The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Chinese Actors of all time. This list of famous Chinese Actors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Chinese Actors.
With an HPI of 78.11, Jackie Chan is the most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 140 different languages on wikipedia.
Jackie Chan (born 7 April 1954, Chinese: 成龍, Yale romanization: Sìhng Lùhng, Jyutping: Sing4 Lung4; lit. "becoming the dragon") is a Hong Kong actor, filmmaker, martial artist, and stuntman known for his slapstick acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, and innovative stunts, which he typically performs himself. Chan has been acting since the 1960s, performing in more than 150 films. He is one of the most popular action film stars of all time.Chan is one of the most recognisable and influential film personalities in the world, with a widespread global following in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. He has received fame stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Chan has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons, films, and video games. He is an operatically trained vocalist and is also a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having released a number of music albums and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred. He is also a globally known philanthropist and has been named one of the top 10 most charitable celebrities by Forbes magazine. In 2004, film scholar Andrew Willis stated that Chan was perhaps the "most recognised film star in the world." In 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $350 million, and as of 2016, he was the second-highest-paid actor in the world.Chan's views on Hong Kong politics have gradually shifted from a pro-democratic stance in the 1990s to a pro-Beijing stance since the 2010s. Since 2013, Chan has been a pro-Chinese Communist Party (CPC) politician, having served two terms as a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and, in 2021, expressing his desire to join the CPC.
With an HPI of 64.47, Sammo Hung is the 2nd most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Sammo Hung Kam-bo (Chinese: 洪金寶; Jyutping: Hung4 Gam1-bou2; born 7 January 1952) is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film producer and director, known for his work in martial arts films, Hong Kong action cinema, and as a fight choreographer for other actors such as Jackie Chan. Hung is one of the pivotal figures who spearheaded the Hong Kong New Wave movement of the 1980s, helped reinvent the martial arts genre and started the vampire-like jiangshi genre. He is widely credited with assisting many of his compatriots, giving them their starts in the Hong Kong film industry, by casting them in the films he produced, or giving them roles in the production crew. Both Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan were often addressed as "Dai Goh", meaning "Big Brother", until the filming of Project A, which featured both actors. As Hung was the eldest of the kung fu "brothers", and the first to make a mark on the industry, he was given the nickname "Dai Goh Dai", meaning "Big, Big Brother", or "Biggest Big Brother".
With an HPI of 64.18, Chow Yun-fat is the 3rd most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 54 different languages.
Chow Yun-fat SBS (born 18 May 1955), previously known as Donald Chow, is a Hong Kong actor. He is perhaps best known for his collaborations with filmmaker John Woo in the five Hong Kong action heroic bloodshed films: A Better Tomorrow, A Better Tomorrow II, The Killer, Once a Thief and Hard Boiled, and in the West for his roles as Li Mu-bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He mainly plays in drama films and has won three Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor and two Golden Horse Awards for Best Actor in Taiwan. Chow started his career in movies in 1976 with Goldig Films, the third largest film company at the time.
With an HPI of 59.03, Stephen Chow is the 4th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Stephen Chow Sing-chi (Chinese: 周星馳, born 22 June 1962) is a Hong Kong filmmaker, former actor and comedian, known for Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.
With an HPI of 58.29, Katrina Kaif is the 5th most famous Chinese Actor. Her biography has been translated into 73 different languages.
Katrina Kaif (pronounced [kəˈʈriːna kɛːf]; born Katrina Turquotte; 16 July 1983) is a British actress who works in Hindi-language films. One of the highest-paid actresses in India, she has received accolades, including four Screen Awards and four Zee Cine Awards, in addition to three Filmfare nominations. Though reception to her acting has varied, she is noted for her dancing ability in various successful item numbers. Born in Hong Kong, Kaif lived in several countries before she moved to London for three years. She received her first modelling assignment as a teenager and later pursued a career as a fashion model. At a fashion show in London, Indian filmmaker Kaizad Gustad cast her in Boom (2003), a critical and commercial failure. While Kaif established a successful modelling career in India, she initially had difficulty finding film roles due to her poor command of Hindi. After appearing in the Telugu film Malliswari (2004), Kaif earned commercial success in Bollywood with the romantic comedies Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (2005) and Namastey London (2007). Further success followed with a series of box-office hits, but she was criticised for her acting, repetitive roles, and inclination to male-dominated films. Kaif's performances in the thriller New York (2009) and the romantic comedy Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011) were better received, earning her nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She starred in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009), Raajneeti (2010), and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) during this period, and found major commercial success in the action thrillers Ek Tha Tiger (2012), Dhoom 3 (2013), and Bang Bang! (2014), all of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films. These were followed by a series of commercial failures, though the action films Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) and Sooryavanshi (2021) and the drama Bharat (2019) were box-office hits. Kaif's portrayal of an alcoholic actress in the romantic drama Zero (2018) earned her the Zee Cine Award for Best Supporting Actress. In the media, Kaif frequently features in listings of India's most popular and attractive celebrities. A regular brand endorser, she launched her cosmetic line Kay Beauty in 2019. She participates in stage shows and is involved with her mother's charity Relief Projects India, which works to help underprivileged children. Kaif is married to actor Vicky Kaushal.
With an HPI of 57.89, Andy Lau is the 6th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Andy Lau Tak-wah (Chinese: 劉德華; Jyutping: Lau4 Dak1 Waa4; born 27 September 1961) is a Hong Kong actor, singer-songwriter and film producer. He has been one of Hong Kong's most commercially successful film actors since the mid-1980s, performing in more than 160 films while maintaining a successful singing career at the same time. In the 1990s, Lau was branded by the media as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop and was named as "Fourth Tiger" among the Five Tiger Generals of TVB during the 1980s. In the Philippines, he was previously given the screen name Ricky Chan.By April 2000, Lau won an unprecedented total of 292 awards. He also holds numerous film acting awards, having won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor three times and the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actor twice. In 2005, Lau received the "No.1 Box office Actor 1985–2005" award of Hong Kong, yielding a box office total of HK$1,733,275,816 for shooting 108 films in the past 20 years, and in 2007, he received the "Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia" award by the Nielsen Company (ACNielsen). On 25 June 2018, Lau was invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
With an HPI of 57.49, Yuen Biao is the 7th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.
Yuen Biao (born Ha Lingchun; 26 July 1957) is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist and stuntman. He specialises in acrobatics and Chinese martial arts and has also worked on over 80 films as actor, stuntman and action choreographer. He was one of the Seven Little Fortunes from the China Drama Academy at the Peking Opera School along with his "brothers" Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan. Yuen Biao has appeared in over 130 films. He has played roles in eight television series for the Hong Kong channel TVB.
With an HPI of 57.33, Tony Leung Chiu-wai is the 8th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Chinese: 梁朝偉, born 27 June 1962) is a Hong Kong actor and singer. He is one of Asia's most successful and internationally recognized actors, and was named as "Small Tiger" among the Five Tiger Generals of TVB. He has won many international acting prizes, including the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor for his performance in Wong Kar-wai's film In the Mood for Love. He was named by CNN as one of "Asia's 25 Greatest Actors of All Time."Leung is known for his collaborations with director Wong Kar-wai, with whom he has worked in seven films, including Chungking Express (1994), Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000), 2046 (2004), and The Grandmaster (2013). He also appeared in three Venice Film Festival Golden Lion-winning films: A City of Sadness (1989), Cyclo (1995) and Lust, Caution (2007), directed by Ang Lee. Leung also stars in the Academy Award-nominated film Hero (2002), the cult classic Hard Boiled (1992), and box office hits Infernal Affairs (2002) and Red Cliff (2008). He later came to prominence in Hollywood with his role as Xu Wenwu in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021).Leung has a comprehensive set of awards that he has won in a career that began in the 1980s. For In the Mood for Love, Leung earned the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. He is also a seven-time winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards and three-time winner at the Golden Horse Film Awards, holding the record for most awards in the Best Actor category. The 2002 book East Asian Film Stars describes Leung as "undoubtedly one of the most successful and widely-acclaimed Hong Kong actors of his generation, with a broad and diverse filmography."
With an HPI of 56.67, John Lone is the 9th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
John Lone (Chinese: 尊龍; pinyin: Zūn Lóng; jyutping: zyun1 lung4; born October 13, 1952) is an American actor. He starred as Pu Yi in the Academy Award-winning film The Last Emperor (1987), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. A veteran of the East West Players, he appeared in numerous high-profile screen and stage roles throughout the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, in films like Iceman, Year of the Dragon, M. Butterfly, The Shadow, and Rush Hour 2. He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance in The Moderns.
With an HPI of 56.20, Nora Miao is the 10th most famous Chinese Actor. Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.
Nora Miao (Chinese: 苗可秀; pinyin: Miáo Kěxiù; Jyutping: Miu Ho-sau) (born Chan Wing-man (simplified Chinese: 陈咏悯; traditional Chinese: 陳詠憫; pinyin: Chén Yǒngmǐn); 8 February 1952) is a Hong Kong film actress. She is best known for appearing in many kung fu films in the 1970s, opposite Hong Kong action movie stars such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.
Pantheon has 57 people classified as actors born between 1876 and 1998. Of these 57, 53 (92.98%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Chow Yun-fat. The most famous deceased actors include Lam Ching-ying, Clara Blandick, and Wendy Barrie. As of April 2022, 15 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Deanie Ip, Cherie Chung, and Wakin Chau.
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Which Actors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Actors since 1700.