||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|Pinyin||Zhōu Jiālíng (Mandarin)|
|Jyutping||Zau1 Gaa1ling4 (Cantonese)|
|Birth name||Valerie Chow Kar-Ling|
16 December 1970 |
Vancouver, British Columbia
|Other name(s)||Rachel Shane|
|Spouse(s)||Darryl Goveas (2005-present)|
|Children||1 daughter (b. 12 March 2008)|
She has starred in numerous films and several television series, most memorably in Wong Kar-wai's internationally acclaimed 1994 feature, Chungking Express, which earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 14th Hong Kong Film Awards. A former Miss Hong Kong runner-up (1991), she is also the first Chinese model to be signed by US cosmetics company Revlon in 1998.
1991-93: Early Career
Chow was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After winning the first-runner up award at the 1991 Miss Hong Kong Pageant, Chow began her career in television as a host on TVB Pearl, following a brief study break where she completed her degree in Law at the University of Hong Kong (1993). She went onto begin her film career with a cameo in Peter Chan's He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father released in late 1993.
1994-96: Hong Kong Films
She received considerable media attention in early 1994 for her role in the box office hit Twenty Something, which dealt explicitly with themes of sexuality. It remains the only film from the Hong Kong movie production house UFO (United Filmmakers Organisation) to be given a Category-III rating. Her following role in Wong Kar-Wai's widely acclaimed Chungking Express also made an impression, which garnered her critical attention and an award nomination. Her career would take a sharp turn months later after appearing in a television series as the extramarital interest of a family man. The series was a success but her character was ill-received by the public. The antagonistic image of seductress came to be closely identified with Chow, further cemented by rumours of her alleged affair with Tony Leung Chiu Wai (then already dating long-time partner Carina Lau), whose music videos and album cover she also featured in. In the subsequent period between 1995–97, she was cast in a string of B-movies, usually in the role of a villain. The more notable of these were that of the female terrorist in Jing Wong's High Risk, a commercial hit, and a guest appearance in Tsui Hark's acclaimed wu-xia feature The Blade.
1997-99: Hollywood and Revlon
In 1997, she left the Hong Kong film industry to pursue a career in Hollywood, adopting the new screen name, Rachel Shane. She had a small part in the film Phantoms which starred Peter O'Toole and Ben Affleck. More substantially in 1998, she became the first Chinese spokesmodel for Revlon US, appearing in national print and television campaigns alongside Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, and Melanie Griffith. She is to be followed by Lucy Liu.
2000-02: Part-Time Actor
She returned to Hong Kong as a part-time actor in 2000. The following year saw her return to the small screen in the ATV series, Healing Hearts, with greater success. Her role as a smart and sophisticated lawyer was much better received and made her recognised by audiences as emblematic of the 'perfect modern woman.' The role briefly revived her career, leading to many magazine covers, and an ad campaign with Neutrogena Hong Kong. She also appeared alongside co-star Leslie Cheung in Inner Senses (2002), which was to be Cheung's last film.
2003-present: Publicist, Entrepreneur
Since 2003, she has, for the most part, left the entertainment industry and for the next six years would continue to work as publicist for the Pedder Group, the shoes and accessories division of Lane Crawford. She took a short break in mid-2004 when she was offered a part in a television series which never made it to air until Dec. of 2010, after more than six years since filming completed. She made periodical appearances in the press throughout these years as a senior executive during her company's seasonal showcases. She left her job in 2009 to become a full-time mother and in September 2010 opened Mama Kid, a children's clothing boutique in Hong Kong's Central District, with an additional branch opened in Stanley in 2011.
- He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father (新難兄難弟) (1993)
- Twentysomething (晚九朝五) (1994)
- Chungking Express (重慶森林) (1994)
- Lover of the Last Empress (慈禧秘密生活) (1995)
- Dream Killer (野性的邂逅) (1995)
- The Case of the Cold Fish (月黑風高) (1995)
- Ghostly Bus (鬼巴士) (1995)
- Spider Woman (蜘蛛女) (1995)
- Wind Beneath My Wings (空中小姐) (1995)
- High Risk (鼠膽龍威) (1995)
- The Armed Policewoman (95陀槍女警) (1995)
- Red Zone (爆炸令) (1995)
- The Blade (刀) (1995)
- Street Angels (紅燈區) (1996)
- Hero (馬永貞) (1997)
- Phantoms (1998)
- Futuresport (1998)
- Bridge of Dragons (1999)
- Sausalito (一見鍾情) (2000)
- Healing Hearts (俠骨仁心) (2000)
- The Vampire Combat (極速殭屍) (2001)
- Inner Senses (異度空間) (2002)
- Freaky Story (不寒而慄) (2002)
- Fate of the Clairvoyant (再見亦是老婆 alt. 都市有情人) (1994)
- John Woo's Once A Thief (appears in one episode) (1997)
- Healing Hearts (俠骨仁心) (2001)
- Shanghai Legend (上海灘之俠醫傳奇) (2004, aired 2010)