Zoe Tay

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Zoe Tay
Chinese name 鄭惠玉 (traditional)
Chinese name 郑惠玉 (simplified)
Pinyin zhèng huì yù (Mandarin)
Born Tay Hui Gek
(1968-01-10) 10 January 1968 (age 50)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1988–present
Label(s) Mediacorp
Spouse(s) Philip Chionh (m. 2001)
Children 3
Star Awards 1994 - Star Awards 2003 :
Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes

Star Awards 1996 : Best Actress
Star Awards 2004 : All-Time Favourite Artiste
Star Awards 2017 : Best Dressed Celebrity & Best Actress

Zoe Tay (born 10 January 1968) is a Singaporean actress and former model and contracted artiste under MediaCorp. [1] At the Star Awards 2004, Tay received the All-Time Favourite Artiste award. Tay is referred to as "Ah Jie" (senior actress) by the local media and fellow Mediacorp artists due to her status as the "Queen of Caldecott Hill".[2][3]


Tay started out as a model at the age of sixteen. In 1987, she was named Model of The Year. After Tay was crowned champion of the inaugural Star Search in 1988, she was offered a 3-year contract with the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), now known as Mediacorp. While Tay had initially disliked acting, she began feeling passionate for her craft after her role in Crime and Passion in 1991. Her breakthrough performance as a materialistic young woman in Pretty Faces catapulted her into stardom. Her popularity was affirmed with a Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste Award at the Star Awards every year for ten consecutive years since its inception in 1994. In 1996, Zoe won the Best Actress award for her role in The Golden Pillow at the annual Star Awards. In 2004, she was the first actress to have been awarded the prestigious All-Time Favourite Artiste .

Other than television dramas, Tay also forayed into films. In 2010, she starred opposite Hong Kong actor Kenny Ho in Love Cuts, playing the role of a terminally ill woman who has breast cancer. In 2013, she appeared in her first fully English-speaking role in Mister John with Irish star Aidan Gillen.

Tay has collaborated with many artistes in her various projects. Her on-screen chemistry with Li Nanxing in The Unbeatables and other serials has put them in the list of the Top 5 Best Onscreen Couples at the Star Awards 25th Drama Anniversary show. In 2015, she collaborated for the first time with Huang Biren, in The Dream Makers II.

In 2014, a wax figurine was modelled after her by Madame Tussauds Singapore, and is currently on display in the museum.[4][5]

Tay won her second Best Actress at the Star Awards 2017 for You Can Be An Angel 2, 21 years after her first. In an interview recently, she revealed that after her first win in 1996, she had contemplated quitting as she felt "strangely empty and lost". Instead, she enrolled in an acting class in New York, an experience which transformed her to "someone who is focused on improving my acting and who can be exemplary to other actors." Guiding her are three Chinese words from her father: 毅力 or perseverance, 耐力 or endurance , 勇气 or courage.[6]

In Star Awards 2018 , Tay was nominated for Best Actress for the drama, While We Are Young.

Personal life[edit]

Tay is the sixth of seven children born to Teochew parents. She was three when her biological mother died in an accident. Her father remarried and had a daughter with Wong Pong Chin.[7] Her father worked at a pig farm in Lim Chu Kang while her stepmother was a housewife. Tay attended the now-defunct Kay Hua Primary School and later, Yuan Ching Secondary School, where she completed her O-level examinations. She studied design at the Baharuddin Vocational Institute.

When she was 13, she thought of using "Jenny" as her Christian name as people pronounced her hanyu pinyin surname Zheng as "Jenny". However her siblings didn't like it. She later found the name "Zoe" in a dictionary.[7]

She is fluent in Mandarin, Teochew and Cantonese.

Tay is married to Philip Chionh, an RSAF pilot.[8] They were engaged in 1995 and held their wedding ceremony in 2001. They have 3 sons together: Brayden, Ashton and Nathan.[9]



Year Title
1988 窈窕淑女 My Fair Ladies
奇缘之怨偶天成 Strange Encounters II
1989 铁警雄风 Patrol
亲心唤我心 A Mother's Love
1990 出人头地 Finishing Line
壮志豪情 Navy
1991 最后一个大侠 The Last Swordsman
三面夏娃 Pretty Faces
1992 霹雳红唇 Ladies In Action
执法先锋 Crime and Passion
戏剧人生 Terms of Endearment
1993 暴雨狂花 Angel of Vengeance
卿本佳人 Ride The Waves
双天至尊 The Unbeatables
欢喜冤家 Happy Foes
1994 惊天大阴谋 Thunder Plot
爱情定金(电视电影) Love Dowry
聪明糊涂心 Truly Yours
一号凶宅 Shadow In the Dark
1995 潮洲家族 Teochew Family
甜甜屋(电视电影) Love Knows No Bounds
金枕头 Golden Pillow
1996 杀之恋 (电视电影) Pointed Triangle
妈姐情缘 A Different Life
双天至尊II The Unbeatables II
1997 101老婆之老婆柠檬茶 My Wife, Your Wife, Their Wives
富贵双城 Love in A Foreign City
长河 Rising Expectations
迷情专访(电视电影) The Scoop
1998 神雕侠侣 Return of the Condor Heroes
卫斯理传奇 The New Adventures Of Wisely
1999 另类佳人 Lost Soul
千年虫 'The Millennium Bug
2000 家事 My Home Affairs
2001 世纪攻略 The Stratagem
大酒店 The Hotel
2002 加东 Miss Oh Katong Miss Oh
双天至尊III The Unbeatables III
2003 PCK Pte Ltd V 鬼马家族V
我家四个宝 Baby Boom
2004 跑吧男人 Man at 40
野蛮亲家 My Mighty In Laws
2006 闲妻靓母 Lady of Leisure
百万宝 A Million Treasures
2008 绝对佳人 La Femme
不凡的爱 By My Side
Year Drama Role Notes
2009 The Ultimatum
Ye Yuchen
  • Pairs up with Li Nanxing
  • 1/2 Female Lead 两大女主角之一
2011 Devotion
Liu Zhaodi
  • Pairs up with Chen Hanwei
  • 1st of the Female Lead 第一女主角
2012 Double Bonus
Li Meifeng
  • Pairs up with Terence Cao
  • 1st of the Female Lead 第一女主角
2013 The Dream Makers
Zhou Weiyun
  • Pairs up with Chen Hanwei
  • 1/4 of the Female Lead 四大女主角之一
Qiu Yun
2015 You Can Be An Angel Too
Wang Ruojun
  • Pairs up with Zheng Geping
  • 1/4 of the Female Lead 四大女主角之一
The Dream Makers II
Zhou Weiyun
  • Pairs up with Li Nanxing
  • 1/4 of the Female Lead 四大女主角之一
2016 Eat Already?
Doctor Tay
  • Special Appearance 特别演出
You Can Be An Angel 2
Wang Ruojun
  • Pairs up with Thomas Ong
  • 1/4 of the Female Lead 四大女主角之一
  • Pairs up with Guo Liang
  • Cameo Appearance 客串
2017 While We Are Young
Fang Ting
  • Pairs up with Terence Cao
  • 1st Female Lead 第一女主角
2018 A Million Dollar Dream
Hu Jiaofeng
  • Pairs up with Chen Hanwei
  • 1st Female Lead 第一女主角
  • Cameo Appearance 客串
  • Toggle Original Series



  • 真心真意郑惠玉
  • 真心真意携手同行-柬埔寨之旅 With Heart And Soul - Cambodia Trip


  • 奇趣搜搜搜-印度之旅 Travel Hunt - India
  • 歌舞欢腾迎新喜2002 Lunar New Year All Stars Variety 2002
  • 一切由慎开始 Health Matters
  • 真心真意蒙古之行 Journey Across Mongolia 2003
  • 一切由慎开始II Health Matters II
  • 惠眼看世界 Wonders of the World
  • 真心真意莱索托之行 Journey Across Lesotho


  • 我爱我家之真情实录 Chronicles of Life
  • 惠眼看世界II Wonders of the World II
  • 阿姐有喜了 Zoe's Mommy Tips


  • 阿姐有个宝 Queen Zoe's Treasure Trove


  • Ladies Nite 女人聚乐部



  • 梁婆婆重出江湖(友情客串) Liang Po Po The Movie (special appearance)


  • 孩子.树 The Tree


  • 割爱 Love Cuts


  • Mister John

Awards and nominations[edit]

The Star Awards are presented by Mediacorp.

Star Awards – Acting Awards
Year Category Nominated work Result
1995 Best Actress Love Dowry Nominated
1996 Best Actress The Golden Pillow Won
1997 Best Actress A Different Life Nominated
1998 Best Actress The New Adventures of Wisely Nominated
1999 Best Actress Lost Souls Nominated
2000 Best Actress My Home Affairs Nominated
2001 Best Actress The Strategem Nominated
2003 Best Actress Baby Boom Nominated
2012 Best Actress Devotion Nominated
2016 Best Actress The Dream Makers II Nominated
2017 Best Actress You Can Be An Angel 2 Won
2018 Best Actress While We Are Young Pending

Star Awards - Popularity Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
1994 Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes Won
1995 Won
1996 Won
1997 Won
1998 Won
1999 Won
2000 Won
2001 Won
2002 Won
2003 Won

Star Awards - Popularity Awards[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Result
2004 All Time Favourite Artiste Award N/A Won
2014 Favourite Female Character The Dream Makers Nominated
London Choco Roll In The Name Of Love Nominated
Star Awards for Most Popular Regional Artiste (China) N/A Nominated
Star Awards for Most Popular Regional Artiste (Malaysia) N/A Nominated
Star Awards for Most Popular Regional Artiste (Indonesia) N/A Nominated
Star Awards for Most Popular Regional Artiste (Cambodia) N/A Nominated
2016 Toggle Celebrity BFF Award (with Chen Hanwei) N/A Nominated

Asian Television Award[edit]

Asian Television Awards – Acting Awards
Year Category Nominated work Result
Asian Television Awards 2017 Best Actress in a Leading Role You Can Be An Angel 2 Nominated


  1. ^ Loh, Aretha (17 June 2015). "Zoe Tay on why she's not afraid of growing old". Her World. Retrieved 2016-11-15. 
  2. ^ Tay, Mervin; Whang, Rennie; Tan, Judith (15 June 2013). "MediaCorp veterans blast young actors for being rude". The New Paper. 
  3. ^ Fam, Jonathan (11 January 2017). "Zoe Tay Shows Us Why She'll Always Be The Queen of Caldecott Hill". 8 Days. 
  4. ^ Chan, Ilsa (23 October 2014). "Zoe Tay 'surprised' by her wax figure at Madame Tussauds". Toggle. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  5. ^ "Zoe Tay's wax double - TODAYonline". YouTube. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  6. ^ Yun, Daniel (14 May 2017). "Understanding Zoe Tay's enduring appeal". Today. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  7. ^ a b Tan, Sumiko (21 May 2017). "Lunch With Sumiko: Zoe Tay on motherhood, her mum, and how she once called herself Jenny". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  8. ^ Ejlersen, Jeanette (29 January 2015). "EXPERT ADVICE: Timeless wedding tips from Zoe Tay". Her World. Retrieved 2016-01-05. 
  9. ^ Chua, Charlene (20 January 2013). "Zoe wants Baby No. 4 but..." Asiaone. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 

External links[edit]