  • Untitled Sunshine Project (2006)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
  • Silverhawk (2004)
  • The Touch (2002)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  • Moonlight Express (1999)
  • Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
  • The Soong Sisters (1997)
  • The Stunt Woman (1996)
  • Wonder Seven (1994)
  • Shaolin Popey 2 - Messy Temple (1994)
  • Tai-Chi Master (1994)
  • Wing Chun (1994)
  • Once a Cop (1993)
  • Holy Weapon (1993)
  • Executioners (1993)
  • Butterfly and Sword (1993)
  • The Heroic Trio (1993)
  • Supercop - Police Story III (1992)
  • Easy Money (1987
  • Magnificent Warriors (1987)
  • In the Line of Duty (1986)
  • My Lucky Stars 2 - Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985)
  • Yes, Madam (1985)
  • The Owl and Bumbo (1984)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Michelle Yeoh