About Brigitte Lin | Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia Movie Database

Short Biography

Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia, born on 3 November 1954,  was discovered at the age of seventeen while walking with her friends at Ximenting, Taipei. Her film debut was as the female lead, Jiang Yan-rong in the film “Outside the Window” (1973). In 1976, she would win her first award, Best Actress for her role as girl scout Yang Huimin in “Eight Hundred Heroes”, at the Asia Pacific Film Festival.

In 1984, her career focus shifted to Hong Kong and thereafter she tried many different roles. In 1990, she would win her second Best Actress at the Golden Horse Film Awards, for her role as writer Shen Shao-hua in “Red Dust”.

In 1992, her role as “Asia the Invincible”(东方不败)would propel her to her second peak in her career, and revived popularity in wuxia movies. She would become famous for her cross-dressing roles in many of her films from 1992 to 1994, such as New Dragon Gate Inn (1992) and and Ashes of Time (1994; Redux 2008).

She retired from film-making in 1994 after her marriage.

Name in Chinese Characters


Zodiac Sign



168 cm


Taiwan R.O.C

“When Ching-hsia dresses up as a woman, she is the most beautiful woman; when she dresses up as a man, she is the most handsome man”   –Stephen Chow

“There can only be one such beauty in every fifty years.” –Tsui Hark

“I remember at an after party (for the Golden Horse Film Awards), the place was packed with film stars. I stood there and all I can see is Brigitte in the centre. Definitely THE STAR of all stars. I could barely see anyone else.” –Ang Lee

“One cannot claim to have made a movie until one has worked with Lin Ching Hsia.” –John Woo



1954 - 1973: Early Years

3 November 1954: Born

baby photo

Lin Ching-hsia (林青霞)was born in Sanchong district, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Soon after her family moved to a village in Dalin Township, Chiayi County. She is the third of four children in the family, with an elder sister, brother and a younger sister.

1972: Scouted at Ximenting

high school photo

Discovered by a talent scout Yang Chi while walking down Ximenting (西门町) in Taipei City, and took part in the audition for Director Sung Tsun-Shou’s new film.

1973 - 1979: Career in Taiwan

1973: Debut Role


Release of “Outside the Window” (《窗外》)  , directed by Sung Tsun-Shou & Yu Cheng-Chun.
Lin plays student Jiang Yan-rong, who falls in love with her language teacher.

Due to copyright issues the film was never released in Taiwan, but propelled Lin to fame in Hong Kong.

1974: Rise to Fame


Lin’s second movie “Gone with the Cloud” (1974)《云飘飘》, directed by Liu Chia Chang, was released in Taiwan.

In 1974 alone 9 of her movies were released, including Love Love Love (纯纯的爱), Ghost of the Mirror(古镜幽魂), Moon River (云河), Pure Love (纯情), House for Love(爱的小屋), Woman Reporter/ News Hen(女记者), Green Green Meadow (青青草原上)and Long Way from Home (长情万缕).

1976: Eight Hundred Heroes and Best Actress Award


Lin’s portrayal of real-life Girl Scout Yang Huimin in the movie “The 800 Heroes” (八百壮士) won her the Best Actress Award at the 22nd Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

1978: First Cross-Dressing Role


In 1978, Lin will starred as Jia Baoyu, the male protagonist of the movie “The Dream of the Red Chamber” (《金玉良缘红楼梦》). Sylvia Chang plays Lin Daiyu. This is the first cross-dressing role for Lin.

1979 - 1981: Hiatus

Lin went on a hiatus in the U.S. for 15 months after making over 50 films in the first 5 years of her career.
1981 to 1990: Career in Hong Kong

1981: Love Massacre


In 1981, Lin’s 56th film “Love Massacre”(《爱杀》), directed by Patrick Tam, was released. Shot in San Francisco, the role is a departure from her innocent image in her earlier artistic films.

1983: First Collaboration with Tsui Hark


In 1983 Lin had her first collaboration with New Wave Director Tsui Hark in the wuxia action film “Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain” (《蜀山/新蜀山剑侠传》). She was nominated for Best Actress in the 3rd Hong Kong Film Awards for her role as the Ice Queen.

1985: Police Story


Lin plays a witness protected by Jackie Chan in this movie, Police Story (《警察故事》). It was hugely successful in East Asia and Lin was nominated for Best Actress again in the 5th Hong Kong Film Awards.

1986: Peking Opera Blues


In 1986, Lin plays a warlord’s daughter Tsao Wan in Peking Opera Blues, in her third collaboration with Tsui Hark. This is one of the rare movies to feature an all-female lead at that time. It is also Lin’s second cross-dressing role.

1990: Red Dust and Best Actress Award

In 1990, Lin won the Golden Horse Award for Best Actress, in her role as writer Shen Shao-Hua in Red Dust (《滚滚红尘》), starring alongside Chin Han and Maggie Cheung, who also won the Golden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actress.

1991 to 1994: Second Peak in Career, Retirement

1991: First Stage Play


In 1991, Lin took part in her first (and only) stage play Secret Love for the Peach Blossom Spring (《暗恋桃花源》)as Yun Zhifan alongside Chin Shih-Chieh. Directed by Stan Lai, she will reprise her role again in the 1992 film version, and in 2015 for a short segment for the Chinese reality TV show “Up Idol (2015)”.

1993: The Bride with White Hair

Lin’s 1993 work as the titlular “The Bride with White Hair”(《白发魔女传》)was also extremely popular. Directed by Ronnie Yu, the movie garnered many awards including Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design at the 13th Hong Kong Film Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song at the 30th Golden Horse Awards.

1994: Chungking Express and Ashes of Time


In 1994, Lin would appear in two well-known Wong Kar Wai films, Chungking Express (《重庆森林》) and Ashes of Time(《东邪西毒》). These would be one of her final works before her marriage and retirement from acting.

29 June 1994: Marriage and Retirement


Lin’s wedding with Hong Kong business magnate Michael Ying was held at San Francisco.

1994 and beyond

1998: Narrator for Bishonen


Lin provided the narration for her good friend Yonfan’s 1998 film “Bishonen” (《美少年之恋》). Film starring Daniel Wu, Stephen Fung and Shu Qi.

2000: Asteroid 38821 Linchinghsia


The asteroid 38821 was discovered by William Yeung at the Desert Beaver Observatory and named by the discoverer as Linchinghsia.

2001: Narrator for Peony Pavilion


Lin once again provided the narration for Yonfan’s 2001 film, Peony Pavilion(《游园惊梦》). Starring Joey Wong and Rie Miyazawa.

2005: The Last Star of the East


Reporter Akiko Tetsuya released her collection of interviews with Lin herself, people whom Lin worked with and also Lin’s circle of friends. First edition published in 2005.

2008: Ashes of Time Redux at the New York Film Festival


Lin attended the Ashes of Time Redux Q&A session at the 46th New York Film Festival, with Director Wong Kar Wai and Director of Cinematography Christopher Doyle.

2011: Release of ``Inside the Window, Outside the Window``

In 2011, Lin released her first book, “Inside the Window, Outside the Window”(《窗里窗外》)and officially became an author.

2014: Release of 2nd Book: ``As the Clouds Come and Go``

Lin released her second book, “As the Clouds Come and Go” (《云去云来》)in 2014.

2015: Up Idol


Took part in the Hunan reality TV show “Up Idol” as Mango cable TV supports Michael Ying’s charity organization. Other participants include Athena Chu and Ada Choi.

2016: The Moment


Lin is credited as one of the actors in Yang Li-Chou’s documentary “The Moment” (《我们的那时此刻》).

The documentary uses some footage from Lin’s previous works.