The 10 best Chinese movie stars range from lovely ladies to archetypal leading men, martial arts heroes to smoldering gangster film icons. Like the stars of any country, the ten best Chinese movie stars can disappear into a role while still bringing their own unique charisma to the part. Here they are, the ten best Chinese movie stars, icons in their homeland and, in some cases, across the world as well.

  1. Bruce Lee - Though his life was tragically cut short, the martial arts icon who really started it all made a worldwide impact in a very short amount of time. He was truly one of the best Chinese movie stars the world has ever seen, and as such, tops our list.

  2. Chow Yun-Fat - Hong Kong's answer to Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and every other tough leading man who could truly act, Chow Yun-Fat is definitely one of the ten best Chinese movie stars to grace the screen. From iconic hitman roles in John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow" and "The Killer" to the lead in the trans-national hit "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Chow's career is unmatched.

  3. Jackie Chan - The king of stunts and martial arts comedy is our list of Chinese movie stars' equivalent to Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd. In China, he is also a singing sensation.

  4. Maggie Cheung - A beautiful Chinese actress, Cheung began in typical girlfriend roles, subordinate to male stars. But, as she became one of the ten best Chinese movie stars, her personality and roles grew, until she carried many a film on her own, including the French film "Irma Vep," in which she played a fictionalized version of herself.

  5. Zhang Ziyi - The youngest of our best Chinese movie stars, Zhang hit the screen in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and hasn't looked back since. Youthfully beautiful, she is also believable in martial arts roles, making her a star to watch.

  6. Jet Li - Trained in martial arts in a real Shaolin temple, Li has crossed over to America and is now one of our biggest Chinese movie stars. Early films like "Once Upon a Time in China" showcased unmatched acrobatic skill.

  7. Tony Leung - Another Hong Kong star who has made his mark in international film is Chow Yun-Fat's co-star in Woo's "Hard-Boiled." He is believable as a tough cop or, in Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution," a disillusioned Chinese official.

  8. Gong Li - This beauty is truly one of the most graceful and dignified Chinese movie stars, her look perfect for period pieces. No list of the best Chinese movie stars would be complete without her.

  9. Simon Yam - A character actor and often a villain, Yam is one of the most versatile actors on our list of Chinese movie stars. His work in John Woo's "Bullet in the Head" cannot be touched.

  10. Brigitte Lin - The lead in "The Bride With White Hair," known in America for her role in "Chungking Express," is the final entry on our list of the ten best Chinese movie stars. She is known for playing tough characters at odds with her striking beauty.