Q in Y i


May 20, 2022

Qin Yi (Chinese: 秦怡; Wade: Ch'in I), born January 31, 1922 in Shanghai and died May 9, 2022 in the same city, is a Chinese actress. She gained notoriety through her performances in the provisional capital of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Chongqing. She then became one of the most popular film actresses in China in the 1950s and 1960s. After a difficult period during the Cultural Revolution, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, she returned to the top rank In the 1980's.


Beginnings in a changing China

Qin Yi was born in 1922 to a wealthy family in Shanghai. His birth name is Qin Dehe (Chinese: 秦德和). She is one of many daughters in the family. She grew up in a city which was then the nerve center of the film industry in China, she loved cinema and Ruan Lingyu, a glamorous actress of the 1930s, was one of her favorite actresses. After the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, Qin Yi moved to Wuhan. In 1938, following the Japanese advance, Qin Yi moved again to Chongqing, which had become the seat of the government of the Republic of China and its Kuomintang government. She received acting training there. She is involved in several theater groups, and plays in dozens of plays. She married actor Chen Tianguo (Chinese: 陈天国) in 1939. The marriage was short-lived, with Chen proving to be an alcoholic and violent. She decides to divorce despite the birth of a daughter.

Actress in Mao's China

After Japan surrendered at the end of World War II, Qin Yi returned to Shanghai. In 1946, she played in the film A Faithful Family, her first feature film. The following year, she played her first major role, Far Away Love, by Chen Liting, alongside Zhao Dan, which made her a star of Chinese cinema. In 1947, Qin Yi remarried Jin Yan, a Chinese actor of Korean descent. She then played a leading role in Tang Xiaodan's Lost Love, alongside her husband Jin Yan. The film was shot during the last year of the Chinese Civil War, and was released after the capture of Shanghai by the Communists in May 1949. Due to the uncertain context, the film remained in theaters for a short time. Like other Chinese filmmakers and actors, Qin Yi and Jin Yan must decide between three options: take refuge in the British colony of Hong Kong, join Taiwan, or stay in Shanghai and work with the new communist regime. The couple decide to stay. After 1949, Qin Yi became an actress in the newly established Shanghai Film Studio. She is recognized as a leading artist by the new authorities. She plays in many films, among the second or first roles. Some of her first roles met with great success and marked this phase of reconstruction of Chinese cinema, particularly in the productions of the young Xie Jin, such as the film La Basketteuse n°5, where she played a new character in Chinese cinema. , a sportswoman, a woman with uninhibited vitality. She established herself as one of the most popular actresses in China throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, attached to the revival of this cinema, described her as "the most beautiful woman in China". Qin Yi and his family were not spared during the Cultural Revolution. Of all the artistic domains, it is the cinema that pays the heaviest tribute to the vindictiveness of Jiang Qing, who directs the purges and the repression during this period. The name of Qin Yi is associated with those of Zhao Dan and Zhang Ruifang, who knew the beginnings and the difficult period experienced by Jiang Qing in Shanghai, a past that wants to erase