Michelle Yeoh biography: 13 things about 2023 Academy Awards Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh was born Yeoh Choo Kheng (杨紫琼) in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia to lawyer and a Malaysian Chinese Association politician Yeoh Kian-teik and Janet Yeoh. In 1966, Michelle started her ballet training.

In 1977, Kian-tiek, Janet and Michelle moved from Malaysia to the United Kingdom. After attending an all-girls boarding school in the U.K., Michelle studied ballet at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England, U.K. but a spinal injury prevented her from becoming a professional ballet dancer.


In 1982, Michelle graduated from Crewe and Alsager College in Cheshire, England with a bachelor’s degree in creative arts with a minor in drama. On November 17, 1983, she represented Malaysia at Miss World 1983, competed against 71 other candidates at the Royal Albert Hall in London and was unplaced.

After winning Miss Moomba International 1984 in Australia, Michelle appeared in a television commercial with Jackie Chan and caught the attention of D&B Films, a film production company in Hong Kong.

Michelle went on to star in action and martial arts films, in which she did most of her own stunts. Here are 13 more things about her:

  1. In 1984, she made her film debut when she starred in D&B Films’ “The Owl vs Bombo“. She starred in “Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars” and “Yes, Madam” in 1985, “Royal Warriors” in 1986 and “Magnificent Warriors” and “Easy Money” in 1987.
  2. From 1988 to 1992, she was married to Dickson Poon.
  3. In 1992, she starred in “Police Story 3: Super Cop“. She starred in “The Heroic Trio“, “Butterfly and Sword“, “Executioners“, “Holy Weapon“, “Supercop 2″ and “Tai Chi Master” in 1993, “Shaolin Popey 2- Messy Temple“, “Wonder Seven” and “Wing Chun” in 1994, “The Stunt Woman” in 1996 and “The Soong Sisters” in 1997.
  4. In 1997, she starred with Pierce Brosnan and Teri Hatcher in “Tomorrow Never Dies“, which was her first Hollywood film. He starred in “Moonlight Express” in 1999, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2000 and “The Touch“in 2002.
  5. In 2004, she and Jean Todt started dating. She starred in “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, “Fearless” in 2006 and “Sunshine” and “Far North” in 2007.
  6. In 2008, she confirmed her engagement to Todt. She starred in “The Children of Huang Shi“, “Babylon A.D.” and “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” in 2008, “True Legend” and “Reign of Assassins” in 2010, “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “The Lady” in 2011 and “Final Recipe” in 2013.
  7. In 2014, her father passed away. In 2015, she starred in “Strike Back: Legacy“, her first television series. In 2016, she starred in the TV series “Marco Polo“.
  8. In 2016, she starred in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny“, “Mechanic: Resurrection” and “Morgan“. In 2017, she made a cameo appearance as Aleta Ogord in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2“. From 2017 to 2020, she played Captain Philippa Georgiou/Emperor Philippa Georgiou in “Star Trek: Discovery“.
  9. In 2018, she starred in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Master Z: Ip Man Legacy“. In 2019, she starred in “Last Christmas“.
  10. In 2021, she starred in “Boss Level“, “Gunpowder Milkshake” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings“.
  11. In 2022, she  received an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California, United States and starred in “Everything Everywhere All at Once“, “Minions: The Rise of Gru“, “Pawns of Fury: The Legend of Hank” and “The School for Good and Evil“.
  12. She was 60 years old when she won Best Actress at the 2023 Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023 for her role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”. Her mother celebrated her win at a viewing party in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  13. She will star in “Avatar 3“, “Wicked: Part 1” and “Tiger’s Apprentice” in 2024, “Wicked: Part 2” in 2025 and “Avatar 4” in 2026.

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