Sun Li (actress)

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Sun Li
Chinese name 孫儷 (traditional)
Chinese name 孙俪 (simplified)
Pinyin Sūn Lì (Mandarin)
Born (1982-09-26) 26 September 1982 (age 34)
Shanghai, China
Occupation Actress, Singer
Years active 2001–present
Spouse(s) Deng Chao (m. 2010)
Children 2

Sun Li (or Susan Sun[a], born 26 September 1982) is a Chinese actress. She is hailed by critics and netizens as China's "Queen of Television".[1]


Sun first entered show business by participating in 2001's Star Search, held by Singapore's MediaCorp.[1] She reached the finals and earned the praise of judge Andy Lau. Following the competition, Sun joined Hairun Media as their first flagship artist.

In 2003, author and TV producer Hai Yan selected her for the female lead in the television series Goddess of Mercy. Sun received overwhelmingly positive feedback from audiences for her portrayal of An Xin, and rose to fame in China as one of the most promising young actresses.[2] In an interview with Global Times, Sun thanked Ding Hei, the director of Goddess of Mercy saying; "Not only because he provided me with [the role of] An Xin, but what's more, he believed in me, a person who never received any formal acting lessons. ... It benefited me all my life."[2]

In 2006, Sun won the Best Newcomer award at the 28th Hundred Flowers Awards for her performance in Huo Yuanjia co-starring Jet Li.[3] She then starred alongside Huang Xiaoming in Shanghai Bund (2007), a mainland remake of the 1980 television series The Bund.[4]

Sun starred in Gordon Chan's horror-adventure film Painted Skin (2008), and was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance as a young and inexperienced demon hunter at numerous award ceremonies.[5] The same year, she starred in Gao Xixi's military-romance drama Tian Mi Mi. The series was chosen by the Chinese Radio & Television Association as one of the Top Ten television series of the year.

Sun then starred in Iron Road (2009), the second joint venture created under Canada/China co-production treaty established in the 1960s.[6] She plays a poor Chinese girl in search of her father who works at a railroad in North America, and challenged speaking in English for the film. For her performance, Sun was crowned Best Actress at the 2nd Roma FictionFest and the 25th Gemini Awards.[7][8] The same year, Sun played the title character in the television series, Auntie Duohe, based on the novel of the same name by acclaimed writer Geling Yan.[9]

Sun gained widespread recognition by playing Zhen Huan in the critically acclaimed historical drama, Empresses in the Palace. She was nominated for an International Emmy Award in the Best Actress category for her role.[10] Praised for being one of the best historical dramas in China, the series garnered high ratings throughout its run and also sparked trends in dialogue quotes and plastic surgery.[11][12] She then reunited with Painted Skin director Gordan Chan in Mural and Painted Skin: The Resurrection. She also starred in martial arts film The Lost Bladesman alongside Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen.[13]

For her role as an independent mother in Hot Mom! (2013), Sun won the Best Actress award at the 20th Shanghai Television Festival.[14] She also won the Most Popular Actress award at the 10th China Golden Eagle TV Arts Festival.[15]

Sun played Queen Dowager Xuan, the first stateswoman in China, in historical drama The Legend of Mi Yue (2015).[1] The series was a commercial success, and recorded the highest ratings of the year.[16] Sun won her second Best Actress throphy at the 22nd Shanghai Television Festival.[17] The same year, Sun challenged her first comedy role in Devil and Angel, directed by her husband Deng Chao.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Sun has been married to actor Deng Chao since 2010. They have two children, a son named Deng Han Zhi and a daughter named Deng Han Yi.[19]

Sun expressed her stand against animal cruelty by featuring in PETA Asia’s anti-fur ad in 2010.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Ge Ge Shu Ling Ling
2006 Fearless Yue Ci (Moon)
2008 Painted Skin Xia Bing
2009 Iron Road Little Tiger
Kung Fu Cyborg Zhou Shumei
2010 Just Another Pandora's Box Rose
2011 The Lost Bladesman Qilan
Mural Shao Yao
2014 Just Another Margin Jin Ling
The Breakup Guru Herself Cameo
2015 Devil and Angel Zha Xiaodao
2018 Shadow


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Romance in the Rain Dancer
2003 Goddess of Mercy An Xin
Yi Shuang Xiu Hua Xie Lin Ying
2004 A Ray of Sunshine Yi Aiyuan/Yi Chuanxia
Hong Fen Shi Jia Yao Zhi
Crimson Romance Zhou Xiaobai
2005 Feng Yu Xi Guan Xie Tianhui
Days and a Bureau Zhu Wanqiu
Happiness as Flowers Du Juan
Emerald on the Roof Mo Jiaqi
2007 Shanghai Bund Feng Chengcheng
Yi Shi Qing Yuan Ji Wen
2008 Tian Mi Mi Ye Qing
2009 Auntie Duohe Duo He
2011 The Legend of Zhen Huan Zhen Huan
(Empress Xiaoshengxian)
2013 Hot Mom! Xia Bing
2015 The Legend of Mi Yue Mi Yue
(Queen Dowager Xuan)
2017 Nothing Gold Can Stay Zhou Ying



Year Title Chinese Title Language Notes
2006 Love is like the Air 爱如空气 Mandarin
2008 A Little Dream 小小的梦想 Mandarin
2010 Beautiful Signal 美俪暗号 Mandarin


Title Chinese Title Album Notes
"How Can You Bear to Hurt Me" 你怎么舍得伤害我 N/A Charity song; with Gigi Leung & Valen Hsu
"Happier Than Me" 比我幸福 Goddess of Mercy OST
"Even If There is No Tomorrow" 就算没有明天 Shanghai Bund OST with Huang Xiaoming
"The Moon Represents My Heart" 月亮代表我的心 Tian Mi Mi OST with Deng Chao
"Memory" 记忆 Kungfu Cyborg OST with Alex Fong
"Slowly Be Happy" 慢慢快乐 N/A with Mo Yan Lin
"Mural" 画壁 Mural OST with Deng Chao
"A Stable Happiness" 稳稳的幸福 Hot Mom OST with Zhang Yi
"Can't Forget" 忘不掉 Nothing Gold Can Stay OST

Awards and nominations[edit]

Nominated work Award Category Result Ref.
Goddess of Mercy 24th Flying Apsaras Awards Outstanding Actress Nominated
22nd China TV Golden Eagle Award
5th China Golden Eagle TV Arts Festival
Audience's Favorite Actress Won [21]
Most Popular Actress Won
14th Chunyan Awards Best Actress Won
1st Top Chinese TV Drama Awards Best Actress Won
Fearless 28th Hundred Flowers Awards Best Newcomer Won [3]
26th Hong Kong Film Awards Best New Performer Nominated
Shanghai Bund 13th Shanghai Television Festival Best Actress Nominated
26th Flying Apsaras Awards Outstanding Actress Nominated
Iron Road 2nd Roma FictionFest Best Actress Won [7]
25th Gemini Awards Best Actress Won [8]
Yi Shi Qing Yuan 24th China TV Golden Eagle Award Best Actress Nominated
Painted Skin 28th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2nd Iron Elephant Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
27th Golden Rooster Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
30th Hundred Flowers Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
N/A 27th Flying Apsaras Awards 60th Anniversary Outstanding Contribution Award Won
The Lost Bladesman 3rd Macau International Movie Festival Best Actress Nominated
Empresses in the Palace 18th Shanghai Television Festival Best Actress Nominated
3rd Macau International Television Festival Best Actress Won [22]
4th China TV Drama Awards Best Actress Won
1st China Television Director Committee Award Ceremony Best Actress Won [23]
41st International Emmy Awards Best Actress Nominated [10]
2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards Best Actress Won
Hot Mom! 2nd China Television Director Committee Award Ceremony Best Actress Won [24]
20th Shanghai Television Festival Best Actress Won [14]
13th Huading Awards Best Actress Nominated
27th China TV Golden Eagle Award
10th China Golden Eagle TV Arts Festival
Audience's Favorite Actress Won [15]
Most Popular Actress Won
The Legend of Mi Yue 22nd Shanghai Television Festival Best Actress Won [17]
3rd Asia Rainbow TV Awards Best Actress (Historical) Nominated


  1. ^ Note: there was earlier misreporting in US of her name as Betty, corrected by several news agencies in China, such as, HaiBao & Baidu


  1. ^ a b c "Chinese actress Sun Li: Feisty on screen, nervous off screen". The Straits Times. March 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Here comes Sun Li". Global Times. October 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "最佳新人孙俪发表获奖感言 感谢经纪人与李连杰". Sina (in Chinese). October 28, 2006. 
  4. ^ "《上海滩》主演敲定 黄晓明孙俪演许文强冯程程". Sina (in Chinese). January 13, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Sun Li-'Painted Skin'". China Radio International. October 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Sun Li Leads Iron Road Production". 
  7. ^ a b "Sun Li crowned best actress in Roma Fiction Fest". July 25, 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "Sun Li named best actress at Canadian TV Awards". November 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ "《小姨多鹤》雪藏三年终见天日". Tencent. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  10. ^ a b "Nominees". Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 10 Chinese entertainment events in 2012 (7)". People's Daily. December 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Eyeing ‘Zhen Huan’". Global Times. January 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Sun Li in 'The Lost Bladesman'". China Daily. January 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Magnolia Awards announced at 20th Shanghai TV Fest". June 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "10th China Golden Eagle TV Art Festival concludes". China Daily. October 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ He, Huifeng (December 3, 2015). "Legend of Miyue smashes online video viewing record in China with 700 million hits in 24 hours as country sees industry take off". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  17. ^ a b "Hu Ge, Sun Li win Magnolia Award for Best TV Series". Sina. June 11, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Film Review: ‘Devil and Angel’". Variety. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  19. ^ "Sun Li and Deng Chao hold party for their daughter". Sina. August 21, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Sun Li Wears Wings to Fight Fur". PETA. February 11, 2010. 
  21. ^ "第二十二届中国电视金鹰奖". (in Chinese). September 14, 2012. 
  22. ^ "2012電影節、電視節獲獎名單". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  23. ^ "电视剧导演委员会表彰大典获奖名单". dianshiju.cntv (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  24. ^ "电视剧导演工作委员会表彰盛典:《赵氏孤儿》成赢家". ifeng (in Chinese). February 19, 2014.