We ran into Bai Ling a few months ago. “Bai Ling,” we said, “you came down from the roof!” That was our clever reference to an episode of Celebrity Rehab where the troubled actress refused to take medication and ran up to the roof of Dr. Drew’s rehab center. Bai Ling looked at us, gave a very warm smile, and said, “I was on the roof looking for handsome man like you!”
Then she went on through the crowd and we kind of felt like jerks in need of rehab ourselves. But we are happy to do some penance by reaching out and wishing Bai Ling a very happy 45th birthday–celebrating the only way that we know how, which is by looking at a bunch of hot pics of the proudly bisexual lady and wondering if maybe we didn’t really have a shot there. (You can be sure she’s on our list of the 30 Hottest Bisexual Celebrities.)
Probably not. We were drunk, and Bai Ling seemed perfectly sober. That’s always good news. She’s had a weird life since stumbling on a chance for American stardom in the 1994 comic-book adaptation The Crow. Bai Ling was a respected actress in China, but her villainess role in The Crow was flashy and fun. She easily stood out in the indie film Dead Funny. Oliver Stone cast her as a Chinese interpreter in his Nixon biopic, and that became her first classy American film.
Then she had a lead role with Richard Gere in the 1997 murder mystery Red Corner, and Bai Ling was an official star. She made People magazine’s list of The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World the next year, and Hollywood cast her in the Will Smith actioner The Wild Wild West (a bomb) and the King and I remake of Anna and the King (an international hit).
Then she began to develop a reputation as unreliable. Hollywood was probably happy to not have to deal with Bai Ling’s unique presence. Bai Ling didn’t go back to China, though. She kept making indie films and remained fun and outspoken. She landed a shoot with Playboy, but later claimed that’s why she was cut from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
2005 really should have been Bai Ling’s comeback year. She gave two great performances in the indie films Dumplings and The Beautiful Country, and was the only fun thing about the Hollywood comedy My Baby’s Daddy. Instead, Bai Ling ended up on reality shows and keeps heading toward being a crazy television personality. But, as noted, she seems sober now, and somebody’s going to make the proper use of her talents someday. 2009’s Crank: High Voltage came close.
Until then, we’ll keep following her Facebook and enjoying her plentiful pics–which prove that Bai Ling isn’t bailing out on being a beauty…