CHIN, TSAI

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


(November 30, 1933–     ): Chinese actress, director, teacher, and author who portrayed Ling, Hong Kong girlfriend to Bond (Sean Connery) in You Only Live Twice. (Ling’s signature line: “Darling, I give you very best duck.”) She returned to the Bond series in 2006 to cameo as Madame Wu, one of the poker tournament players in Casino Royale. Chin told interviewer Mark Cerulli of her original Bond appearance, “[Director] Lewis Gilbert and his wife, Hilda, were good friends of mine . . . It’s always lucky to be in a Bond film, so I did it. My costar from [the play] The World of Suzie Wong, Gary Raymond, was great friends with Sean, so we all mixed together. Sean wasn’t a star then. . . . I think I saved the producers money, because in those days you had to do everything twice—one for the American audience, who were prudish, and once for the continental European audience. So I had ‘taped’ myself—and I’m very good at it—so you couldn’t see anything you shouldn’t see so they only had to shoot it once. . . . Sean was always teasing me, saying, ‘Oh, I can see you now.’”[1]

Chin was born in Shanghai, the third daughter of Zhou Xinfang, one of the most celebrated Chinese actors of the twentieth century. Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, she made her feature film debut in director Michael Anderson’s war drama Battle Hell (1957). That same year, director David Lean cast her as the voice of Tokyo Rose in The Bridge on the River Kwai. Chin’s additional feature film credits include The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958); The Face of Fu Manchu (1965), with fellow Bond players Christopher Lee, Karin Dor (You Only Live Twice), and George Leech (Thunderball); Blow-Up (1966); The Joy Luck Club (1993); Memoirs of a Geisha (2005); and Now You See Me 2 (2016).


[1] Special features, You Only Live Twice, James Bond Ultimate Edition (1967; MGM, 2006), DVD.