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People Top 5
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- May 11, 1998
- Vol. 49
- No. 18
Bai Ling: Actress
After her service, she became a notable screen presence in China, and now Ling, who came to the U.S. seven years ago, sets off fireworks with an A-list of Western leading men. She costarred with Richard Gere in last year's Red Corner. Later this year, she'll join Jon Bon Jovi in the drama Row Your Boat, and in 1999 she'll ride with Will Smith and Kevin Kline in The Wild Wild West. It's not only her deep sienna eyes and raven hair that captivate the camera. "She has the same arresting qualities as Garbo," says West casting director David Rubin. "Sensu-ousness and a sense of mystery."
Ling, who is single, is puzzled by the on-your-face Hollywood glamor thing. In China, she explains, the ideal is "something half-open, half-hidden—that's considered cultured and attractive." As for powder and pancake, she says, "I'm very private, so when I'm in the makeup chair and I don't know the person, I feel very uncomfortable." She's not vanity-free, though. Her prized waist-length hair, she concedes, is "always getting caught in car doors. It even gets under strangers' arms at restaurants." The 5'5" actress's secret? "Eat a lot and sleep a lot. And no exercise."
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