Linda Lin Dai

Linda Lin Dai (林黛)

Early Life and Background

Linda Lin Dai (林黛), born Cheng Yuetyue (程月如) on December 26, 1934, was a prominent actress in Hong Kong, known for her roles in Mandarin films during the 1950s and 60s. She was a leading star of the Shaw Brothers Studio. Lin Dai was the daughter of Cheng Siyuan (程思遠), who served as the secretary to the KMT Chinese President Li Zongren and was Vice Chairman of the CPPCC.

Career Highlights and Achievements

Shaw Brothers Studio Star

Lin Dai’s acting career was predominantly associated with Shaw Brothers Studio, where she delivered numerous acclaimed performances. Her talent and on-screen presence earned her the Best Actress award at the Asia Pacific Film Festival four times, a testament to her skill and popularity in the film industry.

Education and Personal Life

Studies Abroad and Marriage

In 1958, while attending short courses on drama and linguistics at Columbia University in New York, Lin Dai met Long Shengxun, the son of Long Yun, a former governor of China’s Yunnan province. Their meeting blossomed into a relationship, leading to their marriage on February 12, 1961, in Hong Kong.

Tragic End

Suicide and Its Aftermath

Lin Dai’s life came to a tragic end when she committed suicide at her home in Hong Kong in July 1964. She used an overdose of sleeping pills and inhaled methane gas. The media referred to the reasons behind her suicide as “trivial” family matters, a description that belied the profound impact her death had on her fans and the Chinese community. Her untimely death left a significant void in the film industry.

Unfinished Works

At the time of her death, Lin Dai was working on two films, The Lotus Lamp and Blue And Black (I and II), which remained unfinished.

Legacy

Impact on Chinese Cinema

Linda Lin Dai’s contributions to Hong Kong cinema in the 1950s and 60s left an indelible mark. Her performances, characterized by depth and emotion, have continued to resonate with audiences, maintaining her status as an iconic figure in the history of Chinese cinema. Her tragic end only added to her mystique and enduring legacy in the world of film.

Poster for the movie "The Blue and the Black"

The Blue and the Black

It’s a powerful melodrama about a thwarted romance in 1930s Tientsin, China, during the Japanese occupation, and it stars Linda Lin Dai, one of the era’s most popular stars. It was part of Golden Horse’s 100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films.

Poster for the movie "Beyond the Great Wall"

Beyond the Great Wall

Beyond the Great Wall is a true story based on how Wang Chao-chun sacrificed her love and life for the good of the Chinese people during war time fears between China and the Huns.