Article: Ten Alumni Of The Central Academy Of Drama

Founded in 1950, The Central Academy of Drama was the first theatre higher education institution. Today it is widely known as one of the best and highest-ranked drama and stage arts institutes in China. Here are some famous alumni of this prestigious academy.

1. Gong Li

Gong Li is a prominent Chinese actress who is widely associated with movies directed by Zhang Yi Mou. She is better known to the western audience for her role as a Japanese geisha in the 2005 film ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. In 1985, Gong Li was accepted into the Central Drama Academy. During her second year there, she was interviewed for the role of the rebellious young bride in ‘Red Sorghum’. She not only won the role but also, the interviewer Zhang Yi Mou was greatly impressed.


2. Tiffany Tang

Tiffany Tang is a Chinese singer and actress. She debuted with the film ‘Farewell for Love’ and was nominated for the Best Actress award at the Shanghai Television Festival, 2007, for her role. Tiffany was initially signed under Orange Sky Entertainment Group, but she terminated her contract with the agency in the year 2012, to set up her own studio. Tiffany’s studio is called Tang Yan Studio. She was a part of the 2006 batch that graduated from the Central Academy of Drama.


3. Bai Baihe

Bai Baihe had first displayed a talent for the performing arts while she was a student at the Wendeng Road Elementary School. She was accepted into the Beijing Dance Academy at the age of 12. Bai Baihe auditioned for Zhang Yimpou’s ‘Happy Times’ in the year 2000. Although she was not successful in winning the role, she did manage to impress the director, who recommended her to the Central Academy of Drama. She was admitted as a student in 2002. Post-graduation, Bai Baihe made her TV debut in the 2006 series, ‘Bloom of Youth’. She has been ranked among the highest-paid Chinese actresses.


4. Deng Chao

Deng Chao is a Chinese movie director and actor. Deng Chao made his TV debut with ‘The Joy of Spring’, aired in 2001. It was in 2003 that he finally made his entry into mainstream acting and was heavily recognized for his role in ‘When Love Loses Its Memory’. He went on to make his debut as a director in 2014, with the film ‘The Breakup Guru’.


5. Mao Xiaotong

Mao Xiaotong is a Chinese actress. She is professionally known as Rachel Momo. Mao is popularly known for her supporting roles in ‘Empresses in the Palace’, ‘The Princess Weiyoung’ and the highly successful drama ‘Love O2O’, starring male lead Yang Yang. Mao Xiaotong has a knack for the musical world, having taken vocal and keyboard lessons since a young age. She also learned competitive ballroom dancing like the Latin dance and dancesport.


6. Jiang Wen

Jiang Wen is a film actor, screenwriter, and director. He is often grouped with the ‘Sixth Generation of Directors’ that emerged in the 1990s. He is well known among the international audience as Baze Malbus in the 2016 film, ‘Rogue One’, a Star Wars film. Jiang Wen entered the Central Academy of Drama in 1980 and graduated 4 years later in 1984. He made his debut as Puyi in ‘The Last Empress’.


7. Chen Xiao

Chen Xiao is a renowned Chinese film and television actor. He was born and raised in Anhui. Chen Xiao first gained an interest in acting during his high school years and proceeded to get a degree in performing arts from the Central Academy of Drama in the year, 2009. His journey as an actor kick-started with a minor role in the 2010 hit film ‘Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame’. Chen Xiao’s first significant breakthrough in his acting career was with the hit drama ‘Palace II’, where he started as the ‘19th Prince’.


8. Wang Kai

Born in Wuhan, China, Wang Kai is a popularly known Chinese actor. He made his entry into showbiz in 2005, following a lead role in the 2005 TV series ‘Cold Autumn’. Wang Kai became a much more prominent actor in 2013 when he played the role of Fang Mengwei in the historical drama ‘All Quiet in Peking’. He gained much more attention in 2015 when he starred in the costume drama ‘Nirvana in Fire’ and the spy drama, ‘The Disguiser’.


9. Cheng Yi

Cheng Yi, born as Fu Shiqi in Hunan China, is a Chinese actor. He is of the Han Chinese ethnicity. He debuted in the 2011 historical drama, ‘Beauty World’ with a supporting role. Cheng Yi earned his big break in the entertainment world after being cast in the 2020 Xianxia drama, ‘Love and Redemption’.


10. Tang Wei

Tang Wei is a Chinese actress. She became a highly popular household name after her appearance in ‘Lust, Caution’, in the year 2007. Tang Wei is the offspring of a former stage actress and painter. Although she initially wanted to become an archaeologist or lawyer, she entered into a modeling shoot in 1997. Tang Wei went on to graduate from the Central Academy of Drama with a major in directing.