Bai Ling was born in Chengdu, in the People’s Republic of China. After middle school, Bai is sent to work in Shuangliu, on the outskirts of Chengdu. Not long after failing to pass the exam to enter the People’s Liberation Army, becoming an artist soldier at Linzhi, Tibet. her main function was the entertainment in the theater. For a while she was also in the Army nurse.
Three years later she was dismissed, and enters the popular Art Theater of Chengdu, becoming a professional actress. Her performance in the film Yuequin and the Tiger draws the attention of the director Teng Wengji, which give her the first true role in a movie, On the Beach (1985), in the role of a girl who works in a factory. In later years she appeared in many other films, such as Suspended Sentence, Yueyue and Tears in Suzhou. In 1989 attended the Moscow film festival, thanks to her role in the movie Arc Light directed by Zhang Junzhao.
In 1991 she moved temporarily to New York to attend the course in film at New York University, as a visiting student, but soon get a special visa that allows her to stay in the US until 1999, when she obtained US citizenship. In 1994 she starred in the cult movie The Crow in the shoes of the half-lover / sister antagonist Top Dollar. Other films like Hu Guang and Red Corner (1997) give her no little notoriety in the United States and Asia. In 1998 appears in Chris Isaak video, Please.
Later she took part in the film Anna and the King, with Jodie Foster. For this role is known in Thailand as her character, Tubtim. In 2005 she takes part in the movie Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, which plays the part of Senator Bana Breemu, but the scene is cut after the appearance of some of her pictures on the June issue of Playboy. The scene is still present in the DVD special features.
In 2007, the actress appears in the episode Stranger in a Strange Land of the television series Lost, where she plays the role of Achara, a Thai tattoo artist who seduces Jack Shephard. In 2013, Bai enjoyed a career resurgence with the movie The Gauntlet and in October 2014 was a member of the jury in the “India Gold 2014” section of the Mumbai Film Festival.