Datuk Seri Michelle Yeoh or Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng DPMP, SPMP  (born 6 August 1963) is a Hong Kong-based Malaysian Chinese actress, well known for performing her own stunts in the action films that brought her to fame in the early 1990s.
Born in Ipoh, Malaysia, she is based in Hong Kong and was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.
She is best known in the Western world for her roles in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, playing Wai Lin, and the multiple Academy Award-winning Chinese-language martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which she was nominated the BAFTA in 2000, for "Best Actress". In 2008, the film critic website Rotten Tomatoes ranked her the greatest action heroine of all time. In 2009, she was listed by People magazine – as the only Asian actress – as one of the "35 All-Time Screen Beauties".
She is credited as Michelle Khan in some of her earlier films. This alias was chosen by the D&B studio who thought it might be more marketable to international and western audiences. Yeoh later preferred using her real name.
Yeoh at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival
|Chinese name||楊紫瓊 (Traditional)|
|Chinese name||杨紫琼 (Simplified)|
|Pinyin||Yáng Zǐqióng (Mandarin)|
|Jyutping||Joeng4 Zi2king4 (Cantonese)|
|Birth name||Yeoh Choo-Kheng (Iûⁿ Chí-khēng)|
|Born|| 6 August 1963 
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
|Spouse(s)||Dickson Poon (1988–1992)|
Early life and careerMichelle Yeoh Choo Kheng was born to a Han Chinese family in Ipoh, Malaysia. Her parents are Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Geik, a lawyer and MCA politician. She was keen on dance from an early age, beginning ballet at the age of four. At the age of 15, she moved with her parents to England, where she was enrolled in a boarding school. Yeoh later studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, majoring in ballet. However, a spinal injury prevented her from becoming a professional ballet dancer, and she transferred her attention to choreography and other arts. She later received a B.A. degree in Creative Arts with a minor in Drama.
In 1983, at the age of 21, Yeoh won the Miss Malaysia beauty pageant. She was also Malaysia's representative at the 1983 Miss World pageant in London. From there, she appeared in a television commercial with Jackie Chan which caught the attention of a fledgling Hong Kong film production company, D&B Films. Yeoh started her film career acting in action and martial arts films such as Yes, Madam in 1985, after which she did most of her own stunts.
The D&B Group in Hong Kong was run by Dickson Poon. Yeoh married Poon in 1987 and retired from acting. After the couple divorced in 1992, Yeoh returned to acting.
Wider fameYeoh's performance in Police Story 3: Super Cop sealed her comeback. She acted in The Heroic Trio in 1993, and the Yuen Woo-ping films Tai Chi Master and Wing Chun in 1994.
Yeoh learned English and Malay before Cantonese. She learned the lines for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon phonetically.
She starred in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies as Wai Lin (1997). Natasha Henstridge was rumoured to be cast in the lead Bond girl role but eventually Yeoh was confirmed. Brosnan was impressed, describing her as a "wonderful actress" who was "serious and committed about her work". He referred to her as a "female James Bond" in reference to her combat abilities. She wanted again to perform her own stunts but was prevented because director Roger Spottiswoode considered it too dangerous. Still she performed all of her fighting scenes. Thereafter, she was offered the role of Seraph in the two sequels to The Matrix, but she could not accept due to a scheduling conflict (the Matrix writers then changed Seraph into a male character and cast Collin Chou in the role). In 2002, she produced her first English film, The Touch through her own production company, Mythical Films.
In 2005, Yeoh starred as the graceful Mameha in the film adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha, and she continued her English-language work in 2007 with Sunshine. In 2008, Michelle Yeoh also starred in fantasy action film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with Brendan Fraser and Jet Li.
In 2010, she starred in Reign of Assassins.
Guerlain to be its new skincare ambassador. Yeoh will play a role in strengthening the French cosmetics company's relationship with Asia.
Apart from action films, she is famous for playing nationalists in two biopics. In 1997, she played Soong Ai-ling in the award winning The Soong Sisters. In 2011, she portrayed Aung San Suu Kyi in Luc Besson's The Lady.
ControversyOn 22 June 2011, Yeoh was deported from Burma, allegedly over a new film The Lady, in which Yeoh portrays Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Personal lifeYeoh was married to Hong Kong entrepreneur Dickson Poon, who owns businesses such as Harvey Nichols and Charles Jourdan. She is a Buddhist.
In March 2008, she visited Vietnam to film a documentary for the Asian Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF). On 31 July 2008, she confirmed news that she was engaged to Jean Todt, a leading figure in motor racing, during an interview with Craig Ferguson on CBS's The Late Late Show.
Yeoh is also a patron of the Save China's Tigers project committed to protect the endangered South China Tiger.
Awards, honours and stylesIn 1999, she was a member of the jury at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.
On 19 April 2001, Yeoh was awarded the Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP), which carries the title Dato' by Sultan Azlan Shah, the Sultan of Perak, her home state, in recognition of the fame she brought to the state.
On 25 November 2002, she was honoured as The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) (Cultural Achievement) by JCI (Junior Chamber International).
On 23 April 2007, the then French President Jacques Chirac awarded her Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. The decoration was presented to her in a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on 3 October 2007.
In 2011, she received a special award for her contribution to Malaysian cinema at Malaysian Film Festival (FFM 24).
On 14 March 2012, the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded her the Officier de la Légion d'honneur. The decoration was presented to her at a ceremony held at the president's official residence, the Elysee Palace on that day.
On 22 May 2012, she was awarded the Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak (SPMP) which carries the title Datuk Seri' during the investiture ceremony in conjunction with the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah's birthday.