My Family History

Trace your ancestors and then immortalise them!

                     Li Lihua  李丽华   1924-2017

Li Li-hua was born in Hebei, China on August 17, 1924 (Lunar July 7, 1924) She was the daughter of famous Beijing opera actress Li Gui-fang and actor Zhang Shao-chuan. She was born premature at 7 months, and was a sickly baby, often crying weakly "miao..ow....miao...ow";  hence her mother  nicknamed her "xiaomi"  meaning little kitten. Her father died when she was four, but her mother lived past 90.  

Before her film debut, the producer devised  a big promotional campaign. A newspaper article appeared daily announcing that Miss Li Lihua would award anyone who helped her find her diamond ring lost at a local circus show. After several days of such publicity, a final announcement mentioned that Li Lihua had found her ring and was grateful to everyone for helping. The producer then released her first movie, drawing a large curious crowd.  Everyone wanted to know who this Li Lihua person was. "San Xiao" (Three Smiles, Shanghai 1940) became a box office success and Li Lihua became an overnight star.

She moved to Hong Kong in 1948. She appeared in films produced by the Great China, Yung Hwa, Great Wall, Shaw Brothers, Lung Ma, Xin Hwa and many more. In 1955, she starred in Blood Will Tell, which was the first color movie in Hong Kong. She starred in several Shaw Brothers blockbusters, such as The Grand Substitution, The Magnificent Concubine, Empress Wu and Vermilion Door etc. Li won the Best Actress Award at the 3rd and 7th Golden Horse Film Awards in 1965 and 1969 with her performance in Between Tears And Smiles and The Partisan Lovers respectively. She retired from the film industry in 1973, after more than 120 movies. She had the busy, industrious nature of Rat Year combined with Cancer's mystery and allure.

She was nicknamed Hsiao Mi - 'The Evergreen Tree' of Chinese cinema owing to her long and popular movie career and youthful looks. She also made her mark in Hollywood, with Cecile de Mille, Victor Mature, and Yul Bryner among her many admirers. In 1958, she became one of the first Chinese actresses to star in a Hollywood film “China Doll” with Victor Mature. A very young Jackie Chan appeared in 3 films with her. More than half a century later, Chan presented Li with the lifetime achievement award at the 2015 Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. During his speech, he said: "I called her mother once, but the title has stuck for more than 50 years since then." Chan also described Li as an "eternal star" and an "eternal goddess", before dropping to his knees to present her with the award.

The Singapore Entertainment & Television Eight magazine featured her as one of the Most Beautiful Stars of the 20th Century, describing her as a "Bewitching Belle: She was a diva before the title was trendy. Li LiHua, the classic Chinese femme fatale, exuded a regal air which she lent to to her portrayals of bold women like Empress Wu ...."


Li Li-hua died this week in Hong Kong on Sunday March 19, 2017. She was 92. and will be missed by us all.  Bless you Li LiHua – and thank you so much for being you - a very wonderful person to be. Enjoy your time now singing with the angels. They must be so happy to have one of their own now joining. I recommend anyone who would like to leave a tribute to her and enjoy pictures and music from her - to visit a website dedicated to her memory 

                                                                       Filmography (1940-1978)

            Producer (2 films)

            Revenge of a Beautiful Ghost (1970)            

            The Twins (1971)            

            Actress (104 films)

            3 Smiles (1940)            

            3 Smiles Part Two (1940)            

            Brave Biography (1941)            

            Hearts Aflamed (1941)            

            The Story of Qiuhaitang (1943)            

            Colorful Tokyo (1944)            

            Three Women (1947)      

            Yang Yan Tian (1947)            

            Broken Spring Dreams (1947)            

            Fake Phoenix (1947)            

            The Thousand Mile Escort of Jingnian (1948)        

            The Corn in Ripe for Plucking (1948) .     

            The Lady Thief (1948) ...      

            A Fisherman's Honour (1949)            

            Our Husband (1949) ...      

            The Awful Truth (1950) ...      

            The Insulted and the Injured (1950)  

            Spring Comes and Winter Goes (1950)            

            The Victims (1951) ...     

            Spoiling the Wedding Day (1951)            

            The Flower Girl (1951)    

            The Fiery Phoenix (1951)            

            Red Roses (1952)            

            Sweet Song for You (1952)            

            Sweet Memories (1952)            

            Midas (1952)            

            A Respectable Family (1952)            

            Modern Red Chamber Dream (1952)      

            Green Heaven (1953)            

            A Song to Remember (1953)          

            Qiu Jin, the Revolutionary Heroine (1953)            

            General Chai and Lady Balsam (1953)

            A Midsummer Night's Love (1953)            

            Heaven of Love, Sea of Sin (1953)            

            Lover Eternal (1953)            

            The Beauty and the Dumb (1954) ... Xiuxiu     

            Girl on the Loose (1954)            

            The Wind Withers (1954)            

            Rose I Love You (1954)            

            What Price Beauty ? (1955) ... Xiao Bai Cai     

            Blood Will Tell (1955)            

            Beauty of Tokyo (1955)            

            Camille (1955)            

            Lady Balsam's Conquest (1955)            

            Our Lovely Baby (1956)            

            Nonya and Baba (1956)            

            A Dark Wench (1956)            

            Madame Butterfly (1956) ... Cio Cio San     

            Rainstorm in Chinatown (1956)            

            Xi Shi (1956)                   

            Blind Love (1956)            

            The Secret of a Married Woman (1956)            

            My Lover, the Ghost (1956)            

            The Flame of Love (1956)            

            Red Bloom in the Snow (1956) ... Xue Lihong     

            Happy Union (1957) ... Shui Ping-Hsin     

            No Time for Love (1957)            

            The Great Wall of China (1957)  

           Story of Lu Siniang (1958)            

            The Film World's Merry Song (1958)            

            The Story of Yuan Yuan Hong (1958)    

            A Romantic Lady (1959)            

            The Long Voyage Home (1959)            

            A Shot in the Dark (1960)            

            The Pistol (1961) ... Bus passenger     

            Big and Little Wong Tin Bar (1962

            The Black Fox (1962)            

            Yang Kwei Fei (1962) ... 

            Angel of the Wilderness (1962)            

            Mung Li Chuen (1963)            

            Three Sinners (1963) ... 

            The Adulteress (1963) ...   

            The Empress Wu Tse-tien (1963) ... 

            The Second Spring (1963)            

            Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai (1964) ... 

            The Story of Qin Xianglian (1964)            

            The Coin (1964)    

            Between Tears and Laughter (1964) ...

            Squadron 77 (1965)            

            Call of the Sea (1965)            

            Vermillion Door (1965) ...   

            The Grand Substitution (1965) ...

            The Joy of Spring (1966)            

            Lady Jade Locket (1967) ...     

            Rape of the Sword (1967) ...   

            The Goddess of Mercy (1967) ... 

            The Partisan Lovers (1969) ...     

            Storm Over the Yang-Tse River (1969)            

            Secret Agent Chang Jiang No.1 (1970)            

            Four Moods (1970)            

            A Tale of Ghost and Fox (1970)            

            Revenge of a Beautiful Ghost (1970)            

            The Unforgotten Ones (1970)            

            The Longest Appointment (1971)            

            Liufu Tea House (1971)            

            Five Plus Five (1971)            

            The Widow Takes Revenge (1971)            

            The Twins (1971)            

            Golden Rose (1972)            

            The Fate of Lee Khan (1973) ... 

            The Legend of Mother Goddess (1975)            

            Unforgetable Heroine (1975)            

            Boxer Rebellion (1976) ... 

            Dream of the Red Chamber (1978)