Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi, cast members of the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
, were mentioned thrice and twice respectively in this thread. But I should also mention that Cheng Pei-pei, who acted as the villanous Jade Fox in the same film, is also another dancer-turned-actress.
Those of us who have watched enough martial arts films will know that Cheng is a respected screen legend, being one of the first women to star in martial arts films -- some has gone as far as to say she was the Michelle Yeoh of the 60s. Her breakthrough film was, of course, King Hu's Come Drink with Me
(1966), a new print of which has been re-released in 2002. There are plans for a sequel of this classic film.
Here is a recent interview:
I was eight when I started ballet and I've always felt dance and martial arts are very similar--the ways in which you stretch your body, use your legs, there's something that's complementary about the disciplines. Some ballet dancers can't do any other kind of dance just like some martial artists are bound by one school, but with my background I was able to make a transition into the martial arts that was very comfortable and natural.More...
<img src="http://www.brns.com/hkactors/picts/chngpei2.jpg" alt="" />
Here she is in the 60s.
And here she is with her daughter, Marsha Yuen (left) at Cannes 2002.
<small>[ 06 January 2003, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: Malcolm Tay ]</small>