Michelle Yeoh's Career in Photos

See how the Oscar-winning actress has flourished through the years

01 of 13

Yes, Madam!, 1985

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

The buddy cop film — starring two females, Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock (left), somewhat of a first — was just Yeoh's second feature.

"The first hurdle I had to go through was the guys accepting me to the boys' club," she told The Hollywood Reporter. She joined the stuntmen at the gym, asking them to teach her their ways.

"I think it was quite refreshing for them," she added. "Humility goes a long way."

02 of 13

Tai Chi Master, 1993

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

The 1993 action film paired Yeoh with another big name — Jet Li — and put the stunt training she began on Yes, Madam! to good use.

03 of 13

The Soong Sisters, 1997

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

Yeoh starred in the true story of three influential Chinese sisters. "Every time I make a movie, I hope the audience discovers something new about me," the star told PEOPLE of the parts she takes.

04 of 13

Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

"I was quite surprised when they did cast me," she told EW. "When I did get the role I remember going to do the audition with Pierce and it's like oh my god — phew! — and he is the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful gentleman. We had such a great time filming. The most fun is when I was going through immigration and you have to explain why you are coming to London and what movie you are doing. and I said, 'Oh I'm going to be in a Bond movie,' and you could see [the officials'] face change. It was so great."

05 of 13

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

For director Ang Lee's epic, the actress had to learn Mandarin and perform wire stunts. "That was probably the most memorable, the most happy, the most painful, the most emotional," she told EW of the Oscar-winning film. "I have the greatest love and respect for [Ang Lee]. I literally waited for him for two years, I didn't do another film. It was worth the wait."

06 of 13

The Touch, 2002

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

The Touch put Yeoh's martial arts skills to the test, and brought her to some very unique locations, including the mountains of Nepal.

07 of 13

Memoirs of a Geisha, 2005

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

This big-screen adaptation is her 83-year-old mother's favorite because "I look so glamorous and beautiful," Yeoh told PEOPLE.

08 of 13

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, 2008

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

Yeoh, here on the set of the hit 2008 action film, relishes the opportunity to do her own stunts whenever possible. "In this [job], you get to do things you will never do in real life," she said. "It gives you a great sense of achievement."

09 of 13

Star Trek: Discovery, 2017-2020

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

"I was very proud to play a captain," Yeoh told EW. "And when I came back on in a later part in the series as Emperor Philippa Georgio, it was delicious, I just reveled in it. I had such an amazing time."

10 of 13

Crazy Rich Asians, 2018

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

"I remember turning the script down," Yeoh told EW of her reaction to the character after having also read the book. "The mother was just too superficially mean, there was no depth, there was no love, no connection at all," she continued.

"But I met [director] Jon Chu, we had a Zoom call, so I asked him a very simple question: 'What kind of movie are you making? Is it going to be a Hangover type of film?' He said, 'No, if I did that, my mother would kill me!' So I said, 'Okay, maybe we can have a conversation here.' "

11 of 13

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, 2021

Michelle Yeoh Rollout

"What an incredible trip," Yeoh told EW of the Marvel hit. "I could play the sane-sounding, wise, embracing [character]. And I love those kinds of roles, and I love to be able to help these youngsters understand that sometimes it's okay, it's all right. And family will always be here for you."

12 of 13

Everything Everywhere All at Once, 2022

Michelle Yeoh Rollout
Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022). Allyson Riggs

Yeoh calls Everything Everywhere All at Once actress and new friend Jamie Lee Curtis (left) "the most generous, amazing woman."

The genre-defying fantasy about a laundromat owner who hops through multiple universes to save the world was one of the actress's most physically demanding roles ever. It's also earning her the best reviews of her career.

"Michelle gives one of the great performances onscreen ever," Curtis told PEOPLE. "Her ability to dodge in and out of multiple dialects and physical comedy and real drama and wacky sci-fi martial arts stuff — all seemingly effortlessly — is really quite jawdropping and thrilling to behold."

13 of 13

Winning Best Actress, 2023

Michelle Yeoh, winner of the Best Actress in a Leading Role award for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, poses in the press room at the 95th Annual Academy Awards
Michelle Yeoh poses in the press room at the 95th annual Academy Awards. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Everything Everywhere All at Once went on to win the 2023 Oscar for Best Picture, and Yeoh herself made history as the first Asian woman to win in the Best Actress category.

"This is proof that, dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies don't let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up," the trailblazing star said during her acceptance speech. She concluded by citing her win as "history in the making."

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