- Birth name Chén Chōng is translated as "charge on."
- Her parents, both physicians, were sent to re-education camps during China's Cultural Revolution.
- Was a teen film star in China after being discovered by Jiang Qing, the wife of Chairman Mao Zedong, who sent her to study acting at the Shanghai Film Studio.
- Moved to the U.S. at age 20, and was discovered (in the parking lot of Lorimar studios) by producer Dino Di Laurentiis, who cast her in the 1986 adventure Tai-Pan.
- Breakout role was as the drug-addicted Chinese empress in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1986 epic The Last Emperor.
- Biggest TV role was mill owner Josie Packard in Twin Peaks; had guest roles in a number of series in the '80s and '90s, including MacGyver, Miami Vice, Night Stalker and Homicide: Life in the Streets.
- Her directorial debut, Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl (1999), an acclaimed drama critical of the cultural revolution, was banned in China.
- 2007, Australian Film Institute Awards — Best Lead Actress: Winner
- 2000, Independent Spirit Awards — Best First Feature over $500,000: Nominee
- Peter Hui — Husband
- Angela Frances Hui — Daughter
- Chase Chen — Brother
- Chen Xing Rong — Father
- Zhang An Zhong — Mother
- Audrey Hui — Daughter
- Jim Lau — Ex-husband
- Atended State University of New York, New Paltz, New York, United States; California State University, Northridge, California, United States (BA in Film Production, 1991)
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