Zhao Tao

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For the Chinese male swimmer, see Zhao Tao (swimmer).
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zhao.
Zhao Tao
Io sono Li (5).jpg
Chinese name 赵涛 (simplified)
Pinyin Zhào Tāo (Mandarin)
Jyutping Jèung Maahn Yuhk (Cantonese)
Born (1977-01-28) 28 January 1977 (age 38)
Taiyuan, China
Occupation Actress,Producer
Years active 1999-Present
Spouse(s) Jia Zhangke (2012-Present)

Zhao Tao (born 28 January 1977) is a famous Chinese actress. She works in China and Europe, has over 10 films to her credit since starting her career in 1999 and is the muse of director Jia Zhangke. Zhao first came into international prominence through close collaboration with Chinese director Jia Zhangke and is credited with helping to bring Chinese cinema to Europe, especially Italy. As Shun Li in Shun Li and the Poet, her best starring role to date, she became the first Asian actress to win a prize at David di Donatello.


She was born January 28, 1977, in Taiyuan, Shanxi, which is also the hometown of the heroine in Still Life. As a child, she studied classical Chinese dance. In 1996, she enrolled in the folk dance department at Beijing Dance Academy. After graduation, she became a dance teacher in Taiyuan Normal College, where she was spotted by Jia during casting for Platform.[1] Since then they work frequently together.

In 2011 she starred in the Italian movie Shun Li and the Poet by Andrea Segre, the movie was screened in the Venice Days section of the 68th Venice International Film Festival.[2] Zhao won the David di Donatello Award, the Italian Oscar, for Best Actress for her bilingual role.

Personal life[edit]

On January 7, 2012 she married director Jia Zhangke.

Complete Filmography[edit]

Year English Title Chinese Title Role Notes
2000 Platform 站台 Yin Ruijuan Ensemble
2002 Unknown Pleasures 任逍遥 Qiao Qiao Lead
2004 The World 世界 Tao Lead
2006 Still Life 三峡好人 Shen Hong Lead
2007 Our Ten Years Women 德石年 - Lead
2008 24 City 二十四城记 Su Na Ensemble
2008 Dada's Dance Dada - Ensemble
2008 Cry Me a River 河上的愛情 Zhou Qi Lead
2009 Remembrance 念石 - Lead
2010 Ten Thousand Waves - Blue Goddess Ensemble
2011 Shun Li and the Poet - Shun Li Lead
2013 A Touch of Sin 天注定 Xiao Yu Ensemble
TBA Mountains May Depart 山河故人


  1. ^ "Constant Muse: Jia Zhangke's leading lady Zhao Tao". China Film Journal. 24 March 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
  2. ^ "5 September". La Biennale di venezia. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 

External links[edit]