Ling is a Chinese intelligence agent working for the British Secret Service in the 1967 James Bond film, You Only Live Twice. Portrayed by the multi-talented Chinese actress, singer, and director Tsai Chin, Ling is a minor character and Bond girl during the film’s pre-title sequence.
In the beginning of the movie, Ling and Bond are kissing in bed, before engaging in a playful debate about the unique tastes of Chinese women. Ling then quickly gets gets up and throws on a shirt before pressing a button on the wall, causing the bed to fold up into the wall with Bond still in it.
She then opens the door and rushes out as two armed men to enter the room and fire at the bed, seemingly killing 007. Later, it is revealed by Miss Moneypenny that Ling was actually assissting in faking Bond’s death.
Born on September 1, 1937, Tsai Chin is a versatile Chinese actress, singer, director, teacher, and author, globally renowned for her role as Auntie Lindo in The Joy Luck Club.
With a career spanning over six decades across three continents, Tsai Chin has appeared in international films such as The Bridge on the River Kwai, Yangtse Incident, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, and Violent Playground. She also took part in multiple Toho Studio monster films like The Face of Fu Manchu, Invasion, and The Brides of Fu Manchu.
She appeared in 2 Bond films, first as Ling in You Only Live Twice and she would later reappear as Madam Wu in the 2006 adaptation of Casino Royale.
As the first acting instructor invited to teach in China post the Cultural Revolution, Tsai Chin is celebrated for her role as Grandmother Jia in the 2010 TV drama series The Dream of Red Mansions.
Other appearances include Red Corner, Memoirs of a Geisha, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Lucky Grandma, and guest appearances on TV shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Grey’s Anatomy, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.