Michelle Yeoh: 5 things to know about the Oscar nominee


Photo: Handout

Malaysians are waiting with bated breath to see if Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh (pic) takes home the Oscars for Best Actress, which will make her the first Asian to win in the category. The 95th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 12.

While we wait for the live broadcast on the morning of March 13, find out a bit more about the the 60-year-old actress. Here are 5 things you might not know about the Malaysian star.

Beauty pageants

Yes, you might have read that Yeoh joined and won the Miss Malaysia World pageant in 1983, but did you know she also travelled to Australia the following year and won the Miss Moomba International pageant?

For the Miss World pageant which was held in London, Yeoh was placed 18th out of 72 contestants.

Dancing queen

Yeoh's first love is not acting, it was dancing. She had been taking ballet lessons since four and continued the passion for dance in her teens when she enrolled in the Royal Academy Of Dance in London.

According to reports, an injury then stopped her from pursuing a career in dance.

First marriage

Yeoh married Hong Kong businessman Dickson Poon in 1988 when she was 28 years old.

The actress met Poon on the set of her first film, Yes, Madam, where he served as producer. The couple divorced three years later.

No work after Bond

After her memorable performance as Bond girl Wai Lin in the 007 film Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997, Yeoh said she was jobless for two years as she rejected script after script that perpetuated Asian stereotypes such as "China dolls" or "Dragon ladies".

She told People magazine: "At that point, people in the industry couldn't really tell the difference between whether I was Chinese or Japanese or Korean or if I even spoke English.

"They would talk very loudly and very slow. I didn't work for almost two years, until Crouching Tiger, simply because I could not agree with the stereotypical roles that were put forward to me."

Loves children

Yeoh has been open about her struggle to have a child. She told You Magazine that she opted for In vitro fertilisation (IVF) but it wasn't a success.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t. I tried IVF, everything. I was desperate. I love kids and saw myself surrounded by them.

"But there’s only so much you can put your body and mind through. It comes to a stage where you have to accept it, move on and deal with the repercussions,” she said in the 2018 interview.

Yeoh added that she's now godmother to several kids, including Poon's daughter from his first marriage and her brother's children.

"I’m very strict with my brother’s children. My sister-in-law will call me from Malaysia and tell me: 'They won’t go to sleep.'

"So I’ll ask for them to be put on the phone and I say: 'Go to sleep now!' and they do. I adore children, but they need that kind of discipline," she told the UK magazine.

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