Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng, recognized as Michelle Yeoh, is a Malaysian actress who came to limelight after she started performing her own stunt in a series of popular Hong Kong action movies in early 1990’s. She is also known for her acting in the films including, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Reign of Assassins and so on. She is the winner of the Miss Malaysia beauty pageant. Currently, she is engaged to Jean Todt after divorce from her previous husband, Dickson Poon.
Early Life and Education
Michelle Yeoh was born on 6th August 1962 in Ipoh, Malaysia to Chinese ethnicity family of mixed Cantonese and Hokkien descent. Her mother Janet Yeoh was a housewife whereas her father Yeoh Kian Teik was a lawyer and MCA politician. She follows Buddhism.
From childhood, she was interested in dancing and began taking ballet at the age of 4. At the age of 15, she along with her parents moved to the United Kingdom and there she studied at boarding school. Later, she joined Royal Academy of Dance, London majoring in ballet.
After she had a spinal injury, she had to give up on her dream to be a professional ballet dancer. After the incident, she transferred her attention to choreography and other arts. She completed her degree in Creative Arts with a minor in Drama.
When she was 20, she won the title Miss Malaysia beauty pageant in 1983 and represented Malaysia at the Queen of the Pacific beauty pageant, held in Australia. Also, she was Malaysia’s representative at the Miss World 1983 pageant in London.
Yeoh began her career in acting from the action comedy movie, The Owl vs Bombo directed and starred by Sammon Hung along with George Lam, Deanie Ip and so on. The following year, she shared the screen with Jackie Chan in the martial art action comedy movie, Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars and in Hong Kong action movie, Yes, Madam for which she was nominated for Hong Kong Film Award for Best New Performer.
For the second time, she shared the screen with Jackie Chan in the Hong Kong comedy movie, Police Story 3: Super Cop which earned the box office collection of $16.2 million. Later, she also made her appearance in the movies such as The Heroic Trio, Holy Weapon, The Soong Sisters, Tomorrow Never Dies and much more.
Her role Yu Shu Lien in the martial art movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made her nominated for different awards such as TFCA Award, Saturn Award, BAFTA Film Award, Golden Horse Award, Hong Kong Film Award and VFCC Award but failed to receive any of them.
She also starred in the prequel to the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny released in 2016. She played the role of Yu Shu Lien opposite to Donnie Yen in the movie.
Apart from acting, she has given her voice in the 3D American computer-animated comedy-drama martial art movie, Kung Fu Panda 2 where she voiced the sound of Soothsayer. She had a cameo appearance of Aleta Ogord in the American superhero movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 which earned the box office collection of $863.4 million.
Moreover, she has appeared in few of the TV series including Strike Back, Marco Polo and Stark Terk: Discovery. Also, she has given her voice for Zi Juan in the video game, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Her upcoming flick movie is Mawas and Crazy Rich Asians.
Award and Honor
Michelle Yeoh was a member of the jury at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival. She received her first award Darjah Datuk Padika Mahkota Perak (DPMP) on 19th April 2001 which carried the title Dato by Sultan Azlan Shah, the Sultan of Perak, in recognition of the fame she brought to the state.
She also received different awards including French President Jacques Chirac, Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) and a special award for her contribution to Malaysian cinema at Malaysian Film Festival (FFM 24).
Yeoh was once a married to Dickson Poon: as the couple exchanged their vows in an intimate ceremony in February 1988. She even left her job as an actress in order to take care of her husband and become a full-time housewife.
Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last long and the husband and wife divorced in 1992 citing irreconcilable differences. The couple doesn't share any children. After the divorce, she entered the world of entertainment and made a big name for herself.
After long interval from the first divorce, she began dating Jean Todt and got engaged in 2008. She confirmed her engagement during an interview with Craig Ferguson on CBS’s The Late Late Show. Though the couple is engaged, they are yet to marry.
She is involved in some of the non-profit organization and is a patron of the Save China’s Tigers project to protect the endangered South China Tiger and has visited Vietnam to film a documentary for the Asian Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPE).
Michelle Yeoh is one of the richest James Bond Girls like Halle Berry and Denise Richards, who has earned a lucrative amount of net worth of $40 million. Her source of income includes acting, voice acting, and modeling.
Currently, she lives in a lavish Golden Beach bungalow which consists of a big yard and swimming pool. She is also passionate about cars and has a collection, her favorite one is Ferrari 612 Scarlatti.
Michelle Yeoh Affairs
Second Affair with Jean Todt
Jean Todt is the fiance of Michelle Yeoh: as the couple exchanged rings in 2008. Jean Todt is a French motorsport executive. He is also a rally co-driver and worked in motorsport management, first with Peugeot Sport, then with Scuderia Ferrari. Also, he was an executive officer of Ferrari from 2006 to 2008.