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Eugenia Yuan (born Eugenia Yuen Lai-Kei) is an actress.
A Hong Kong Film Awards winner and daughter of martial arts legend Cheng Pei-pei, Eugenia Yuan started out her career not as an actress, but as a rhythmic gymnast for the U.S. Olympic Team and was ranked #4 in the world.
Eventually switching career from an athlete to on-screen ingénue, Eugenia made her screen debut co-starring with her mother in the martial arts picture Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger. She caught the eye of movie executives on both sides of the world who offered to groom her to inherit her mother's kung fu crown.
Eugenia opted instead to co-star in the dark, low-budget feature charlotte sometimes which garnered an honor at the Independent Spirit Awards and was publicly championed by Roger Ebert and featured in his own Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival.
Eugenia returned to Hong Kong to star in Three where she was named "Best Newcomer" in the Hong Kong Film Awards (Hong Kong's equivalent of the Academy Awards). Soon after, Hollywood director Doug Liman hand-picked her for the title role of the cult hit mockumentary Mail Order Wife which brought her to national attention when she was named as a "Rising Star/Screen Acting Discovery" at the premiere of the film in the Hamptons International Film Festival.
She was later nominated at Hong Kong's Golden Horse Awards for her starring role in The Eye 2 and made memorable turns in the John Dahl film The Great Raid and the Oscar-winning Memoirs of a Geisha. The jewelry retailer Me & Ro created a special edition hair ornament inspired by Eugenia's character in the movie.
Eugenia continues to shuttle back and forth between Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong to take Studio, Chinese-language and American independent roles alike including the 2007 Gotham Awards winning film Choking Man. She also co-stars with Tony Leung Ka Fai in the Kenneth Bi film, The Drummer, and Erica Leerhsen in Slaughter.
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