Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015: Y is for Michelle Yeoh!

Michelle Yeoh was born in 1963 in Ipoh, Malaysia. As a young girl she studied ballet and seemed to be headed for a career in dance, but a spinal injury ended her dance career. She continued to study choreography.

In 1983, she won the Miss Malaysia beauty pageant, then went on to represent Malaysia at the Queen of the Pacific 1983 beauty pageant which she also won. This moved her on to the 1983 Miss World pageant, which she did not win.

She next appeared in a television commercial with Jackie Chan - foreshadowing events to come - and this brought her to the attention of a fledgling Hong Kong film production company, D-and-B Films - who cast her in the Sammo Hung directed Owl vs Bobbo (1984), and followed it with roles for Yeoh in Yes, Madam (1985); Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985) ; In the Line of Duty (1986); Magnificent Warriors (1987); and Easy Money (1987). After these films - in which D-and-B Films had Yeo credited as Michelle Khan - Yeoh married D-and-B honcho Dickson Poon and retired from acting.

Here she is in the trailer for Magnificent Warriors - check out her moves!

When Yeoh and Poon divorced in 1992, Yeoh returned to acting. She teamed with Jackie Chan in 1992 for the incredibly popular Police Story 3: Super Cop (released here as Supercop in 1996) - with both doing an amazing amount of stunt work for the film - and followed it with 6 (!) movies in 1993, then continued making two or three movies a year through the 1990's. Yeoh also ditched the Khan name and moved back to her own moniker.

Here's some of her fights and action from Supercop:

She first came on to my radar in a big way when she was hired as the Bond girl for Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997. I thought she was marvelous as Wai Lin - a Chinese secret agent initially reluctant to team up with Pierce Brosnan's James Bond - and the movie is my favorite of Brosnan's four 007 outings.

Here's the trailer for Tomorrow Never Dies - with some choice Yeoh moments along the way...

Her second film after TND propelled Michelle Yeoh much higher in her fame - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. While not anything particularly special in terms of Hong Kong action cinema - it really caught on with audiences worldwide - earning massive amounts of money and several nominations and awards, including a BAFTA for Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh!

Michelle Yeoh has continued to act in the 21st century, though more in dramas and fewer action films - but who knows what else she might get up to before age slows her down completely? Definitely check out some of her 80's and 90's movies - action junkies will find a very satisfying fix in Michelle Yeoh!

Until next post - the last for this A-Z Challenge - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. she is a hot lady, keeps getting more beautiful... thank you!

  2. Thanks for adding her to my radar. I do remember Crouching Tiger when it came out, but will have to look for her in TMD.
    Maui Jungalow

  3. I remember her in the Bond flick and Crouching Tiger. It's obvious her dancing talent gave her the grace and strength to handle these physically demanding roles. She's also quite stunning!

    1. She is all of that for sure - and as often is the case - a background in dance serves the subject in other ways even when the dance itself is no longer in their life.

  4. I've seen her in a few films. The lady's got talent.

    Join us on May 4 with your post of Reflections about this year's A to Z.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

  5. Hard to believe this beautiful lady is now in her 50's; I first saw her in Police Story 3, back in the mid 90's, and she was great. Was nice to see her transition over so perfectly to American cinema, and I enjoyed her in both Tomorrow Never Dies and CTHD. My wife is a huge fan of Memoirs of a Geisha, so I've seen her in that plenty of times too; she really is a great actress. I see there is a CTHD part 2 on the way... so her action days may not yet be behind her...

    1. She is still incredibly beautiful - there's been talk of that CTHD 2 for a while now - thinking it might be dying a slow death in development hell.

  6. She is so great!

    Congratulations on completing the A to Z blogging challenge (you are almost there)!
    Don’t forget about the A to Z Reflections post coming up in May.

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires