Actor:Chen Daoming 02-23-2006 09:38

Making the List today is mainland actor Chen Daoming. He's now working hard on a new TV drama, a big-budget period production for China Central Television, "Revenge of A King". He's playing the role of an ancient Chinese emperor - familiar territory for Chen, who made his name playing another emperor more than 20 years ago.

In this 40-episode series, Chen Daoming takes the role of Gou Jian, who ruled over the Kingdom of Yue more than two thousand years ago. He plays opposite another award-winning actor Hu Jun. The period drama is now busy shooting in east China's Jiangsu Province, and should make it to your TV screen by the end of the year.

Chen is no stranger to the role of emperor. Having portrayed rulers as historically distant as China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang, and the last emperor Pu Yi, audiences are now used to seeing him on the throne.

The 1984 TV drama "The Last Emperor" gave Chen his first regal role. The 32-year-old's skillful portrayal of the tragic figure Pu Yi earned him many awards and a place in the hearts of China's TV viewers.

In 2001, Chen took the lead role in the hit TV drama "Kangxi Kingdom". The series follows the life of China's ambitious emperor, Kangxi, who sacrifices his private life for the country.

Of all his regal roles, Chen is perhaps best known in the West for playing the emperor, Qin Shi Huang in the hit film "Hero". For those familiar with Chen, his portrayal of the phlegmatic emperor bears some resemblance to his real-life temperament.

As an actor, Chen is known for being calm and serious. He entered the profession quite by accident. In 1971, he joined the Tianjin People's Drama Institute to avoid being sent down to the countryside. After seven unhappy years, he became further involved in acting when he entered the Central Drama Academy in Beijing. The academy was to launch him on a successful career.

Chen's first part after graduation was in "One and Eight". He played a military officer charged with eliminating renegades from his troops. The movie created a sensation back then with its innovative storytelling techniques.

If "The Last Emperor" made his name, "Besieged City" catapulted him onto the actor's A-list. The TV series adaptation of a famous modern novel took Chinese viewers by storm in the early 1990s. Chen played the part of a small-time intellectual, his only slightly comic role. His acting received critical acclaim.

Over his 30-year career, Chen has not been particularly prolific, but he's proved himself a versatile actor.

In 2001, he played his first bad guy. In the TV series "Black Hole", he was a cold-blooded, scheming underground crime lord who specialized in smuggling, murder, and drugs.

The role helped him prepare for his part as a big-time gangster in the much-hyped 2003 film "Infernal Affairs Three". Chen was the only mainland actor in this Hong Kong production.

In 2005, Chen once again proved his versatility by taking the lead in the TV series "Chinese Style Divorce". Chen played a doctor who is devoted to his work, which leads to problems with his wife, played by popular actress Jiang Wenli. Unlike most other Chinese films and TV dramas, "Chinese Style Divorce" suggests that divorce is not always the worst option. And Chen himself seems to agree.

Chen Daoming, Actor said: "For most Chinese, the ultimate goal of a marriage is to remain a devoted couple to the end. This means that some people endure a rather bad marriage and pretend they're happy, which is really sad."

From "One and Eight" to the current "Revenge of A King", Chen Daoming has gone from strength to strength over the three decades of his career. Now he's not only one of China's most famous actors, but also one of the three best paid, according to Forbes.

Editor:Wang Ping

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