Le Thi Hiep was born and raised in Da Nang. At the age of 8, she and her sister were taken to Hong Kong, where she was reunited with her father and then moved with the family to Oakland, USA.
When she was a student of psychology at the University of California, she caught the “green eye” of famous director Oliver Stone, excellently surpassing more than 10,000 people to receive the main role in the cult project about war. Vietnam – Heaven & Earth
“We tried her for about 5 months, continuously and she finally won the role”, “I didn’t send her to any acting school. I didn’t feel it was necessary. She is very natural”, director Oliver once shared about Le Thi Hiep.
In Heaven & Earth, Le Thi Hiep takes on the character Le Ly – a girl who was tortured, raped and later abused by her husband. This character is considered to have a very complicated inner development. Le Thi Hiep – a girl who has never attended an acting training school – at the age of 20 has left a big mark on the Hollywood movie capital. Heaven & Earth is also a war movie with an investment of up to 50 million USD.
The film starring Le Thi Hiep was released in 1993 and later won a Golden Globe Award for the soundtrack. Le Thi Hiep herself at that time also received compliments for her instinctive and natural acting.
After the success of the first role, Le Thi Hiep continued to appear in many subsequent Hollywood works: Bugis Street (1995), Cruel Intentions (1999), Green Dragon (2001) and National Security (2003), Julia (2008), series Friday (2017)…
In addition to her acting career, Le Thi Hiep also has a Vietnamese-French restaurant. In 2014, she also competed in a food-themed contest. In addition, she has participated in writing books, but according to Variety, her memoir titled Daughter of the Sea: My Voyage to Freedom and Womanhood has yet to be published.
December 19, 2017, Le Thi Hiep died in the US from stomach cancer. At the 2018 Oscars ceremony, along with famous names like Jerry Lewis, Roger Moore, Vietnamese-born actress Le Thi Hiep was mentioned in the video tribute to the deceased artist in the past year.
Earlier, Deadline website said that Le Thi Hiep was one of the first Asian actors to appear in mainstream American cinema.
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