Michelle Yeoh was not someone who grew up aspiring to become a martial arts expert or a movie star. Instead, her dream was to become a part of the world of ballet...

left: three month old Michelle; lower left: on her third birthday; middle: one year old;
two at right: with her mother and brother (click each picture to see larger version)

Michelle was born to a lawyer's family in Ipoh, Malaysia, on August 6, 1962. Her ethnic Chinese parents bestowed on her the Chinese name of Yeoh Choo Kheng. Growing up in the tropical tin-mining town, young Michelle spent countless weekends swimming and diving with her friends at the Ipoh Swimming Club, which was located right next door to her parents' house. Michelle was a tomboy and loved many sports. As a teenager, she represented Malaysia at national level for swimming, diving, and squash. She was the Perak state representative for squash and once the Malaysian Junior Squash Champion.

Michelle was also very into playing the piano and loved Chinese painting. However her real passion was in dance, particularly -- but not exclusively -- ballet. Her mother recalls that Michelle started to dance before she could even walk. Michelle then started her ballet training when she was four years of age.

young Michelle in ballet dancing
(click to see larger version)

seven year old Michelle

Young Michelle was sent to a Convent school in Malaysia, where she received her early education in English. At the age of 15, her parents accompanied her to England and enrolled her at a boarding school there, preparing to study Ballet.

teenage Michelle. left photo: Michelle at age of fourteen
(click on photos to enlarge)

Michelle's first exposure to the world of entertainment...

Michelle's dream of being a prima ballerina was abruptly cut short by a spinal injury that she suffered during a ballet practicing session at her pre-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 set her sights on running her own school to teach ballet.

In 1982, Michelle received a B.A. degree in England in Creative Arts with a minor in Drama. After receiving her degree, she stayed in England for further studies.

When Michelle returned to Malaysia for her summer vacation in 1983, she did not have any advance knowledge that her mother had entered her for the national beauty contest (by way of submitting photos of her for the perusal of the competition judges). By the time she got home, she already had made it past the qualifying rounds. To please her mother, the then still self-confessed tomboy went ahead with the rest of the competition. She was subsequently crowned Miss Malaysia at the age of 21.

Miss Malaysia/World 1983. Michelle (winner, center) with runners-up (from left) Dotty Kamaludin, Chew Mee Lee and Jennifer Yong (click to enlarge)

The following year, Michelle did not return to England to continue her post-graduate studies. Instead, she served her one-year term as Miss Malaysia (a post which she has likened to being a goodwill ambassador for her country). Somewhere along the line, she also earned the Miss Moomba title next year in Australia.

Towards the end of her term as Miss Malaysia, she was introduced to a Hong Kong businessman named Dickson Poon who was looking for someone to do a commercial with the action star Jackie Chan for the brand of watches one of his companies sold . Michelle was invited to Hong Kong and did the commercial. She also appeared in another one with Chow Yun-Fat (who years later, was to co-star with her in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). After doing those commercials, Michelle was offered a film contract by Dickson Poon, who had newly founded film production company D&B Films. (N.B. Its 'D' stands for Dickson and 'B' comes from one part of the Chinese personal name of his partner, Sammo Hung Kam Bo.)

commercials with Jackie Chan, 1984
(click the middle picture to enlarge)

watch commercial with Chow Yun-Fat

With "Yes, Madam", Michelle became the leading light of the Girls with Guns genre...

Michelle's first movie role was in Sammo Hung's action comedy, The Owl vs Dumbo (1984). She did not have an action role. Instead, she was given a stereotypically pathetic female to play in a film that wouldn't be memorable if not for its marking Michelle's movie debut.

Owl vs Dumbo, 1984
One (more) good thing that came out of her involvement in the making of The Owl vs Dumbo is that Michelle had the opportunity to see action being staged and filmed in that special Hong Kong movie way. Seeing how Sammo Hung and other guys "fought" in the film fascinated Michelle. Rather than being intimidated or over-awed by the men she saw doing this, her reaction was to reckon that since she had the same number of arms, legs and such as them, she could do it too. When D&B Films gave her a choice of what to do next, Michelle unhesitatingly opted to do action work.

To prepare herself for an action role, Michelle underwent intensive physical training -- ten to twelve hours a day in a gym with a bunch of guys practicing all kinds of kicks, punches, and martial moves. In 1985, Michelle participated in her first on screen fight in a cameo role as a Judo instructor in Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan's Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars.

Yes, Madam, 1985
Also in 1985, Michelle had her second major screen appearance in Yes, Madam!, co-starring Cynthia Rothrock. In the film, Michelle -- playing a fearless policewoman -- performed her first major stunt.
This involved her flipping backwards on a railing and smashing her head through glass while simultaneously throwing two thugs off the balcony! Showing her willingness and ability to perform such difficult acts, Michelle kicked her way in a male-dominated world of actions.

Yes, Madam! was a breakthrough and pioneering film. It marked the birth of the Girls with Guns genre and its brightest star -- Michelle Khan/Yeoh. (for more on the use of Khan as Michelle's surname during this stage of her career, go to Q & A)

After Yes, Madam!, Michelle again played a feisty female police officer in another contemporary action film, Royal Warriors (1986). This film features one of the best and also brutal fight sequences I've ever seen.

During the filming of her third action film, Magnificent Warriors, in 1986, Michelle ruptured an artery in her leg. This rather serious injury put her off action films for a while. Consequently, and somewhat understandably, her by-then fiance Dickson Poon gave her a non-action role in her next movie,

Michelle and Dickson Poon at their wedding, 1988
Easy Money (1987) -- which turned out to be her final film for D&B Films.

A brief marriage and retirement...

In February of 1988, Michelle got married to Dickson Poon. The wedding was huge. On the surface, the billionaire and the (former) beauty queen seemed to be a perfect as well as glamorous match. At the insistence of Poon, Michelle retired from acting and became a fixture in Hong Kong's fashion boutiques and on the society pages as Dickson Poon's wife. But the marriage lasted for only a little more than three years. Though rumors and juicy stories abound, nobody except the once married pair seem to know the reason behind their decision to separate. Soon after the divorce, Dickson Poon dissolved his film company. The two of them remain friends to this day.

With her unique determination and dedication, her incredible power and grace, our heroine stages a splashy return...

Michelle and Jackie Chan at the
premiere of Police Story III: Supercop
(photo courtesy of Aythe)

Michelle in The Heroic Trio
In 1992, after four years away from it, the Hong Kong film industry warmly greeted Michelle's comeback. From the several offers she received (including one to co-star with Jet Li), Michelle chose the third installment of Jackie Chan's Police Story series to be her comeback film. Police Story III: Supercop was supposed to be a Jackie Chan vehicle,

MTV for Butterfly & Sword (photo courtesy of Aythe)
but history will remember it more as Michelle Yeoh's "Hello, I'm back" announcement. To the chagrin of some Jackie Chan fans (and probably Jackie himself!), Michelle stole every scene she was in and easily matched him fight for fight, stunt for stunt.

In truth, the two superstars shone together, brought out the best in each other and got motivated by the other to perform their most fantastic and dangerous stunts. Jackie jumps and hangs onto a rope ladder dangling from a helicopter that proceeds to fly over the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur (a stunt which Michelle wanted to do but was told she would not be allowed to do). As 'compensation', Michelle got to ride a motorbike and land it onto an actual speeding train in pursuit of said helicopter (and keep in mind that at the time Michelle did not know how to ride a motorbike)! The film broke box office records in many parts of Asia.

Later that same year, Michelle made two more movies (released in 1993): a stunning super-heroine action fantasy entitled The Heroic Trio (in which Michelle teamed up with two other top Hong Kong female stars, Anita Mui and Maggie Cheung) and her first period costume swordfighting film, Butterfly & Sword. Michelle even sang the end song for Butterfly & Sword and made a related MTV video appearance.

In 1993, Michelle starred in a total of six movies: a Police Story III spinoff with her Director Yang character as its lead called Project S; a dark sequel for The Heroic Trio entitled Executioners; the all-star period action comedy Holy Weapon; contemporary action adventure offering Wonder Seven; and two Yuen Wo-Ping's fantastic period martial arts movies whose protagonists were real life people, Tai Chi Master (co-starring with Jet Li) and Wing Chun. Two of them, Wing Chun and Wonder Seven, were released in the next year (1994).

Wing Chun

She's not a flower vase with a pretty face, nor only a tough girl who could kick and punch. We have plenty of evidence that Michelle is the greatest action actress working today, an action but also movie -- no longer only a beauty -- queen. With a combination of her incredible power, grace, and beauty, with her unique personal charisma and action style, Michelle has conquered the world of action and provided the world at large with a wonderful new version of a woman who can be simultaneously beautiful, capable, talented, and intelligent.

Tears, blood, and pain...

For around a decade of the Hong Kong cinema phase of her career, Michelle was the highest paid actress in Asia. But it is also hard to forget what prices she has paid. Though action films strongly depend on choreography, cinematography, and editing to look good, it must never be forgotten that in Hong Kong, the blows actors throw and receive in the course of filmed combat are far more likely to be real (in the sense that they involve full contact and are done without CGI/blue screens) than in, say, Hollywood.

Michelle is known for doing her own fights and stunts.

Early in her career, in 1986, the young lady who had trained to be a ballerina dislocated her shoulder and got burned during the shooting of Royal Warriors. When filming Magnificent Warriors in Taiwan, the former beauty queen got kicked so hard that an artery in her leg was ruptured.

Michelle, spring 1993

1993 was a successful yet a hard year for Michelle. The extremely tight and sometimes overlapping shooting schedules led to her having no time to stay in the hospital even when that might have been the best thing to do. At the beginning of the year, the final action sequence of Holy Weapon triggered a recurrence of her old spinal injury. During her final scene in Executioners, the actor who was lifting her in the air accidentally touched a sore point on her injured spine. The pressure and pain caused her to have spasms and vomit.

During the shooting of Wing Chun, Michelle dislocated her elbow in a fight scene. Also while filming this movie, her old spinal injury recurred once more, this time as the result of her falling from a horse. On a Beijing location shoot one day, the pain was so bad that she could not move at all. So someone else had to stand-in to film the scene where Wing Chun met with her sifu, played by veteran Hong Kong actress Cheng Pei-pei.

Upon her return to Hong Kong, Ching Siu-Tung and company were waiting for her to start filming her scenes in Wonder Seven. Not wanting to disturb that film crew's plans, she went to work as scheduled. She ended up re-injuring her spine while shooting a scene of that required her to fall into water. When she finally went to see a doctor, the doctor expressed his surprise at how she had managed to withstand pre-existing pain for so long without seeking medical attention. She was ordered to stay in hospital for a week.

Ah Kam crew. from left: Michelle, Ann Hui (director), Jimmy Wong, and Crystal Kwok, 1995
The following year, 1994, Michelle planned to take a small break. But while on holiday, an Alpine skiing accident landed her once more in a hospital bed. This time, she tore her right knee ligaments and had to undergo surgery to repair this injury. Up to today she still has a screw in her knee (she later got a "matching" screw in her left knee from another injury -- that one was sustained while filming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). It took a few months for Michelle to recover. In that year, she only made a cameo appearance in Shaolin Popey II: Messy Temple.

Michelle in The Soong Sisters
Worse was to come. In 1995, Michelle sustained her worst injury yet when starring in Ann Hui's film about a stunt woman -- Ah Kam. Ironically, hers was a more dramatic role than hitherto was usual for her. But things went wrong during the filming of what was considered by Michelle to be a not very difficult stunt. While attempting an 18 foot fall, Michelle landed from the wrong angle and the accident nearly cost her life. It is effectively a miracle that she escaped with 'only' deep-tissue bruising and a cracked rib. Michelle spent three weeks in hospital. (for more details see Q & A.) Some post accident scenes are actually shown at the end credits part of the film which was released in 1996.

When resting in bed, Michelle had time to think about her future career. It doesn't seem to be entirely coincidental that in her next film, she had a purely dramatic role. Mabel Cheung's historic drama The Soong Sisters (filmed in 1996, released in 1997) was Michelle's first non-action movie. She received a Hong Kong Film Awards Best Supporting Actress nomination for her remarkable performance.

Time for the whole world to get to know this phenomenal talent...

Among the surprisingly large number of female action actresses who have graced many Hong Kong films, Michelle is the first -- and thus far, the only real one -- to make significant inroads in the West. Her first American release was Supercop. Jackie Chan's 1992 Police Story III was dubbed into English and released in the U.S. in 1996 under that title.

Colonel Wai Lin, Tomorrow Never Dies
If for some reason the film didn't make the waves as it should have (I missed the film myself at that time!), Michelle's Colonel Wai Lin role in the 18th James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) definitely put her in the global spotlight. For the first time in the history of that popular series, Bond got a female equal! She's intelligent. She's beautiful and sexy. She is powerful and she literally kicks butt! Michelle, in the late 1990s, provided the Bond series -- and films in general -- with an ideal female representation that we could comfortably take with us into the 21st century.

In 1998, Michelle was busy with the Bond movie publicity tour, traveling all over the world. Although she was approached by different filmmakers, she didn't take any Hollywood offers. Instead, Michelle guest starred -- for free, as a favor to a friend -- in a Hong Kong action romance, Moonlight Express (released in 1999). She did not perform any fight or stunt work in the film but her fans still won't be disappointed (except by the short length -- only about ten minutes -- of her appearance). It is one of her best dramatic performances.

Meanwhile, Ang Lee approached Michelle and asked her to star in his new martial arts epic drama, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which the director described to Michelle as "Sense and Sensibility meets martial arts". Michelle had always had faith in Ang Lee despite the director never having helmed any martial arts films. She was the first cast member to sign on for the project and in fact, the only one who agreed to star in the film, of the four individuals Ang Lee initially wanted for the four main roles. The sensational film would go on to garner 10 Oscar nominations and win four Academy Awards, including the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Michelle in Moonlight Express

Michelle and Ang Lee at CTHD press conference, New York, Oct. 2000

CTHD crew. from left: Chang Chen, Zhang Ziyi, Ang Lee, Michelle. Nov. 1999 (click to enlarge)

The five months spent shooting Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 1999 were not an easy time for Michelle. Not only did she injure her knee at the beginning of the shooting (see Q & A for details), but she also had to deal with the constant nightmare of memorizing lines in a language she did not speak (the film is in Mandarin). However, Michelle did an extraordinary job for the film. She gives one of her most mature performances of her already impressive career, one which allows her to rise both physically and emotionally to a new level. She was nominated as the Best Actress for a number of awards (Hong Kong Film Awards, Golden Horse Awards, British Academy Film Awards, Saturn Awards, etc.) and won the Best Actress prize at the EMMA Awards and AMMY Awards. She was also named International Star of the Year at ShoWest, the world's largest motion picture industry convention.

East & West, action & drama, film & TV

Michelle is the rare acting star who has been successful in both Asia and Hollywood. With her unique background and personal qualities, Michelle is able to straddle the two worlds -- East and West -- with ease.

After achieving critical and commercial success with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle started her own film production company 'Mythical Films' (Hong Kong) in the spring of 2000. The company's first film, entitled The Touch (2002), is a romantic action adventure starring Michelle as an acrobatic circus performer. This was the first film Michelle ever produced, and she and co-producer Thomas Chung went on to be named Producers of the Year at CineAsia Awards that year. The Touch was Hong Kong's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2002 but the film’s dialogue was actually mainly in English, as it was hoped that this would make Asian culture more accessible to English-speaking audiences. Miramax acquired the American distribution rights for the film. However it was never released in U.S. theaters.

Mythical's second film was also in English. Silver Hawk, with Michelle as the titular comic book-style heroine, was released in January 2004 in Asia. Both The Touch and Silver Hawk were awarded the Best Co-Produced Film accolade at China's annual Huabiao Awards.

Michelle turned down a number of Hollywood invitations in order to concentrate on developing her own production company. Several films were under development including a story about Hua Mulan, the legendary Chinese heroic woman warrior (whose name made known to a wider world with Disney's animated feature Mulan). However, Mythical Films soon broke up, mainly due to financial problems arising from Silver Hawk's production costs having skyrocketed as a result of their having the misfortune of the 2003 SARs outbreak disrupting their filming in Shanghai.

(L to R) The Touch, Silver Hawk, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Sunshine

While best known for her action work, Michelle has always been interested in having variety in the range of roles she takes on.

Far North, 2007
In 2004, Michelle joined a Hollywood-produced ensemble drama based on a story of Japanese geisha. While her character is not the central focus of Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), "it is Yeoh who quietly holds the screen with her warmth, grace, and wit," proclaimed a reel.com film reviewer.

In the next few years, the films she starred in included: Sunshine (filmed in 2005, it finally was released in 2007), director Danny Boyl's space mission science fiction thriller (as a botanist / astronaut / scientist); Far North (2007), a dark psychological romance set in the Arctic helmed by British director Asif Kapadia; Babylon A.D. (2008), a U.S.-French action thriller based on Maurice Dantec's genetic manipulation novel "Babylon Babies"; and The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), which was filmed in Canada and China. Michelle played a sorceress in the third instalment of the Hollywood Mummy series and her performance was regarded as one of the brightest spots. "Best of all is Michelle Yeoh, who radiates integrity in every role she takes on and who holds our attention as a powerful sorceress," wrote the reviewer for the Los Angeles Times.

In 2011 and 2012, Michelle traveled around the globe promoting The Lady, a biopic about Burmese democracy icon and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Directed by French director Luc Besson, work on the film was carried out in Thailand, London, and Paris from October 2010 to January 2011. "I am very proud of this movie. We believe this is a very important story to tell, because of who Daw Suu is and because of what she's fighting for -- with words -- for freedom, for democracy, for human rights," said Michelle who considered the film as a "role of a lifetime". The film was awarded The International Human Rights Film Award by Amnesty International, Cinema for Peace, and The Human Rights Film Network at the 2012 Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin.

Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady

Michelle Yeoh and John Woo at the world premiere of Reign of Assassins, Venice Film Festival (click to enlarge)
Ten years after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle appeared in another Chinese language period costume martial arts thriller, Reign of Assassins. Produced by John Woo and co-directed by Woo and Taiwanese director-scriptwriter Su Chao-Pin, the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2010. It was described by critics as the best martial arts film since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

In 2014, Michelle reprised her warrior Yu Shu Lien role in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II: Sword Of Destiny. Filmed in New Zealand, the sequel to the award winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon premiered simultaneously in selected IMAX theaters and on Netflix in early 2016.

Final Recipe was another English speaking film Michelle produced and starred in which features a mainly Asian cast. The hearting-warming family drama was directed by American-Korean writer-director Gina Kim. The movie premiered in 2013 and screened on various film festivals around the world.

In 2017, Michelle joined the cast of Crazy Rich Asians, the film adaptation of Singaporean novelist Kevin Kwan's same titled book with American director Jon M. Chu at the helm. Receiving major hype in the media as "the first Hollywood major studio film to feature an all-Asian cast in 25 years," the 2018 release has worldwide box office earnings of more than $235 million and became the highest-grossing romantic comedy of the last 10 years. It was awarded the Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards and nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy at the 76th Golden Globe Awards. Sequels to the film, based on Kevin Kwan's novel trilogy, are already being planned. 

(click to enlarge) (1) Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor Young in Crazy Rich Asians   (2) Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding with director Jon M. Chu on set
(3) Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards, Nov 24, 2018

In recent years, we also have seen Michelle widening her horizon to include television series and Netflix in addition to the big screen. In summer 2015, a global audience got to see Michelle in her first ever television appearance in the final season of CINEMAX (U.S.) and Sky (U.K.)'s action/drama series Strike Back. In 2016, she appeared in a recurring action role in Netflix Original Series, Marco Polo Season 2. 

Many fans cheered when Michelle was the first name attached to Star Trek: Discovery, the latest installment of the American space science fiction franchise "Star Trek". Season 1 of the CBS All Access series was released in September 2017 and season 2 in January 2019. Michelle is reportedly in talks to head her own Star Trek spinoff.

(1-2) Star Trek: Discovery   (3) Strike Back   (click to enlarge)

Michelle made guest/cameo appearances in films like Yuen Woo-Ping's True Legend (2010) and Dennis Gansel's Mechanic: Resurrection (2016). Her brief cameo as Marvel Comics character Aleta Ogord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017) was highlighted by many film reviewers, along with Sylvester Stallone's cameo as Starhawk.

Michelle also has ventured into the field of voice acting in recent years. She lent her voice for the character The Soothsayer in the Academy nominated animation Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011).

(Full list of Michelle Yeoh films)

Speaking out for a better world

Michelle devotes a large part of her time to charitable and social endeavors. She is a member of the UNAids Commission and ambassador of amfAR (The foundation for AIDS research). She also has performed charity work on behalf of AIDS Concerns, Hong Kong Cancer Fund, Live to Love, and the Brain & Spine Institute (ICM).

In 2009, Michelle filmed a documentary on orangutans rescue in Malaysia for the National Geographic Channel, Among the Great Apes with Michelle Yeoh, in order to raise awareness about wildlife conservation.

Since 2007, Michelle has been a global ambassador and leading campaigner for FIA (International Automobile Federation)'s 'Make Roads Safe' campaign. She has traveled to different regions in Asia, Africa and Latin America to promote global road safety in developing countries. Turning Point - A Journey on the World's Killer Roads, the documentary Michelle made for the campaign, premiered in Rome in May 2009 during the launch of the 'Make Roads Safe: A decade of Action for Road Safety.' She has given a number of speeches at venues including the UN General Assembly, World Bank, Asia Development Bank, and international ministerial conferences.

"I've seen the impact that the smallest little changes in road safety – and roadway initiatives – can have on people's lives. These things are not hugely expensive. They don't require years of study. But they will pay an economic return to all of us – in every country – for the lives they save, and the tragedies and sadness they avert."

Michelle has been an Ambassador for the United Nations 'Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.'

In 2016, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) appointed Michelle as one of its Goodwill Ambassadors. Later that year, she received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Nations Association of New York.

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Michelle is engaged to Jean Todt, previous general manager and CEO of Ferrari and now president of the FIA.

(to be continued. As time goes by we will get more stories of our Michelle... )  
[last modified: December 2018]

Birth Name    Yeoh Choo Kheng Nationality    Malaysian 
Birth Date    August 6, 1962 Ethnicity    Chinese 
Birth Place    Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Religion    Buddhism 
Height    5'4"   (165cm) Education    Postgraduate studies 
Weight    106 lbs   (48kg) Occupation    Actress, Producer 
Filmography    Complete Movie List 
Summary of
  - Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States, 2024
  - Best Actress in a Leading Role (Everything Everywhere All At Once), The Academy Awards (Oscars), 2023
  - Best Lead Performance (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Independent Spirit Awards, 2023
  - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Screen Actors Guild Award, 2023
  - Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Golden Globe Awards, 2023
  - International Star Award, Actress, Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2023
  - Kirk Douglas Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2022
  - Best Actress (Everything Everywhere All At Once), National Board of Review Awards, 2022
  - Best Actress in a Film (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Saturn Awards, 2022
  - Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award, Toronto International Film Festival, 2022
  - Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, American Film Institute, 2022
  - Commander of the Legion of Honour, France, 2017
  - Officier des Arts et des Lettres, France, 2016
  - Cinema Legend Award, Singapore International Film Festival, 2015
  - Panglima Setia Mahkota Malaysia Award, Malaysia, 2013
  - Lifetime Achievement Award, Asean International Film Festival and Awards, 2013
  - Excellence in Asian Cinema, Asian Film Awards, 2013
  - Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak Award, Malaysia, 2012
  - Officier de la Legion d'Honneur, France, 2011
  - Trophee du Festival de Cannes, Cannes International Film Festival, 2009
  - Achievement Award, Marrakech International Film Festival, 2008
  - Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur, France, 2007
  - The Asian Film Award, MTV Asia, 2004
  - International Actor of The Year, MTV & SMG Style Awards (China), 2003
  - Producer of the Year Award, CineAsia, 2002
  - The Outstanding Young Persons of the World  (Cultural Achievement), 2002
  - The Outstanding Young Malaysian Awards, 2002
  - Montblanc Arts Patronage Award  (Hong Kong Winner), 2002
  - Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak Award, Malaysia, 2001
  - International Star of the Year Award, ShoWest, 2001
  - Best Film Actress (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Ethnic Multicultural Media Awards (EMMA), 2001
  - Best Actress in a Cinematic Production (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Ammy Awards, 2001
  - Award of Excellence in Acting, CineAsia, 1999
    Selected Awards and Nominations
Charities     - Ambassador to the United Nations Development Programme
  - Board of Director to the Suu Foundation
  - Commissioner to UNAIDS
  - Ambassador to Make Roads Safe
  - Ambassador to amfAR AIDS Research
  - Ambassador to Live To Love
  - Patron to Aids Concern, Hong Kong
  - Patron to the Hong Kong Cancer Fund
  - Ambassador to Mercy Malaysia, Malaysia
  - Ambassador to Institute for Cerebral and Medullary Disorders, France

- Special thanks to Michelle's mother, Datin Yeoh, who generously provided us many precious photos.
- Special thanks to Kit for sharing her newspaper collection on older Michelle news.
- Special thanks to YTSL, who encouraged me to write this page and helped with text editing and many details.

Go to   MICHELLE YEOH Q & A   for more topics
Go to   NEWS   for latest Michelle news
( page created: 12/21/00,   last modified: 05/19/24 )