Lisa Lu

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Lisa Lu
Lisa Lu en una celebración.jpg
Lu in 2007
Native name
Lu Pingxiang (盧萍香)[citation needed]

(1927-07-08) July 8, 1927 (age 92)
OccupationActress, documentary producer
Years active1958–present
Children3, including Lucia Hwong
AwardsFull list
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese盧燕
Simplified Chinese卢燕

Lisa Lu Yan (simplified Chinese: 卢燕; traditional Chinese: 盧燕; pinyin: Lú Yàn; born July 8, 1927) is a Chinese-born American actress and singer. She won the Golden Horse Awards three times in the 1970s.

Life and career[edit]

Lisa Lu in 1960

Lu was born in 1927 in Beijing. Beginning in her teens, she was active in Chinese opera, or Kunqu, before emigrating to the United States. Beginning in the 1950s, she enjoyed a long career in television in the United States.

During the 1958–59 television season, she had a recurring role as Miss Mandarin on the cult western show Yancy Derringer, set in New Orleans in 1868. In 1961 she had a recurring role as "Hey Girl" on the television series Have Gun – Will Travel. She made numerous other appearances on television, with guest starring roles on Bonanza, The Big Valley, The Richard Boone Show, The Virginian, Hawaiian Eye, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Rebel, and other shows.

In 1960, she was the female lead in the antiwar film The Mountain Road, which starred James Stewart and which was based on the novel of the same name by the China war correspondent Theodore H. White. Her film career took off in the 1970s with supporting roles in films like Demon Seed and Peter Bogdanovich's Saint Jack. During this time, she received three Best Actress Golden Horse Awards for her Chinese-language films The Arch, The Empress Dowager, and The Fourteen Amazons.

For the remainder of her career, Lu alternated between theater and film. She may be best known by English-speaking audiences for her roles in the 1988 TV miniseries Noble House, and the films The Last Emperor (1987), The Joy Luck Club (1993), and Crazy Rich Asians (2018).[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Panda and the Magic Serpent Bai-Niang
1960 The Mountain Road Madame Sue-mei Hung
1962 Rider on a Dead Horse Ming Kwai
1962 Womanhunt Li Sheng
1970 The Arch (董夫人) Madame Tung WonGolden Horse Award for Best Actress
1972 The 14 Amazons (十四女英豪) She Saihua WonGolden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actress
1973 Terror in the Wax Museum Madame Yang
1975 The Empress Dowager (傾國傾城) Empress Dowager Cixi WonGolden Horse Award for Best Actress
1976 The Last Tempest (瀛台泣血) Empress Dowager Cixi
1976 The Star (星語) Chen Lianyu
1977 The Eternal Love (永恆的愛)
1977 Demon Seed Soon Yen
1979 Saint Jack Mrs. Yates
1982 Hammett Miss Cameron's Assistant
1982 Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder Sister Marie
1983 Sewing Woman Narrator
1986 Tai-Pan Ah Gip
1987 The Last Emperor (末代皇帝溥儀) Empress Dowager Cixi
1989 The Last Aristocrats (最後的貴族)
1989 The Heroine in Northeast (關東女俠) Yi Pinhong
1990 Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes Mrs. Sato
1993 The Joy Luck Club[1] An-mei Hsu
1993 Temptation of a Monk (誘僧) Shi's Mother
1994 I Love Trouble Mrs. Virginia Hervey
1998 Blindness Mrs. Hong
2000 Sworn Revenge (撞鬼你之血光之災) Ling
2002 Tomato and Eggs Mrs. Wang
2005 Beauty Remains (美人依舊) Woman gambler
2006 The Postmodern Life of My Aunt (姨媽的後現代生活) Mrs. Shui Nominated—Chinese Film Media Award for Best Supporting Actress
2007 Invisible Target (男兒本色) Wai King-ho's grandmother
2007 Lust, Caution (色,戒) Mahjong partner of Aunt
2009 Dim Sum Funeral Mrs. Xiao
2009 2012 Grandmother Sonam
2010 Somewhere Chinese journalist
2010 Apart Together (團圓) Qiao Yu'e
2012 Dangerous Liaisons (危險關係) Madam Du Ruixue
2018 Crazy Rich Asians Shang Su Yi


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Have Gun - Will Travel - "Hey Boy's Revenge" Kim Li Hey Boy's sister
1960 The Rebel - "Blind Marriage" Quong Lia played daughter of Quong Lee (Philip Ahn)
1960 Have Gun - Will Travel - Recurring Role (Season 4) Hey Girl Unknown if this character is still Hey Boy's sister
1961 Bonanza - "Day of the Dragon" Su Ling appeared alongside Philip Ahn, Benson Fong, Richard Loo, and Victor Sen Yung
1962 Cheyenne - "Pocket Full of Stars" Mei Ling
1968 The Big Valley - "Run of the Cat" Chinese girl
1986 China Hand
1988 Noble House Ah Tam
2001 NYPD Blue - "Fools Russian"
2002 Qianlong Dynasty (乾隆王朝) Empress Dowager Chongqing
General Hospital Mrs. Yi

Chinese opera[edit]

Lu attempted to popularize Chinese opera in the United States, touring universities and performing in English.[2]


  • The Reunion, a Peking Opera. with Lisa Lu and K.S. Chen, Lyrichord, 1972

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
1970 Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards Best Actress The Arch Won
1972 Best Supporting Actress The 14 Amazons Won
1975 Best Actress The Empress Dowager Won


  1. ^ a b Passafiume, Andrea (August 8, 2017). "The Joy Luck Club". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Lisa Odham Stokes, Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema (2007), pg. 295.

External links[edit]